Welcome Back Bookfests! Happenings across the Globe

Literary Festivals and Contemporary Book Culture by Millicent Weber

A Little Back Story

Like most performing arts, literary and book festivals are slowly returning in a new, hybrid format that includes both live in-situ and remote online audiences. As one of my favourite indulgences, hearing authors read and talk about their work is something I find captivating, inspiring and uplifting. I am not alone in this experience, as a good deal of qualitative and mixed method research projects are beginning to unearth and demonstrate similar outcomes, not least of which is Dr Millicent Weber’s multi-site ethnography of various events in Australia, USA, UK and beyond.

While Millicent Weber’s (2018) book emerged in the couple of years pre-pandemic, the insights remain valid and can certainly still inform event planners and researchers alike, going forward. They did, in fact, help to inspire and inform my own mixed methods ethnography of audience experiences at the Ninth Belfast Book Festival, 2019. Here are a few extracts from my dissertation – I found the project exciting and enjoyable and hope that comes across! Firstly, where did book and literary festivals spring from?

“…While book signings have been part of author promotion for decades, the consumption of literary festivals operates on a much more expanded level, with their diverse programmes and a more interactive dynamic between audiences and presenters.  This world of Literary and Book Festivals displays both cultural and commercial aspects, and is linked to an upsurge in reading groups, to the recent expansion of the Independent Book Shop industry, and with the tendency towards arts promotion through the festival model, globally…”

What are book festivals for? For authors…

“…Authors spend a good deal of time on tour when promoting a new release and as such are becoming more and more like musicians and others in the performing arts. Book sales and book signings have become ubiquitous features of all events that form literary festivals…”

And for book lovers, it’s…

“…the informative, inspirational and pleasurable qualities of event experiences, feeling combinations of being ‘fired up’ and ‘spellbound’… It was also clear that the Festival provides many patrons with opportunities to connect socially and to share celebrations with family and friends…”

Ultimately…

“…Literary festivals are open for business: for authors to engage with their audiences; for aspirational audiences who desire personal growth and wellbeing; for organisations with plans for social engagement; and for marketers who seek to help consumers fulfil their needs, hopes and dreams…”

Here is a little potted summary of the project findings:

  • motivations and experiences were described by audience members across three emergent categories:
  • Cognitive-cultural (knowledge, empowerment and literary activism);
  • Emotional (inspiration, feelings, passions, hero worship and author charisma);
  • Social (connecting and sharing resonant atmospheres in ritualised, liminal spaces of escape).

(click here or on the image below to view my presentation on the design, findings, insights and recommendations).

What’s happening around the world?

Finally, book and literary festivals are thriving again as Dream Vacation Magazine has listed the Top 25 literary festivals worth a visit – I’m choosing Berlin next, travel permitting… what’s your choice?

Happy Reading

complexwales.wordpress.com/

Creating the space for other people to do something useful.

just write 4radio

The Site for Radio Drama Writers by John Morrison

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

Bullet Point Reading

Key Takeaways From Books!

Witchcraft & Wicca

Children Of Artemis

Tim Verdouw

Product Reviews

Dr Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado

Academic, Critic, and Editor

The Bookworm Shelf

Come forth into a fairytale world.

ADITI MALIK

Parenting Educator

irishjournalamcp.wordpress.com/

Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy

A Pearl Clutcher

cultural commentary from a pearl-clutching hysteric

Edoardo Magnotta

Benvenuti nella Quarta Rivoluzione Industriale

FM Design

Contemporary architectural design for hospitality, heritage, retail and home

Web Design and Content Creation

Web Design, SEO & Copywriting in Kent

Charlotte Sheridan

Coaching Psychologist, Writer, Podcaster and Photographer

No Wasted Ink

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

Children's Book Writer

A resource for writers

Jimmy's Internet Marketing Business Blog

Using Internet Marketing to drive new clients to your business

TV Channel Info

Resources for TV Channel Developers

DAILY MOTIVATION

Be your true self.

Dr. Eric Perry’s Self-Help Blog

Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

Elan Mudrow

Smidgens

FM Design

contemporary interior and exterior design for hospitality, arts venues and commercial retail

Positiveshores

shared experiences of mental health and wellbeing support through the eyes of a youth mentor and teacher aide

IMSuccess.me

Internet Marketing - Product Reviews and Trending Articles

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

Townlands of Ulster

Exploring County Down with my camera, one townland at a time

The Familiar Strange

A blog. A podcast. A social fact.

CinePunked

Love Film | Talk Film | Know Film

Roberta McDonnell

Writing | Researching | Marketing

The Ogham Stone

The Best Writing By New and Established Writers

wake up and smell the humans

The website of Sean Crawley

Asylum

John Self's Shelves

ALEPOLL'S ART

Artwork and Illustrations by Alessandra Pollicini

The Book Addict's Guide to MBTI:

Literary, Historical & Fictional MBTI

Christoph’s Content Corner

Content strategy, livestreaming/podcasting and content marketing tips

COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP

by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'

Wildly and Dangerously Free

When Map and Terrain Differ.... Follow the Terrain

The Alchemist's Studio

Raku pottery, vases, and gifts

%d bloggers like this: