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The 2011 Ayot Literary Festival

Just to prove that books are very much still ‘alive and kicking’, Maher The Bookseller, an independent bookseller, trading since 1995, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, is sponsoring a brand new Literary Festival, for its inaugural show this year.

Join the organisers and literary guests on Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2011, for the ‘Ayot Literary Festival’ Hertfordsire.

The objective of the festival, is to enrich the cultural life of the area by giving people the opportunity to meet their favourite authors and encounter new ones – to observe the personalities behind the words.

Programmes will include a good range of adult authors, plus children’s writers, with the aim of being stimulating, amusing, surprising, fun and inspiring.

The Ayots, are located only some 25 miles outside of Central London, to the North. Anywhere so close at hand, that could be such a stark contrast to the City, is difficult to imagine, with the place being picture postcard perfect and the festival taking place in a marquee on the tree lined village green.

The idea for a Literary Festival, in such a seemingly unlikely location, was born out of a community spirit to use the village green and surrounding local amenities, to their full potential, year-round and support was garnered quickly, with appointment of Fiona McIntosh as Festival Director.

As former Publicity Director with HarperCollins, Fiona has brought her talents to bear, in securing some great authors to take part in the three day festival. Household names from the literary world, such as Barbara Erskine, Simon Scarrow, Darren Shan and Alexander McCall Smith, have already signed up, with further announcements expected soon.

To date, there has yet to be any announcement of a timetable of events, or ticket prices for each session, however the booking page for this event is set to open on Thursday 12th May 2011, on the official Ayot Literary Festival website.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I love smaller, local literary festivals. There isn’t the pressure to see and be seen that you find in some of the larger venues. For a couple of years now one of our local National Trust properties has run one in September and I’ve had great fun there. This has reminded me to go over to their website and see if there are plans for this summer. Meanwhile, I shall try not to be jealous about the fact that this one is almost certainly just that bit too far away.

    • Hi Annie,

      Could you let me know which NT property that is please?

      A Literary Festival probably isn’t Dave’s idea of a great day out, but the fact that we have NT membership, so may be able to combine it with a day out, may just swing the vote.

      Ayot, is definitely just a bit too far from Somerset to justify the trip, but it’s great to see a small event trying to gain traction in these difficult times.

      I thought that they deserved a mention, especially as they started to follow me on twitter and it’s great to be able to wish them every success.

      Besides which, I just love the sound of the name ‘Ayot’, alomsy conjures up medieval images!!

      • Hi Yvonne,

        It’s Coughton Court, which is just outside Studley in Warwickshire. I haven’t yet seen any indication that they’re going to run one again this year, but if they advertise it, I’ll let you know.

        • Hi Annie,

          Thanks for getting back to me on this one.

          If we are visiting family in Swindon, Wiltshire, then Warwickshire isn’t too far away for us to get to, so it’s a possibility for a future visit.

          I checked out all the information I could find on Coughton Court, and nowhere is there a mention of another festival this year, which is a bit of a shame.

          As the National Trust is undertaking some pretty drastic changes to their profile over the next few years, perhaps it may be a suggestion they may be open to, not just at Coughton, but elsewhere as well?

Written by Yvonne