After not having had time to volunteer at any (!) festivals in September I was really looking forward to the start of the Wimbledon Book Festival, which ran from 6 until 14 October 2012.
On the first festival weekend I helped out with the ‘Gary Mulgrew – Gang of One’ talk, which was intriguing and caused a lot of discussion between the writer and the audience as well as among us volunteers. This was followed by the ’40 Years of Picador’ reading by no less than eight authors all writing about the concept or number of 40. Events were held at a mix of venues around Wimbledon, from the King’s College school to the local library.
I also did a shift at the Jack Straw talk, who presented his memoir ‘Last Man Standing’. It was completely sold out, so we were kept busy with finding seats for audience members with special needs and running the bar afterwards. My last shift was at the reading by bestselling author Kate Mosse (no, not the model), who presented her new novel ‘Citadel’, which is the last in a series of three historical fiction books. As I had already signed up for my next festival, I sadly missed the second weekend with the readings in the big tent and all the children’s events. But there is always next year!
All in all Wimbledon Book Fest had a good mix of vibrant events covering a variety of genres, with dedicated organisers and relaxed, interested audiences. Definitely worth putting in your calendar for 2013.