Virtually Festive

This past year of lockdowns has been a tough time for everyone. And the world of books is no exception. Bookshops and libraries have been shut, publishers have had to work from home. Printers have shut their works. And there have been no literary festivals. However, one former festival that has found a way around the restrictions is the former Winchester Lit Festival – now re-formatted and relaunched as the Virtual Writer’s Weekend.

The Virtual Writers’ Weekend is for writers working at all levels & in every genre who want to improve their writing, get their manuscript published, and network with agents, published authors and other writers.  While nothing will quite replace the joy of hanging out in a beer tent and chatting to fellow authors, this kind of event does some advantages. Overseas guests for starters as the prohibitive costs of travel aren’t an issue. And you can have attendees from anywhere in the world. So in our new cautious world f Covid awareness, could this be the future of literary festivals?

On this episode of We’d Like a Word, we discuss this topic with organiser Sarah Gangai. We also talk to one of the agents who will be scrutinising author’s first drafts – John Baker. In addition we talk to two of the speakers. Adrienne Dines is a veteran of Winchester and works as a speaker and as a mentor. And Dr Reshma Ruia will be speaking on multi-cultural writing, cultural appropriation & political correctness.

Stevyn, Paul Adrienne and Sarah feature in Part 1
John features in Part 2
Sarah and Reshma feature in Part 3

All details for the Writers’ Weekend can be found on the official website.


We’d Like A Word is a podcast and radio show from authors Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan. We talk with writers, readers, editors, agents, celebrities, talkers, poets, publishers, booksellers, audiobook creators about books – fiction and non-fiction. We go out on various radio and podcast platforms. Our website is –  which is where you’ll find information about Paul and Steve and our guests.  We’re also on Twitter @wedlikeaword and Facebook @wedlikeaword and our email is [email protected] – and yes, we are slightly embarrassed by the missing apostrophes.

We like to hear from you – your questions, thoughts, ideas, guest or book suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to come on We’d Like A Word in person, to chat, review, meet writers or read out passages from books. And if you’re still stuck for something to read, may we recommend Blackwatertown by Paul Waters or The Diabolical Club by Stevyn Colgan.