Boswell Book Festival. The World’s Only Biography Festival. The Glastonbury Experience for Booker Lovers – 17th to 19th May 2013

‘Look to your left and then to your right. One of you will die early due to bad genes.’
Steve Jones (Professor of Genetics at UCL)
‘Is that because,’ whispers my friend, ‘their trousers are too tight?’
I’ve never been to Glastonbury but it can’t be more fun than the Boswell Book Festival.
The annual Boswell Book Festival is so busy and has so many eminent speakers, it is only possible to give a snapshot of how enjoyable and informative it is. I have only splashed a few dabs of paint at the canvas.
My first talk was with Michael J Malone, AWC former president and a thoroughly good egg), of ‘Carnegie’s Call’ being interviewed with Sir Tom Hunter about Scottish entrepreneurs. The messages I took away were; Michael’s got a new book ‘A Taste for Malice’ coming out in May 2013 with a book launch at the Ayr Carnegie Library on Wed, June 12 at 7pm, and failure in life is not the problem, the challenge is how you deal with that failure. Something every writer should mull over.
After a quick pit stop in the café where you rub shoulders with fellow AWC members, published writers, famous faces (it is uncool to gawp) and a tribe (is that the right word? Maybe it should be pack) of Hunter wellies, it is time for the next talk with James Naughtie (of Radio 4). His amusing and intelligent discourse was about his book on ‘The New Elizabethans’ which consisted of pen portraits of sixty most influential people of The Queen’s reign. 
The Festival was close enough to go home at 3.30, dry my socks, eat cheese on toast, wash the mud out of my crevices and get back to see a sublime session with John Sessions. 
On Sunday the rain stopped, the sun appeared and the Festival experience continued with an erudite talk by the renowned scientist Steve Jones. He covered so much territory that no one could have left with an empty notebook.
My Festival ended with Tam Dalyell and The Duke of Buccleuch discussing some of their ancestors but particularly some of the women, who acted as hinges during difficult times to hold their families and properties together.
Then off home exhausted but elated by an inspiring weekend.
I only heard about the Festival after I joined the Writers’ group. There are always events like this and when you pitch up there are always familiar faces ready to give you a cheery greeting. If you have been thinking about becoming more proactive with your writing or you just want to get out of a rut and meet some charming people then give the Ayr Writers’ Club a thought.
I’ve never been to Glastonbury but … Who needs it when they can have Boswell.

One comment

  1. And Michael can be seen on the front of The Cumnock Chronicle this week chatting to Sir Tom Hunter!

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