Friday 4 April 2014

Why Festivals are not just for FUN! - Greenacre Guest Blog

Guest Blog from Lil Chase

This May I will be taking part in the wonderful Finchley Literary Festival, speaking with over twenty other authors and illustrators about all things book-like.

I’ve been involved with many festivals before, but I am particularly excited about this one. Why? Because it’s a local festival. All the authors taking part in the festival come from London and the surrounds. And I think that’s very important.

Festivals allow readers to meet authors and see them in action, reading and talking about books – putting a real face to the sparkly names printed on book spines. I think it’s nice for people – children especially – to know that we’re just normal folk. There are a few authors demand seven-figure advances. Some whose book launches take place in champagne filled rooms in Claridges. But most authors live in regular two-up-two-downs, our launches attended by close friends, delighted to receive a glass of wine and a handful of Pringles.

Festivals put authors up on stages as they talk to the crowd (how else are they going to see and hear them after all?) but rather than being on pedestals, the effect is that of normalising the author. To me this is hugely important. Because as well as getting people into reading, I think – I hope – literary festivals get people into writing.

I can’t remember the name of the author who came to visit my school when I was young, but I do remember him being enthusiastic about reading and writing. He was down-to-earth, encouraging, and scruffy. It made me believe that having a book published was something I could do myself.

Authors are not special, sparkly people, they are people who were inspired by someone or something to write down a story. I believe festivals such as the one in Finchley in May can be that inspirational something.

Lil Chase is the author of two books; Boys for Beginners and Secrets, Lies & Locker 62. Her latest series - The Boys' School Girls - will be out in July 2014. 

You can meet Lil at the Finchley Literary Festival on Tuesday 27th May from 2pm at Finchley Waterstone’s, along with fellow authors Miriam Halahmy and Gina Blaxill.

To find out more about Lil visit: or 
follow her on twitter @lilchasewriter

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