Gibraltar Literary Festival 2017, bigger and better than ever

Kate Adie speaks at the Literary Festival.
Kate Adie speaks at the Literary Festival. / SUR
  • The festival has become an important part of Gibraltar's cultural calendar and saw 46 speakers address the crowds this year

Gibraltar welcomed a host of international speakers to its 5th annual Literary Festival last week.

More than 3,000 bookworms attended the four-day event that saw an eclectic mix of personalities give talks on everything from fiction and history to comedy and politics.

Staged in historical buildings such as the Garrison Library and the Convent, eight of the talks were sold out making it one of the most popular festivals to date.

According to festival organisers, the most popular event this year was “Just a Minute”, which was a special version of the long running BBC Radio 4 show, where panel members are challenged to speak for one minute without repetition or deviation on any subject that comes up.

Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, said at the end of the festival: “A glowing testament to our festival is the fact that writers ask to be invited back, which speaks volumes about how highly regarded this event has become within the world of words.

“For Gibraltar, there is no better way to share our story than to rely on our guests to return home and talk about what they have learnt, seen and done while they have been here.”

Other famous faces giving talks included politician Ann Widdecombe, explorer Colonel John Blashford Snell and author and comedian Tony Hawks. The latter talked about how he hitchhiked around Ireland with a fridge, leading to a subsequent book and film about his adventure.

The festival also featured a one day writing work shop, and a talk by Kate Adie, an English journalist who used to be the chief news correspondent for BBC News.

During the festival there was plenty of opportunity for interaction between authors and audiences, as people were able to purchase the books on sale at the different venues and then have them signed personally by the authors after each event, with an extra chance for exchanging views and impressions on the talk.