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Blogger in residence: Durham Book Festival begins & I will be doing something a little bit different this weekend!

9 October 2015

by DBF Blogger in residence, Simon Savidge

This week is the start of the two weeks of book joy that is Durham Book Festival. And I am really excited. I love a book festival at the best of times (and even at the worst) yet Durham holds a very special place in my heart as it was the place I would often beg to go (after the airport and the Hancock Museum) at the weekend when I was a little from the age of about three until I was about ten. I have yet to go back. This will all change from Friday as I have been kindly asked to be the festival’s inaugural Blogger-in-Residence…and the line-up is corking!

From today until 17 October, the great and the good of publishing will be heading to Durham for a whole host of wonderful events. There are exciting conversations from debuts to events with the likes of Philip Pullman (whose Northern Lights has been distributed to 3,000 readers in the county as on big read) from talks about the world of fiction to politics in Russia or the British countryside. Seriously there are some marvellous events which you can see the whole gamut of here.

Over the first weekend of the festival I will be heading to events with Xinran, Pat Barker, Patrick Gale (who probably thinks I am stalking him), Liza Klaussman, Andy Miller (who I am hoping to have a pint and a pie with), Lauren Lavern (who I might actually be stalking, not really but I think she’s ace), Richard Benson, Louise Welsh, Mark Blacklock and more…phew. That’s quite a lot to fit in. Oh, and of course the announcement of the Gordon Burn Prize on Friday night, which I am really, really, really excited about—I have read two of the long list and am going to try and squeeze the rest in this week on lunch breaks, evenings and on the train where I can.

To do something different, and as blogger in residence it seems fitting, I am going to spend the whole weekend live blogging and tweeting as I attend the events. I have also been meeting with, talking to and doing a master class with some amazing young talented reviewers and bloggers who will be doing the same over the weekend and in the weeks that follow. They will probably put me to shame, so it is best I go first. Ha.

I am also really hoping that I get a bit of time to have a mooch, fall into some bookshops (and possibly some book tents) and see one of the icons of my childhood…the Durham Cathedral Knocker!

Do let me know if you will be there as it would be lovely to say hello and if you can’t be there let me know what you would like to hear about the festival and from the events!


Simon Savidge is a writer who contributes to several literary and lifestyle magazines and hosts Savidge Reads, a blog about all things literary.

You can contact him on savidgereads@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter here @SavidgeReads