Henley Literary Festival 2013

And so another amazing year for Henley Literary Festival ends.   If you haven’t been before then I really suggest you look into going next year.  It’s a “must do event” for us now.

Monday morning and I was at “From Blog to book” hearing how Helen McGinn and Maggy Woodley have translated their phenomenally successful blogs into books.   Both in very different ways.   They gave us lots of tips on how to do it if we are that way inclined.  You will be relieved to know though dear reader that I am not, I can’t see anybody being remotely interested in my blog becoming a book.

Highlight of the week though had to be Saturday night with Emma Freud, Emma Kennedy and Cherry Menlove.   Talking about their books, their love of cooking and then Emma K and Cherry taking part in the “Great Henley Cook Off”.

“History in the making” said Emma Freud.

As we witnessed live cooking on stage and then sharing of what had been created in just five minutes.   We also got to share cronuts.   If you haven’t heard about cronuts, well you are missing out on something rather special, let me tell you.  Emma Freud told a great story about “the cronut situation” in New York and how she had driven to London to get some just for us, the audience.

Only at Henley would a speaker go to that much trouble.

There is a certain camaraderie about events at Henley.  A feeling that you are in the speaker’s front room.   That this is not a formal talk at a literary festival, but more of a chat over a glass of wine.  And indeed there is wine at some of the events, thanks to Laithwaites.   And cake at others, thanks to Gower Cottage.   Or even cronuts.

Other guests this year were Giles Coren (who apparently was fabulous, if a bit sweary), David Gower, Damian McBride ( I did cheekily tweet him and Iain Dale and ask that they leave any protesters alone, this being Henley after all), Stella Rimmington, Roy Hattersley, Barry Norman, Irvine Welsh, Rachel Joyce (for whom I had tickets but didn’t get to because I had a sick car), Peter Snow…. the list goes on.

Whether you are a fan of crime or autobiography, travel or history, want to learn how to self publish, or get a book deal with a publisher, this event has something for everybody.   In a backdrop of stunning locations, from the glorious Bix Manor to a town centre hotel to the rowing museum to the theatre that holds 250.

Can you tell I am a massive fan?

Do sign up for next year.   This event is going from strength to strength which means that next year is going to even more amazing.

I can’t wait!

Henley Literary Festival website

or follow them on Twitter @henleylitfest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • We are in synch woman ! I loved our time there – so good. I must admit I did think it would all be very posh and well-to-do and that I’d feel out of place but it wasn’t like that at all.
    A brilliant time – until next year!

    • They were hanging round the car park at Bix Manor! You can image Ma Spratt’s reaction to getting out of the car and seeing three llamas grazing within touching distance!