Elaine Roberts interviews Philip John from the Ways With Words Festival.
Welcome to the RNA blog Philip.
something about your festival, how it came about and how long its been running?
Words have been running festivals for twenty-six years. At the beginning of
visit Keswick using the fantastic Theatre by the Lake for ten
days. July sees us at Dartington Hall in
bucolic South Devon; also a ten day festival of Words and Ideas and finally we
have a more intimate five day festival in the Suffolk seaside town of
speakers this year?
been a political vein this year perhaps unsurprisingly with speakers including
Nick Clegg, Vince Cable, Harriet Harman, Polly Toynbee and Sayeeda Warsi. We
also have Richard Coles appearing as well as Marie-Elsa Bragg and Tracy
writers can you tell me how your festival would benefit our members?
diversity of speakers at the festival is a big draw, I mentioned some of the
political figures above as main speakers but we have over one hundred authors
at Dartington and Keswick. The speakers are drawn from academics, philosophers,
comedians, and historians. One event may explore the history of the human uses
of Spider Silk another could be exploring the perils of being a Modern Dad. We
broadly deal in non-fiction though there are exceptions to every rule. Salley
Vickers is always a popular author at all our festivals. We also have an
eclectic range of poetry events and writing workshops.
enter (maybe a writing competition), if so could details be provided?
(9-18 March 2018) we run the bi-annual Mirehouse Poetry Competition. Submission dates, and prizes are being confirmed
at the moment for 2018. Please check back on our Website or our social media
channels for updates on this prestigious poetry prize. The winning poems are
read at the famous Mirehouse location.
for the whole event. Where can people stay?
for Words by the Water there are many reputable B&B spots, close to the
Theatre by the Lake, including Lakeside House that is literally a minute from
the Theatre and comes highly recommended by many festivalgoers serving great
breakfasts and representing the warm friendly nature of Keswick
Dartington we sell accommodation packages in the historic courtyard at
Dartington Hall. We also have B&B available in residential blocks no more than
five mins away from the venues on the Dartington Estate.
we work with the wonderful Adnams hotels to offer accommodation in their Swan
and Crown hotels and we provide a set ticket packages to go with these
to keep our events affordable and pricing for events is usually around the £10
mark. We have a variety of day tickets that offer great value. We also sell
whole festival rover passes for those with the stamina!
been increasing the last couple of years so yes it pays to book early.
take to organise the festival?
would say three months of intensive pre production.
customer relations manager)
the time to talk with us, Phillip and we wish the festival every success.
Roberts is a member of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and is currently working
on a family saga. She has sold short stories worldwide and enjoys attending RNA
events such as the London chapter and our annual conference. Elaine is a great
fan of writing retreats either week long by the sea with friends or one-day
retreats with fellow writers in her hometown of Dartford. Elaine runs a writing
blog along with writer, Francesca Capaldi Burgess called WriteMindWritePlace.