Romancing the Word – an event for book lovers and romance readers @TamLitFest



helena fairfax, tina williams, caroline barkerThis weekend I made my way down south from my home in Yorkshire to the town of Tamworth in the West Midlands to take part in an event called Romancing the Word. This whole day devoted to romantic fiction was organised by book blogger Tina Williams as part of Tamworth LitFest. Tina and Caroline Barker blog for the review site A Reader’s Review, and were the first bloggers ever to review one of my books. Their review site is great and well worth checking out. (There is a quote from Caroline Barker’s review on the cover of The Silk Romance, and one from Tina Williams’ review on the flyleaf of The Antique Love.)

Tamworth is only about half an hour away from where I went to school as a teenager. It was great to hear the accent I grew up with – and which I still retain for lots of words, despite my many years “oop north”! It’s a lovely place, and full of history. The church of St Editha’s – where I gave my workshop on romantic conflict, and where several other author talks took place – is absolutely magnificent, dating back to medieval times. (The ladies’ loos are in the crypt, and it’s an eerie experience to be alone there under the church, surrounded by 14th century stonework!)

Here’s a photo of the church grounds:

tamworth, st editha's, helena fairax

And here are all my books laid out in a side room in the church, ready for my workshop:

helena farifax, tamworth lit fest

What a stunning place to give a talk – and especially a talk on romance! There was a lovely group for my workshop…and this is how we spent the morning:

helena fairfax, tamworth lit festThere were several other romance authors taking part in the event. Here are some photos from the library where we signed our books:

helena fairfax, julia ibbotson
Fellow RNA member Julia Ibbotson

With Tina Williams (top) and Caroline Barker (bottom):

20160611_150054 helena fairfaxTaking a stroll round Tamworth:

Helena fairfax, tamworth, tamlitfest 20160611_090752It was wonderful to be able to spend the day talking about books, writing, and romance – my favourite subjects! – in such lovely surroundings.

Here in the UK literature festivals are becoming more and more popular, and I think it’s wonderful to see. There are two festivals closer to home for me – in Ilkley and Bradford – which both started off small and now attract big names in publishing. At a time when there are so many demands on people’s attention – computers, gaming, Netflix, and thousands of TV channels – it’s really heartening to see that people still just love a good book and welcome the chance to meet with authors and other book lovers.


How about you? Do you have any literature festivals near you? Or anything specifically devoted to romance? Do you enjoy going to bookish events, and if you’re a writer, have you attended any events yourself?

If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!

12 thoughts on “Romancing the Word – an event for book lovers and romance readers @TamLitFest

    1. Thanks very much, Rosemary. There’s a surprising amount of history in the Midlands (including Richard III being found under a car park!) yet it’s an area often overlooked by tourists. Well worth a visit if you get the chance.
      Thanks for dropping in!


  1. I lived near Ilkley and went to school and remember the the days when its literature festival was a small local event -I can’t believe the names and publishers it attracts now. Gosh, wish I was living there again! It sounds like a great event and glad everything went so well for you, Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were some really big names at the Ilkley festival this year, Annika, including Philippa Gregory and Jon and Peter Snow. And Bradford festival has also taken off in a big way. It’s great to see people coming together to talk books! It was a really nice event in Tamworth and a fun day.
      Thanks very much for dropping in, and your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like a brilliant day, Helena – it’s good to hear how it went. I’ve never been to Tamworth but will now, if I’m in the vicinity!


    1. It was a really fun day, Helen, thanks! If you get a chance to visit Tamworth, it’s well worth it. It’s only a very small town, but the church that dominates it is beautiful.
      Thanks very much for dropping in!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. How was the Borders Book Festival? I much enjoyed the Edinburgh Book Fest that time we met in Edinburgh. Not able to make it this year, sadly. I hope the event in Newcastle goes well. Thanks for dropping in, James!


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