Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Festival of Romance and Our Award Winner!

I’ve just come back from this year’s Festival of Romance, held in the centre of Bedford at various venues (all thankfully within walking distance of each other) and it’s been a great weekend – mostly because our own Liz Fenwick won the Reader Award for Best Romantic Read with her novel A Cornish Affair!  It was extra exciting because I got to read out the result and present her with the award, which felt very special :-)  So huge congratulations to Liz from all of us!

Liz and Christina at the Romance Fair
I should really start at the beginning though - here in the UK we are not spoilt for choice when it comes to romance festivals and/or conventions, like authors are in the US for example.  Here, the FoR is it.  Literally.  So as an avid romance/romantic fiction fan, as well as an author, I was very keen to be there and support it – any event that celebrates romance sounds great to me!  And it was huge fun – a varied programme of events, talks, workshops and, of course, the awards ball.

The festival kicked off on Friday night with an Art and Romance Evening at the newly opened Higgins Museum, where attendees were given a quick tour before the serious business of author readings began.  There were some fascinating pieces of furniture – both Georgian/Regency and Arts & Crafts painted pieces – all of which I would have loved to own!  The readings were by authors of historical novels and I was one of them.  We’d come dressed in period costume and my outfit was that of an ordinary woman of the 1640s.  Not very easy to wear while reading anything out loud, I have to say, as the bodice was kind of tight!

Liz and the other shortlistees in her category
Saturday was super busy, with a Romance Fair running all day where we set up stalls to sell our books and various other bits and pieces.  Several talks and author panels, plus readings from authors, went on during the day, and some of us were also running workshops.

The finale was the awards ball though, where the winners and runners-up were cheered on by an enthusiastic audience.  And this was when our Liz triumphed – woohoo!

I do hope the Festival of Romance can keep going as we need more romance/romantic fiction events in the UK and I’m already looking forward to next year’s!


  1. It was a fabulous weekend and I am still pinching myself. Winning was so unexpected! And it was so much more special to have the award presented by you Pia! lx

  2. I really enjoyed it. Great to finally meet (or to meet again) several of the writers I chat with online (and read).
    Next year, I'll try to do the Fair and the Ball.


  3. John-it was brilliant to meet you and i was so surprised and alighted to see you at the festival! Looking forward to next year already!

  4. My first event was made more special by the fact I sat next to an award winner at the reading session. Congratulations to Liz. Well done to all.

    I do hope to attend FoR 2014 as this year has inspired and motivated me.

    1. Glynis it was a pleasure to meet you! I'm still not used to that award winning bit! Looking forward to next year…lx

  5. Well done, Liz! Sounds like you all had a great weekend. Really hope to make it over next year x

  6. Fantastic news! Was sorry not to have been there. Congrats my very clever talented friend