HOW TO GET AHEAD BY NOT BEING TRUTHFUL – Mark Blayney

Just now Thomas Keneally has been talking to us, telling us what a great vocation writing is because you are expected, professionally, to lie. ‘There’s no point in writing fiction if you’re not going to tell lies,” he said, with…

HOW TO TELL LIES AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE – Mark Blayney

This week I’ve been mistaken for a vet, asked if I was called Ben and assumed to be Marcus Brigstocke. I had to answer no to all of these, but if I’d been paying attention I should have said yes….

‘My mother is the real author here. She wrote my book. I just make vids.’ – Caspar Lee

Sitting on the comfortable garden chairs while sipping a glass of wine, I watch as Gordon Brown tucks into his strawberries and cream. Like a hawk, his guard watches over him. I think for a second, what would happen if…

‘The Madness of Writers at Work’ – Jasmine Donahaye

The Hay Festival is always riddled with Welsh writers. We head there from all over the country and bump into each other on the walkways, in the cafes, in the Green Room – to tell anecdotes, share gossip, and to…

‘Hay is a wonderful physical manifestation of hope for the future’ – Laura Bates

In her new book, Shrill, Lindy West argues that it is only by communicating, and, specifically, by standing up and shouting about the things we feel passionately about, that we can create tangible cultural change. Sure, it would be a…

‘I’m Not Psychic But…’ – Louise Walsh

Greetings again from Hay! Writers at Work had another interesting morning beginning with a press and PR session, which could otherwise be entitled ‘Selling’. Rather gloomily for us, Welsh writing is apparently a tough sell. We were told to play…

‘Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and the more of us who talk about it, the better!’ – Bryony Gordon

I’m sitting here in the green room, staring at Gordon Brown and Julian Clary and Sian Williams, pinching myself that I have been invited to the Hay festival to talk to people about OCD, an illness that is finally being taken seriously after…

‘I’m with the band’ – Zillah Bowes

On the day I arrived at Hereford, excited to be on my way to Hay Festival, I shared a lift with a small group of people I decided were definitely a band. They were loading their stuff into the boot…

‘Thank you, Hay Festival.’ – Rhys Milsom

Names such as Salman Rushdie, Irvine Welsh, Marlon James, Thomas Keneally, David Crystal and many more arrive to talk about their craft to the masses at Hay Festival. They relax in the calming and serene place that is the Green Room…

Water Divining at Hay – Alys Conran

Before the Writers at Work programme starts this morning, I’m treading water at the festival. I sit in one of the pastel deckchairs surrounded by early morning quiet. In his event ‘How to Read Water’, Tristan Gooley talked us through…

‘One of the things I’ve loved most about Hay this year is the reminder that, however bleak or uncertain things may look in the world outside, there are still enough of us who believe that change is possible.’ – SJ Parris

I first came to Hay with my first novel back in 2002 just after my son was born, and I had such a great time I insisted on being allowed back to chair some events the following year, and I’ve…

‘It’s always a privilege to be asked to speak at Hay, and to be a part of this amazing literary scene.’ – Alison Weir

I think the thing I enjoy most about the Hay Festival is people coming together to enjoy and share all aspects of culture. It’s an enlightened and relaxed atmosphere in which ideas and creativity can flourish. It’s always a privilege…