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Fishbourne’s 3rdBook Festival

With authors’ day tickets a sell-out beforehand, a certain amount of success was guaranteed for Fishbourne’s 3rd book festival – ‘Fishbourne Loves Books’.  However, the entertainment provided by the authors, and enthusiasm of those attending, created a day to savour and remember with much pleasure.   Bosham author Janet Denny commented ‘I attend many literary festivals but have never been to one in a small village which was so well attended and with engaging, well-known speakers.’

A willing band of helpers ensured that the large supply of books for sale was constantly replenished, whilst a team helped Nik Westacott in the kitchen to provide all day refreshments and lunches quickly in between authors’ talks.

Following an interview by Chris Partridge with local author Isabel Ashdown, Adam Mars-Jones, research professor at Goldsmiths, talked about his memoir of his long and complex relationship with his father, a High Court judge (amusing several judges in the audience). Then five authors, some self-published, discussed their experiences in today’s publishing market, and how to overcome difficulties.   Richard Bates, who runs his own publishing business, chaired the panel.

Whilst Margaret Drabble talked about her work, the ageing process, and writing about one’s family, fellow author Béatrice Crawford, who had talked earlier (about her life-changing trek along the Great Wall of China)  disagreed with Margaret about feeling old, suggesting it was a state of mind. Throughout the day, questions from the audience kept the speakers engaged.

The last speaker of the day, Canon Dr. Anthony Cane, Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral, gave a lightning but stimulating exploration of the interpretation of C. S. Lewis and Philip Pullman of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ in a talk entitled ‘ Storytelling and the Devil’.

As Master of Ceremonies for the third year, Adrian Moss kept everyone ‘on track’ ensuring the whole day ran smoothly.  One book-lover who came for the day from Essex commented ‘It’s been wonderful to forget the world’s woes and indulge in such a varied and interesting day.’

A final ‘book grab’ encouraged many to fill their bags with as many books as they could for £1.  Earning over £3,000 to be shared between Fishbourne Church, (for its much needed new boiler) and the Apuldram Centre, it seems that the organisers are happy to plan the next festival next year on 30thMarch, 2019!