Last year, the Elgin Literary Festival was spread out over three days and was held in several different locations throughout downtown Elgin. This year, it was held on a Friday evening and all day on Saturday. Although some Friday events took place at the local library, most panels and activities were in a single building.
This year, I had the opportunity to be part of a Speculative Fiction panel Saturday morning with mystery/fantasy author EM Kaplan. It was a small panel, with about six people in the audience and a moderator, but I think it went well. We kept it general, discussing such things as subgenres of science fiction/fantasy and character development. Some of the audience members were also writers, so we talked about cover design and publishing as well.
After the panel, I had about an hour to set up my table for the marketplace. (You can see my table above.) Book sales went about as well as I expected for a festival of this size and genre mix. The marketplace was only open for about two hours. It would have been nice to have more time for people to browse. I did get to hand out some bookmarks and tell people about Broad Universe.
Since we had plans in the evening, I wound up skipping the speakers and the closing reception. For me, the highlight of the festival was getting to see another writer friend of mine who was selling books in the marketplace and making contact with TS Rhodes, who blogs about pirates and writes a series about a young female pirate. I've invited her to contribute a guest blog here. The three of us may try to get a "Nuts and Bolts of Self-Publishing" panel together for next year's festival.
Are there any literary festivals in your area? If so, have you attended them or participated in them?