The third largest of the Channel Islands and the most northerly, Alderney’s relaxing atmosphere is the perfect place to write or read a book. Full of unspoilt countryside, ever-changing seascapes and picture-perfect wildlife, whether you’re an established author or would-be-writer, you’re sure to find inspiration here. Which is why “mainlanders” and international visitors descend on the island each March for the Alderney Literary Festival. With such a busy timetable, involving 12 authors and as many subjects, here’s our guide to this year’s highlight events.

Routes to Publishing

24th March 2017 at 11am

With publishing still making big profits but in unpredictable ways, Andrew Lownie and Rachel Abbott sit down to try and divine some patterns. Some of the big questions they’ll ponder include whether traditional deals trump self-publishing routes, and how the pros and cons of different publishing models affect disparate types of author and genre.

Alderney Literary Festival

The Myths and Realities of Being a Writer

24th March 2017, 3:30pm

Taking her audience through the process of coming up with the initial idea for a book right through to seeing it sold on a shelf, Imogen Robertson discusses all the big questions that typically plague a writer. These range from what a day writing looks like through to how much an author must listen to an editor. Popping lots of romantic myths along the way, there’ll be lots of insights for budding writers to chew on.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

24th March 2017, 6:30pm

As controversial as she is iconic, Eleanor of Aquitaine split public opinion during her life and has continued to do so after her death. Here, Elizabeth Chadwick peers past the brushstrokes of her mediators and attempts to answer what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to one of Europe’s most powerful ladies.

Alderney Literary Festival

Writing Military History

25th March 2017, 11am

Touching on the fact Guernsey is known as the “Fortress Isle” (thanks to fortifications that ring the island), Matthias Strohn examines the history of gunpowder. Yet not all is as it seems. Addressing and dispelling the smokescreen of myths that surround this sulphurous topic, the military historian is full of new angles and unusual opinions.

Knitted Comforts

25th March 2017, 11am

Joyce Meader, a lady who has mastered many of the British military’s historical knitting styles, takes her audience on a “jolly romp” around the world of military knitting. Touching on big themes such as morale and kinship in war and peacetime, Meader explores an increasingly popular pastime that involves complex handiwork and big baskets of heart-melting stories.

Alderney Literary Festival

British versus Romans

25th March 2017, 7pm

There’s a funny “Dinner Debate” at The Georgian House this year, which pits the virtues and vices of Britons against Romans. Asking whether the Latin imperialists were “Overpaid, oversexed and over here,” the speeches will carry overtones of the equally hilarious “What have the Romans ever done for us?” speech in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

Rover tickets for the festival are available here and if you need a place to stay while indulging your literary passions, why not book a night or two at The Duke of Richmond or Old Government House – two luxurious Guernsey retreats.

Images Courtesy of the Alderney Literary Festival