County Kerry, Ireland from May 27-31.
Patrick Stack and I have bitten the bullet and are going for it.
We aim to produce the best ever blog of a literary festival.
We’d love you to help us with it…
Not only do we want to publicise it to you and your network, but
we’d love you to help us with it by:
(1) reading it, and hopefully finding it interesting, useful and enjoyable
(2) thinking up how we could improve it, and letting us know
(3) telling others that it exists, and encouraging them to enjoy it - if you like it
(4) writing for it (guest posts, comments, photographs of Listowel)
(5) attacking it publicly on RTE, national newspaper articles, and especially on blogs that are read by thousands of influential people (we’d like to test the hypothesis that all publicity is good publicity)
This isn’t a blog produced by Listowel Writers’ Week.
Already, there is a good LWW website which give you all the information about who’s performing at the festival. This is a blog "on the fringe", on the sideline, able to inform, report, analyse and reflect on the proceedings.
We intend to live-blog the festival from start to end. But, first we need to win an audience. Over the next weeks, we’ll publish a stream of posts designed to attract and hold an audience.
Why blog Listowel Writers’ Week?
Paul O’Mahony did his best to address this recently. He outlined the case for a blog:
"… What I have in mind is a blog which would start before the Week: there could be pieces about how the organisation is going, how the organisers are feeling, the inside tract…
There could also be interviews with key people - all designed to whip up additional excitement and interest, especially among people who cannot make it this year.
The blog could run all through the Week and writers could be invited to leave a few additional words behind, photographs too, and it might even be possible to podcast some of the proceedings.
I’m an experienced blogger who’s live blogged a few one day events, but never anything as big as Listowel Writers Week … would love to support the Week as best I can…"
Key reasons in favour of a blog of the festival:
(1) Blogs have become part of our world. They are a relatively new way to market your organisation to people who read and write blogs, and to people who are interested in your Festival.
(2) They are like websites, but much easier to design, and cheaper. Blogs are easy to update - no advanced computer skills are needed - and, because of this, they are ideal for helping people keep in touch with a Festival that’s coming up.
(3) Listowel Writers Week is doing its best to attract people to come to Listowel, for workshops, for listening to authors and for chat. I’ve been to Listowel (and workshop) in 2007. I was ever so impressed with the wonderful Festival. A blog is ideal for dealing with a situation where there are plenty of supporters of the Festival who can’t make it this year. Everyone who is disappointed not to be there in 2009 will want to be at LWW in 2010.
(4) We live in a world where accessibility is a shared value, and a commercial imperative. There are people who will never be able to be at the Festival in body. There is a huge Irish Diaspora. There are many people with disabilities that prevent them attending. A blog is a wonderful way to serve those people - some of whom may become authors of the future.
(5) The mechanics of blogging Listowel Writers’ Week are simple and known. There is nothing complicated about it, provided the blog director has easy access to the internet via broadband.
(6) The most interesting question is how complex and rich the blog is to be…
(7) One person could put up a blog and produce something interesting and attract plenty of readers and communication. But a small team would be much better because a Festival is multi-dimensional. We would need writer(s), photographer(s), audio person(s). It would be a shame to miss the opportunity of interviewing authors and putting their reflections about the Festival up in "real time".
(8) Print media will report Listowel Writers’ Week. In the run up to the date, there will be some articles in national & local papers, perhaps and hopefully features on radio, TV, and journals. But a blog is a publishing house. Ideally we’ll achieve unrivalled access to the team preparing the Festival (they have a great story to tell). Also, writers coming might well be willing to write a piece especially for the Festival…
Sorry for the length. Hope it hasn’t put you off. The LWW fringe blog is full of short posts.