Emirates Airlines International Festival of Literature

March 8, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

chair with a paper tablet and pencil on it

We are spending the weekend immersing ourselves in the Emirates Airlines International Festival of Literature. (The conference center very kindly provided paper and pencil. It seemed like a retro gesture.)

I started Thursday evening with Alan Dean Foster, writer of science fiction and movie novelizations such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, etc. His talk was very interesting. He could not give us details, but promises that the newest Star Trek movie coming this May will be even better than the last.

beautiful woman reading poetry

Then we attended the Poeticians recitation. The Poeticians are people here in Dubai who write poetry and meet regularly to read their works. Pictured above is our lovely friend Hind.

three men on a stage

Friday morning, I began with Jeffery Deaver and Anthony Horowitz. Mr. Deaver recently wrote a new James Bond novel and Mr. Horowitz wrote a Sherlock Holmes novel, so they were discussing the ins and outs of working with such iconic characters.

Then I went to a two hour workshop on plot development led by Greg Mosse. It was very interesting and the two hours went by quickly.

two people on a stage

Next was Deborah Moggach author of These Foolish Things, which became The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. (If you haven’t seen the movie, you should.) She was very funny and delightful. We could have sat there for another hour or two happily.

Then I went off to a “workshop” on bullying, but didn’t learn anything new about bullying or how to deal with it.

Next was Geraldine McCaughrean. The session was designed for children. I arrived late because the bullying session ran over. When I got there Geraldine was telling the story of Perseus killing Medusa. She then went on to invite volunteers up onto the stage and led a very engaging session that had all the kids paying attention and participating. I was so attentive that I forgot to take a picture. The question and answer period was fun, too. One tiny little voice asked “Why do you EVEN like writing?” Another asked “How many books have you written?” The answer was “167” to which there was a loud exclamation somewhere in the audience “Oh, my god!” Kids are so fun.


  1. Too cool! Sometimes I dream of days like this. Of course you have to have a forum to pass on what you have taken in (which you do, thankfully.) Can you do a 10 second recap of writing with iconic figures? Okay, a couple of lines? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Exciting times! I’m looking forward to having the author of Babymouse come to visit our library this week. Am hoping we can get lots of different peoples to attend….but, just learned baseball season has started and practices are in progress.

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