Five rea­sons you should have gone to Hilling­don Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

THE for­mer Mayor of London and Labour politi­cian Ken Liv­ing­stone has caused quite a bit of controversy lately with some in­ter­est­ing views on Hitler and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, but it was an­other idea that caught the internet’s eye dur­ing HLF.

Dur­ing a panel discussion on ‘shifts in po­lit­i­cal rhetoric’, Liv­ing­stone sug­gested tak­ing the news me­dia out of pri­vate hands, and in­stead hand­ing it over to work­ers’ co­op­er­a­tives.

Twit­ter users picked up on the com­ment, and pointed out par­al­lels be­tween Liv­ing­stone’s idea, the Soviet news­pa­per Pravda, and even the poli­cies of Adolf Hitler. NOV­EL­IST and jour­nal­ist Matt Haig gave a heart-wrench­ing talk about his book Rea­sons to Stay Alive, a mem­oir about suf­fer­ing with de­pres­sion.

Haig talked about his per­sonal bat­tle with de­pres­sion, ways to deal with it for other suf­fer­ers, and the ways it can be por­trayed to the pub­lic.

It was a very eye open­ing event as the au­di­ence ques­tioned the au­thor about his own ex­pe­ri­ences and their own bat­tles with de­pres­sion.

He ob­vi­ously won over the au­di­ence as he had one of the big­gest queues for au­to­graphs after his event. THE fi­nal event of the week­end was also a one of my favourites as it show­cased some of the phe­nom­e­nal writ­ing tal­ent Hilling­don has.

This year marked HLF’s first writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion, which en­cour­aged writers with lo­cal links to write around the theme Writ­ing Lo­cal, Think­ing Global.

A hand­ful of com­pe­ti­tion short­lis­ters per­formed their work in front of au­di­ences, but the top spot and the £250 prize went to Vivien Brown for her poem ded­i­cated to the nurses of the NHS.

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