Another new academic year approaching and with it, for BritLit, another date with the Hay Festival in Segovia. It’s been a very long time since there was an update on this page, and, in fact, we’ve been to visit Hay Festival in Cartagena de Indias in Colombia since the last post (well, someone had to do it) and numerous other BritLit events have occurred in the calendar as well. Possibly the most important has been the recent two week intensive training course for BritLit at NILE in Norwich, UK. There were teachers from all over, including Russia and India (the latter linked to Hay Festival Kerala – are you beginning to spot a pattern here?!) Claudia and Misa were the trainers, and guest visitor was author Melvin Burgess who introduced both the BritLit group and the British Studies group to his multi media epic ‘The Well’, which uses film (a 4 part programme made by the BBC) together with an on-line game which reveals the back story. He also gave a lesson on creative writing by deconstructing and rebuilding traditional fairy stories. Much fun and erudition was experienced by all, and a request for more work on creative writing made.
The growing link with Hay Festivals worldwide is part of a protocol signed last year between Hay Festival organisers and the British Council. This came directly out of the good work pioneered by BritLit in Segovia with the BC Madrid office over the past few years. Lining up for the BritLit treatment over 2011 and 2012 in addition to Segovia and Cartagena are Kerala and Xalapa (Mexico) The 2011 Segovia event will feature writers such as Michelle Paver (with whom we worked in Cartagena) whose epic series of books ‘Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’ written with young adults in mind is one of the most exciting adventure series on the market. We shall also be working with David Mitchell – author of Cloud Atlas – as well as two authors being promoted by the Welsh Arts Council – Tiffany Murray and Jon Gower. Tiffany and Jon are being promoted to tour ALL the Hay Festivals over the next 12 months – that’s about the best job we’ve ever heard of!
New activity kits will come out of all this work, of course, and we’re all hard at work on a new multi-media production in the model of ‘Coming Home’ – but that’s top secret for now. Shhhh. So, lot’s of work coming up over the next few months.
Hope the new academic year, for those who are facing one, goes well.