Hi, I’m Lina LitFest, the new mascot for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favourite literature festival, look no further!
Lina: What exactly does a Programme Manager do?
As part of a team, I put together a full programme of exciting and varied events for a diverse audience, for all ages and backgrounds. Essentially, we aim to put on events that people want to come to.
Lina: What’s a typical day for you?
We spend a lot of time in meetings, deciding whom to invite and planning what we’re going to do with who’s coming. It is very important to us to give each author a good experience and put on events that will interest all our different audiences.
I also spend time on Artifax Event, the event management software we use, working with other departments and making sure that there are no clashes in our schedule with individual authors and also that there are no events that are too similar to each other on at the same time. We try to make sure that each day of the festival is packed with fun activities.
My favourite part of the job is settling themes and titles for sessions and writing up blurbs for the programme. Every single one has to be appealing and there are very strict word limits, so I have to figure out what is most exciting about the session and make sure I write it in a way that gets festival-goers as excited about the programme as I am.
Lina: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at #EAFOL16?
I don’t think I’m allowed to answer that! So I’m not going to say… However, I am a big fan of Brandon Sanderson, Garth Nix and Ian Rankin and would like to go to one of their events.
I spend a lot of my free time reading up on our authors and keep finding new favourites – this job is a great way to discover new writers. I am also looking forward to, more generally, a lot of the historical sessions and those based on current events. So all sorts of stuff! It’s very hard to pick a favourite!
Lina: Tell me about your favourite book.
My all-time favourite book would have to be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It was a very formative book for me that has shaped what I’ve read and how I see the world.
Lina: If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?
I don’t know if I would because I think authors like torturing their characters! I’d like a quiet life! I’d be a supporting character somewhere…