The Richmond Literature Festival kicked off on Thursday 3rd November and runs across the month. It’s a chance for the Twickenham twickerati (that’s you, btw) to mix with the real-life literati. We’re, like, talking proper writers ‘n’ everything. 2011 is the festival’s 20th anniversary and this year’s line up features a strong and eclectic line up of authors, thinkers, speakers and poets. There’s a main programme, a fringe, stuff for kids and even a range of workshop events, including, for the first time, a “literary salon”. Gotta love the sound of that, Twickenham!

So who’s showing up?
The names appearing include: Jeremy Paxman, Marina Warner, Vikram Seth, John Simpson, Andrew Graham-Dixon, John Hegley, Claire Tomalin, Ross Sutherland, Kate Tempest. But there are loads more.

What are they going to talk about?
The subjects, apart from hearing from the writers about their works and creative inspirations, include: the British Empire (Paxman’s gig), a “Salon du Thé” interactive Edwardian Tea Party, the education system (Melissa Benn), Caravaggio (Andrew Graham-Dixon), cook books & recipes from yesteryear, various poetry sessions, and so on. Too much to mention in one single copy & paste session.

Where’s it all happening?
Different venues around the Borough but some of the more local ones include: Strawberry Hill House, Orleans House Gallery, York House, Ham House, the Landmark Arts Centre (Teddington), Richmond Theatre and the Orange Tree pub.

What’s this Literary Salon thing?

Coming up: The Literary Salon
New in town for this year’s event is The Literary Salon. Sounds kinda coool doesn’t it? Located on Heath Road it brings the festival right up close to the people. It invites you to “spend some time browsing our exhibition or leaf through a book from our library while you put your feet up” but it also wants punters to contribute their own thoughts, stories or jokes. A number of the more interactive sessions will take place at the salon. It’s all going on at 164 Heath Road, on the corner of Lion Road, near the Tesco Express.

Whilst desperate to avoid the cliché, “there’s something for everyone”, there probably actually is something for everyone. Most things have a fee attached and most things require advance booking but there’s something for everyone. Or have we said that already?

Let us know if you’ve been to any events, are planning to go, or simply can’t decide what to do.

* Richmond Literature Festival
[Top tip: when looking at the site it’s easier to view the programme by clicking on the “Google events listing” icon rather than viewing it in calendar format. It just makes it easier to get a feel for the whole thing]

* The Literary Salon
* Some other autumn stuff going on in the Twickenham area