The ChipLitFest, of course

In the Green Room: Liz Fenwick, Me, Hannah Furness, Jeremy Limb, Peta Nightingale


I thought I’d begin today’s blog with a photo taken in the Green Room of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, which was held 18-21 April. The Green Room is where the speakers and organisers gather between giving talks and leading workshops. As you can see from the above spontaneous, unposed (ahem) photo, we’ve paused in our conversation and are all reading Cotswold Life.

The picture was taken by Sarah McIntyre, who’d just returned from leading a workshop in which she and some highly enthusiastic children had created The Silliest Superhero on the Planet. The photos taken at her workshop speak for themselves. Click here if you’d like to see her photo-filled blog of her workshop.

To go back to why I was at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival last Saturday – it was to give a talk at Number 24, the Literary Cafe. My subject was writing a novel and how to stand out from the crowd when it came to looking for an agent or publisher.

As is my wont, I reached the cafe ridiculously early, having had a glorious, traffic-free drive through the Cotswolds. I arrived at about the same time as Chris Hill, who was to give the talk ahead of mine. Chris and I got talking, and I decided to keep him company whilst we waited for people to arrive.

Chris Hill, author of ‘Song of the Sea God’
Me, waiting with Chris for the events to begin












Time passed very pleasantly. I learned that Chris’s novel, Song of the Sea God, had been shortlisted for both the Daily Telegraph Novel in a Year competition and the Yeovil Literature Prize under its earlier name of The Longing.  A literary writer, Chris has won a number of short story prizes including the Bridport Prize. You can find out more about Chris and his writing by clicking here. He was a fun companion and I very much enjoyed getting to know him.

The social side of these events is very important, and after a most enjoyable morning, I wandered through the beautiful little town of Chipping Norton, which was gleaming gold in the bright light of the sun, and ended up at the Green Room, where I hoped to meet the organisers of what was clearly a festival with a buzz and to catch up with any friends there.

On my arrival, I passed Julian Fellowes, who’d just been giving a talk entitled The Story Behind Downton Abbey and who was now signing books. I went up the stairs to the Green Room, and the first people I saw when I entered were agent Carole Blake and author Liz Fenwick.

Julian Fellowes signs books after his talk
The lively Blue Boar Inn
Carole Blake & Liz Fenwick




It was great catching up with Carole and Liz, and it was whilst we were all talking, eating – the food was delicious – and drinking that Sarah took the photograph with which I introduced this short blog. So that brings me round full circle.

All I can say is, Roll on ChipLitFest 2014!!

In the interim, I shall be going to Kansas City next week with my publisher, Choc Lit, to take part in the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention. My next blog, therefore, will come from Kansas City, Missouri.

15 thoughts on “The ChipLitFest, of course”

  1. Liz – it was lovely to see you and I think that is the only picture of Carole and I together without some sort of wine in our hands!

    Chipping Norton was a fabulous festival!

    1. Thanks, Chris. It was a lovely day, and I had a great time. I’m glad that that came across from the blog posting. I hope to take part in the festival next year, too.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Carol. I had a super time there. It’s not that far from you so perhaps next year you’ll be able to get there.

    1. Perhaps next year we’ll be better organised and will manage to meet up. I do hope so. In the meantime, there’s always the Ox lunch! Though not the next Ox lunch as I’ll be in Kansas City.:-)

  2. It was lovely to meet you Liz, and an entertaining morning! I’m looking forward to having my interview with you on my blog this weekend and finding more about you and your work.

    1. Meeting you was a highlight of the day, Chris. I’m now looking forward to your interview with me on Saturday.

    1. It was great fun, Angela.

      In just over a day, I soon won’t be that far from you – it’s off to Kansas City tomorrow morning we go! The weather in KC looks a bit up and down, but it’s going to be great fun. So near (to Tennessee) and yet so far!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jean.

      I had a brilliant time at the ChipLitFest. I hope to go back again next year. 🙂

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