Today, we see the launch of LoveReading LitFest - a brand new, digitally native, subscription-based books and literature festival, which teams together the experienced professionals behind the successful Lockdown LitFest with the UK’s biggest and best-known book recommendation brand LoveReading.
Established in 2005, LoveReading has over 300,000 engaged book lovers on its database, all hungry for trusted advice to help them find their next favourite author, book or genre. With our mission to encourage reading for pleasure, our site regularly delivers one million page impressions per month. With our partnership with LoveReading LitFest, we will now deliver an extra level of recommendation to our existing offering and enable our book-loving audience to discover new authors and literature in an entirely different way.
Working closely with publishers of all sizes, particular focus will be given at LoveReading LitFest to eye-catching debut writers at the start of their careers, world-beating bestselling authors, and award-winning international writers in translation. The new festival will also be running a series of themed panel discussions and, in time, a programme of events for children and young adults, schools and colleges. The ultimate aim is to make all events, which will be moderated by a variety of different presenters each month, fully accessible with podcasts, transcripts and signing.
Managing Director of LoveReading, Deborah Maclaren, comments: “This, for us, is the manifestation of a vision we’ve had for a while to create LoveReading TV…a million miles apart from your average Zoom call. We are super excited to work with Paul and some of the talented members of the Lockdown LitFest team to make the dream a reality. It’s a perfect match. What unites us all is a passion for books and stories, and an ongoing desire to support authors and readers. It will also be an opportunity to get behind independent publishers and bookshops at a time when many are struggling to keep afloat during this incredibly challenging time.”
Festival Director, Paul Blezard, said: “Deborah Maclaren and her LoveReading colleagues, and our own highly experienced festival team, have worked so hard to create this innovative partnership. Taking all that we have learned across the last year about online events, we have created a platform that will be a global shop window for the books that delight and amaze us, the authors who create them and for book lovers of all tastes and interests. Our aim is to highlight writers and fascinate readers with an evolving smorgasbord of delights, all for a very modest subscription, which will grant members access to all that we produce in the weeks and months to come. At a time when so many doors remain closed, we hope that LoveReading LitFest will be a welcome ever-open door to all the pleasures that good writing and great reading give us.”
Starting small with at least two shows a week, LoveReading LitFest will celebrate the very best writing, of all genres, from around the world, through fascinating interviews, debates, master classes and more. The events will be archived and available to subscribers anywhere, at any time. The book-loving audience, currently starved of real-life events, will be treated to a wide-ranging programme featuring authors from around the globe, behind-the-scenes peaks of writers’ rooms, readings, a fortnightly newsletter and a few extra literary surprises for members too. Plus, there will be a chance for book fans to get to know more about the whole writing process, with the new festival lifting the lid on the publishing industry itself, showcasing the role of the literary agent, explaining the importance of a good editor, and interviewing key players at the heart of the literary scene.
The very first interviews, each 30 minutes long and available to view as soon as subscribers sign up, include: a chat with international bestselling author of Find You First Linwood Barclay; an introduction to debut author of the critically-acclaimed We Are All Birds Of Uganda, Hafsa Zayyan; a welcome to the mean streets of Montevideo with award-winning Uruguayan crime novelist Mercedes Rosende and translator Tim Gutteridge; and an ecological discussion with former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq and prize-winning children’s writer Gill Lewis about their books for younger readers.
In addition, the first in a series of 10-15 minute readings by authors, entitled ‘Opening Chapters’, kicks off with bestselling romance novelist Katie Fforde reading from her brand-new novel A Wedding In The Country. Plus, our very own Reviews Editor Liz Robinson selects two of her current favourite, but very different, crime mystery thrillers in the first in a weekly feature called ‘Robinson Reviews’. And, to mark the publisher Nosy Crow’s 10th anniversary, LoveReading LitFest will be launching a competition for members to win a box of fantastic children’s books worth over £50.
Authors already committed to appearing on LoveReading LitFest in the next series of events include: an exclusive reading from the no:1 multimillion bestselling author, and the Founder Director of the Women's Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse; comedian, writer and television presenter David Baddiel; author of the hugely popular ‘Chastity Riley’ series, Simone Buchholz, from the German city of Hamburg; and two top London literary agents shed light on how aspiring writers can go about landing that elusive publishing deal.
For those watching the shows, there will be the facility to buy the authors’ works via ‘Buy the Book’ buttons. LoveReading LitFest is currently in talks with a leading independent bookshop to sell all featured authors’ books, and will announce details of this ongoing partnership shortly.
You can access the new LoveReading LitFest website from the navigation bar on the LoveReading homepage. View and find out more information from the launch video, and follow LoveReading LitFest on your favourite social media channel.
If publishers have authors they would like to see appear at LoveReading LitFest, and would like to make suggestions, they should contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.