A lot of lit for chicks at ancient St Albans’ first literature festival

1st October 2014
Posted in Events
1st October 2014 Annette Newman

St Albans, the historic Hertfordshire cathedral city, has announced a programme jam-packed with events of particular interest to women at its inaugural Literary Festival, to take place 6th – 9th November 2014.  The city will be hosting some of the country’s most experienced and acclaimed female authors for a number of very different sessions.

St Albans does have some particularly heavy-weight literary boasts. The first draft of the Magna Carta was drawn up in St Albans cathedral; Francis Bacon, scientist and writer, thought by many to be the author of some of Shakespeare’s plays, lived in Gorhambury House; Dickens penned some of Bleak House in the City; and the brilliant scientist and writer Stephen Hawking was educated at the oldest public school in the country, St Albans School, which sits in the shadow of the Cathedral in the City centre.

Thursday November 6

An evening for female professionals with local authors: ‘The female capitalist’ Christine Brown Quinn (Step Aside Super Woman – Career & Family is for Any Woman) and ‘the thinking woman’s coach’ Jessica Chivers (Mothers Work! How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return to Work). These two writers are experts in the field of empowering woman to balance work and family life and this interactive evening offers the opportunity to ask questions and gain vital life-changing advice.

Friday November 7

Chick lit Girls’ Night Out. Angela Clarke, author of Confessions of a Fashionista, will be joined by three genre greats to discuss their books over a glass of bubbly. The panel consists of Rowan Coleman (The Accidental Mother, The Memory Book), Liz Frazer (Lifeshambles), and Rachael Lucas (Sealed With a Kiss).


Pick up a glass of champagne and complimentary cupcakes upon arrival at what is sure to be a treat of an evening. 20 minute luxury mini-treatments courtesy of Verulamium Spa will also be available for purchase.

Sunday November 9

How to be a best-selling author – For women who fancy learning more about how to get involved in writing women’s fiction, St Albans Literary Festival is offering a limited opportunity to join best-selling authors Karen Swan (Players, Prima Donna) and Lulu Taylor (Heiresses, Midnight Girls) in the beautiful and personal setting of the Clarion Hotel to discuss the inspiration behind their writing and what it takes to become a best selling author.

The highly anticipated Literary Dinner  – expected to be a sell-out. Hosted by acclaimed authors Jessie Burton and Naomi Wood, and guaranteed to be a fascinating evening of literature at its finest.

Jessie Burton will be talking about her Sunday Times No.1 best selling novel The Miniaturist, a tale of two women’s separate searches for freedom in the dire setting of 17th century Amsterdam.

Naomi Wood will be discussing her Jerwood Fiction Prize-winning novel Mrs Hemingway, which tells the story of what it was like to be partnered to one of history’s most influential authors. Told through the experiences of Hemingway’s four wives, the novel explores the great storyteller through those who knew him most intimately.

Held in the glamorous surroundings of St Michael’s Manor Hotel, with a glass of Prosecco on arrival, a three course dinner including coffee and petit fours, half a bottle of wine per person during dinner and one copy of either of our two authors’ novels.

Claire Walsh, festival director, says: “Although there is a lot of content for women, the festival includes something for everyone, from a Tudor night in the Lady Chapel of the 900 year old St Albans Cathedral hosted by a famous BBC face; a plethora of crime writers; the nation’s favourite, Terry Wogan himself; a jam-packed programme for children; and workshops and authors from wealth of other genres.”

For more information on this event, please head to stalbansliteraryfestival.co.uk or follow @StALitFest.

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Annette Newman

Deputy Editor of TrendLife Magazine. Often daydreaming, always happy. If you only do one thing today, do it more stylish than you did before.