Sunday, 18 August 2019

Talking Tales at Llangwm Literary Festival, 2019

This time, a year ago, I wrote about reading from ‘Esther Bligh’ in the open mic event at Llangwm Literary Festival in Pembrokeshire.

Last weekend, I was thrilled to be back at Llangwm, particularly as I was now one of the featured authors. I was taking part in a discussion led by Philippa Davies, along with Chloe Turner, whose collection of stories, ‘Witches Sail in Eggshells’, was published earlier this year. This book, together with ‘Esther Bligh’, deals with dark subjects and strange happenings – hence the event’s billing as ‘Tales of the Unexpected’.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

Llangwm is a relatively new festival. This is its fourth year, and it has already established itself in the Welsh literary calendar, with a mix of presenters, themes and entertainments. And all set in the picturesque village on the Cleddau estuary, with so many of the locals pitching in, to help Michael Pugh, chief organiser, make this such a successful occasion.

And festivals are new for me, from the point of view of discussion, at least. It’s not so long ago that I was writing in my blog about my nervousness about reading aloud. Now, I am happy to do that, and was quite at ease reading from ‘Esther Bligh’ last week. But talking about my work is a different thing. There was Penfro last year, (see earlier blog), and now this.

I’ve written about my feelings concerning the process for the Blue Nib magazine. You can see it at

Why ‘The Blue Nib’? Because their press is publishing my short story collection ‘Trouble Crossing the Bridge’ in December, and I was able to announce this during my interview.

In my blog about Penfro, I said how special that festival was, because of my association with it in a number of ways. Now I also feel that Llangwm is special, because the publication of my collection has been a long-time goal, and this was the first public airing of what is, to me, wonderful news.

Having said that, I think Llangwm would be memorable, anyway, on account of the atmosphere, location and wide appeal. And because of the encouragement and support it has given me as a local author – something I am so grateful for.

So thank you, Llangwm, Michael Pugh, Philippa Davies and all the team. And thank you, of course, Blue Nib!

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