Why litfests are important

Signing books

Signing for a reader

I was delighted and flattered when I received an invitation to speak at the Charroux LitFest here in deepest Poitou-Charentes in France. This is my home area, and being part of the inaugural year of a new litfest is thrilling. You see, I love conferences, book fairs, launches and literary festivals whether I’m a delegate, helper, speaker, panel member or chair, or interviewer/interviewee. I chaired a panel at the Historical Novel Society conference in Denver at the end of June and I still haven’t got over the buzz of the whole weekend.

Writers and readers come together for a number of days and can enthuse with like-minded souls without the usual guilt about possibly boring other people. We all love fiction; characters, plot, frocks, swords, families, crime, comedy, emotional grip, soul journeys, drama and world-building are there for the begging.

Sue Cook_Alison Morton_small

Interviewed by Sue Cook


– meet their readers
– meet other writers they’ve only known on-line or from reading their books
– find mentors, critique partners and beta readers
– have the opportunity to share what they’ve learnt and tell stories about the strange business of writing and publishing
– learn new techniques and craft skills both in the classroom and bar
– talk about and sell their books
– have fun!


Lindsey Davis

With Lindsey Davis at an HNS conference

– meet their favourite and/or new authors
– discuss every aspect of reading and their favourite books with other readers (and writers are keen readers, too!)
– discover what’s behind the books they love
– learn how a story gets from idea to finished book
– buy books and get them signed by the author
– find out about new forms of work they wouldn’t otherwise
– have fun!

Roma Nova booksSo I’m packing up my four Roma Nova Novels – INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO and AURELIA – plus The 500 Word Writing Buddy and yes, I’d like to sell and sign them all. Empty book boxes are so satisfying! But the buzz of contributing, talking books for three whole days, discovering new work is what I’m there for.
See you there!


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO. The fourth book, AURELIA, is now out.

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