On Dec 10th the second Llandeilo Book Fair took place at the Civic Hall. It had a lovely Christmas theme and the town of Llandeilo continued its marvellous tradition of supporting the arts. Despite heavy rain there was a reasonable footfall and the characteristic positive vibe in the hall.
Many of the over 30 authors present had dressed up for the occasion, festive music added to the atmosphere and the popular “Hangout at the Yard” offered delicious refreshments.
Every half hour a different events lured some of the audience to the upstairs event room throughout the day for performances ranging from interactive story telling, poetry open mic and author readings. On this occasion the organisers put particular emphasis on ‘Welsh’. Almost all authors present live in South Wales, and books with a Welsh theme or location were plenty afoot. Liz Riley-Jones read from her Hiraeth Trilogy – introduced in Welsh, Graham Watkins read from his popular book”Welsh Legends and Myths”, Wendy White from her children’s book “Welsh Cakes and Custard” and Christoph Fischer read from his Carmarthen-set mystery “The Body in the Snow.”
The fair marked the first Welsh language poem recital competition, which was won by Catrin Duff. The poetry open mic, also a first at the fair, was exceedingly popular and featured some excellent preformances and poems.
We collected £71 in aid of the Air Ambulance Wales through raffle tickets with donations from local businesses: Organica, Scorpio, In Stitches, Heavenly Chocolate, Cuckoo’s Nest, Papillon Interiors, The Little Welsh Dresser, Deb’s Wool Shop, Coffor Bach, Eve’s Toy Shop, The Dragon’s Garden and Craft’s Alive.
“A Christmas to Remember” by Theo Duncan from Bro Dinefwr School won best Short story, with an Award Certificate and a Kindle Fire as prize.
Further winners were:
“Sheep for Reindeer” by Daisy Ayscough (Second in the Youth Category)
“A Christmas Tale” by Lorna Wright (First in the Youth Category)
“The Ghost of Christmas future” by Robert Radnor. (Second in the Senior Category)
“War and Toys” by David Beach (First in the Senior Category)
There were many other strong contenders in the competition, showing that there is a future generation to carry on the tradition of great story telling in Wales. The standard of stories in all categories was incredibly high and the judges had a tough time settling on the winners.
I would like to add a personal thanks to Sally Spedding and Graham Watkins for the publicity for the event, Thorne Moore for designing the programme leafelt, Lesley Prosser and Ryan Cheal for their organisational help and Sarah Jane Butkins for organising the gift wrapping service and manning the door with her lovely daughters.
The authors on display were well received. Llandeilo has shown itself a supportive community when it comes to local talent and a place where art and culture can thrive.
Building on the great interest in the event and its performances, we’re proud to announce that plans for a Llandeilo LitFest are well underway with a mixture of small and big names from Llandeilo and South Wales. The Festival will take place April 27th – 30th 2017 in Llandeilo and feature a book fair, readings, ticketed evening and daytime events, workshops and much more.
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