If you enjoy literary festivals, want the opportunity to meet authors like William Blacker, and discover the romanticism and beauty of the Saxon lands of Transylvania whilst discussing the work of Patrick Leigh Fermor, then the place to be in September next year is the very first Transylvanian book festival which will be held during the period 5-9 september 2013.
Planning is well advanced. The event is being arranged by Lucy Abel-Smith who is an expert on Romania and has a house in the area. Her sister-in-law Caroline Knox is assisting and has run the successful Boswell Literary Festival in Ayrshire for many years.
This will be your chance to join an exciting venture at its very beginning, in what I can assure you is one of the most beautiful places, full of history, romance and mystery right in the heart of Transylvania.
The list of authors who have agreed to speak is growing and includes William Blacker, whose acclaimed Along the Enchanted Way, has seen him hailed as heir to Patrick Leigh Fermor; Jessica Douglas-Home, author of Once Upon Another Time, will talk about the past under Ceausescu and her present work as chair of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, of which the Prince of Wales is Patron. Professor Roy Foster Oxford University and Historian expert on Bram Stoker and his influence on Literature; Michael Jacobs author of Robber of Memories.; and Artemis Cooper have been approached. Other talks will include writers from Romania’s strong literary tradition and will include those from the Romanian, Saxon and Hungarian communities whose work is internationally recognised.
Other talks will focus on the gypsies, the wolves, the wonderful wild flowers, life in the Saxon villages, Count Banffy’s epic ‘They Were Counted’ and inevitably the late Paddy Leigh Fermor. There will be organised walks, the opportunity for horse and cart rides in the beech woods, and the chance to take in some of Transylvania’s wonderful fortified churches
Accommodation will be in three villages in the heart of Saxon Transylvania: Copsa Mare, Richis and Biertan. All have fine churches and picturesque village houses that run as B&Bs. Minibuses will be on hand to transfer guests to picnics, visits and dinners. The costs are currently being finalised. Flights are not included but there are easy connections from Cluj, Turgu-Mures or slightly further afield, Bucharest. There will be a daily rate of entrance fees to the readings and picnics.
Please contact me – tsawford[at]btinternet.com – if you are interested in attending or would like to be on the circulation for more information. The organisers are also looking for sponsors either in cash or kind so please indicate if you or your company can help; all sponsors will be fully acknowledged in the programme and on promotional material, websites and in PR, and given complimentary tickets to events.