Chipping Norton Town Hall by Jan Cliffe

I have a tendency to be pretty Edinburgh-centric when writing about book festivals (Edinburgh International Book Festival got pretty extensive coverage last summer and I had a guest post from the lovely Peggy Hughes about the West Port one in the autumn).  So, in the interests of impartiality, it seems only right that I look into similar events occurring elsewhere.  With that in mind, today I have a guest post from Clare Mackintosh, Director of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival which is being held this weekend and sounds really good.  She said…

“Creating a programme of events for the first Chipping Norton Literary Festival was an immensely exciting process. We’ve lined up some sensational speakers, including Joanna Trollope, Jasper Fforde, Sophie Hannah, Sir Andrew Motion and many more, but we were also keen to build a programme which would appeal to aspiring authors. With this in mind Chipping Norton Literary Festival has a strong emphasis on ‘how to’ workshops.

On Saturday 21 April Arvon teachers Carole Angier and Sally Cline will be running a session on life-writing at our wonderful independent book shop, Jaffe and Neale. A little later festival visitors can learn about writing historical fiction from author Fiona Mountain. Top of my own list of workshops is Julie Cohen’s famous session on writing sex scenes (I’m told it includes chocolate, but that’s not the only reason I’m going), or if romance isn’t your thing then you could hop across to Louise Harwood’s ‘Writer, Author, Publisher’ talk. Ex-publisher, married to a literary agent, and now a best-selling author, Louise knows her stuff.  Finally, journalist and novelist Emma Lee-Potter shares tips on how to break into freelancing, and author Emily Barr’s workshop is all about bringing your characters to life.

You’d do well to make a weekend of it, because on Sunday 22 April Sandra Smith kicks off the workshops with Writing Humour, swiftly followed by a session on writing short stories, led by Land Girls author Angela Huth. If you’re a non-fiction or business writer, or simply interested in self-publishing, Robert Bullard’s talk is right up your street. To round off the day, crime-writer Helen Black’s crime workshop will cover building pace, plot and planning the perfect murder.

We’ve kept our workshop prices as low as we possibly could, because we know you’ll want to come to more than one. So none of the sessions mentioned here costs more than £7.50, and you can order tickets online now.”

Chipping Norton Literary festival runs from Friday 20 April to Sunday 22 April 2012. Authors include Sir Andrew Motion, Jill Mansell, Joanna Trollope, Graeme Garden, Mark Billingham, Colin Dexter and many more. Ticket prices between £7.50 and £12.50. Visit for more information.