Feedback from LitFest 2015

Monday, February 1st, 2016

We are proud of the feedback we get from visitors to Marlborough LitFest. Year after year the audiences and the authors tell us that they love the festival. Of course we also want to know if we’ve got it wrong so that we can improve next time round.

Feedback from 2015 Authors

It is a very good festival and I really enjoyed it.  You are all so welcoming and the attention to detail means that the event ran very smoothly (at least, I thought so!).  There is clearly a strong reading culture in and around Marlborough. – Helen Dunmore

It is an excellent fest and I hope to be involved in future years – Salley Vickers

This is just a short note to say ‘thank you’ for inviting me to the wonderful Marlborough Literature Festival last weekend. I had such a great time and felt very well looked after. Your programme was very interesting and everything was run with such efficiency and enthusiasm and engagement by your team. I hope you’ll invite me back again in the future, and I hope the festival goes from strength to strength. – Neel Mukherjee

I LOVED my time at Marlborough: they were a terrific audience and so interesting when I spoke to them afterwards. I’d really like to come back, if you ever have a slot for me again. I’ve now clocked up a
considerable number of literary festivals over the last decade, but Marlborough was certainly one of the very most enjoyable and a very good fit for my kind of book (which makes a huge difference). – Matthew Dennison

Just to note to thank you for inviting me to the Marlborough Festival, it was a lovely event and brilliant to share a platform with Patricia Ferguson;  ‘Aren’t We Sisters’ was brilliant, and she read from it with impeccable comic timing. Bidisha was great too and it was a complete thrill to have her chairing. Must also say how wonderfully run the festival was, and how attentive and friendly all the organisers and helpers were. An extra treat to be introduced to Helen Dunmore too, and to hear her talking. – Kathryn Simmonds

Feedback from 2015 Audience Members

We thought the talks we went to excellent and enjoyed the diversity. I particularly enjoyed the cultural / history talks e.g. The Paper Trail with Alex Munro and would have enjoyed Sean McGlynn more if I could have heard him better. Bidisha illuminated asylum seekers’ lives.
Thank you so much to all the organisers.

What a great success the LitFest was for us – and I’m sure for everyone. Its such a lovely friendly and happy event – and we loved the Helen Dunmore talk particularly, and I’m thrilled to have discovered a new (for me) novelist – Tessa Hadley, and am deep into The Past. Its a really literary fest, isn’t it? Cheltenham seems to have a lot of celebs and not so many books.

Another smash hit! I attended five talks and loved them all. The variety of events is surely key to much of your success.
My personal favourites were: Matthew Dennison, and Peter Kosminsky and Jon Snow as a duo.
Impressive festival advertising on the approach roads to Marlborough. As always the café proved a delightful meeting point. A big thank you to all your organisers.

So very well attended!
Could members of the organising committee try to vacate the lower reaches of the staircase in favour of the elderly and sometimes disabled members of the audience trying to reach their seats?

Everything I have been to (seven events) has been 1st class. Well done!

Super! The sessions with both Tessa Hadley and with Andrew O’Hagan were excellent. The atmosphere was just right – friendly, informal and informed. And how nice to find a literary festival dealing with literature!
Congratulations also to the White Horse Bookshop who have never failed us yet and have provided regular inspiration.

The interviewer who spoke to Helen Dunmore and to Andrew O’Hagan was excellent. She managed to bring out so much from them and made for two most enjoyable and informative hours.

An excellent pairing – Jon Snow and Peter Kosminsky. Perfect. Very interesting – neither tried to outdo the other. (Much better paired than the man who interviewed Neil Mukherjee!)

Even better than last year. So many interesting and stimulating events. Standard of interviewing excellent – and refreshments delicious. Many thanks!

An excellent talk by Jane Hardstaff, interesting and engaging. Loved the Tudor Punishment Quiz!

Excellent programme, inspiring writers, very efficient bookstall. Thank you.

Great! You always get people of good quality. Why not advertise the Festival more? e.g. in Devizes.

Really enjoyed the variety of different subjects covered by the authors.
Very good administration and prompt beginnings and endings.
Like the intimacy of the Festival which makes it manageable rather than daunting.
Excellent support from White Horse Bookshop.
One thing I would appreciated would be a little more for children and children’s authors.

A brilliant selection of events! We thoroughly enjoyed those we attended. Thanks.
Excellent support team too.

The best yet! Very well organised, great atmosphere, excellent choice of authors – more please!

An impressive line up of authors covering a good range of interests. In fact it made it difficult to select and prioritise which talks to attend as to go to all would be very expensive.
We very much enjoyed Jasper Fforde by the way.

It gets better and better! This year I booked six events – the highlights being the tour of Libanus Press and Stephen Moss’s walk through Savernake and talk. I would suggest you charge more for the latter as it lasted almost three hours!
Thanks to all involved in the LitFest.

Matthew Dennison – fantastic! But disappointed that White Horse Bookshop ran out of copies.
Bidisha – excellent, didn’t really need John Crace but perhaps it took the pressure off her.
Helen Dunmore – excellent, thought-provoking.
John Crace – a disappointment – hard to follow, wish he’d read his notes and read more excerpts.
Jon Snow & Peter Kosminsky – fantastic – erudite, honest, interesting. More like this please!

I felt there was a poor balance between the interviewer & Neil Mukherjee. The authors would have been fine on his own – pleasant, easy manner, very conversational. The interviewer seemed hesitant and the two didn’t ‘gell’.

Attended three events around other commitments – Helen Dunmore, Peter Kosminsky, Alexander McCall-Smith. Would thoroughly recommend. Discussion format excellent. Well-organised, sound system excellent. Clarity of sound enabled me to enjoy all events.

Good. Liked Alexander McCall Smith.

Matthew Dennison: excellent professional delivery, interesting subject
Bidisha: again stimulating & passionate speaker
John Lanchester: interesting & amusingly able to explain a potentially difficult subject.
John Crace: obviously an interesting story to tell but hampered by hesitant delivery
Salley Vickers: fascinating lecture, a shame in a way not to hear more about her
Jon Snow & Peter Kosminsky: terrific stimulating session – could have been much longer.
A very enjoyable weekend – thank you.