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Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017, in the words of Himmat Singh Bakshi


Fairway Galle Literary Festival – 2017
This was the first time I went for the Fairway’s Galle Literary Festival and it was the most memorable start to my year. The five-day festival consisted of a mix of activities, authors speaking about their books, workshops on poetry, cooking and writing, musical events and interactive lunches and dinners with the authors. I only stayed for three days, I came one day late and left one day early, but as I left, I knew that I would definitely be back for the 2018 festival.
My first event at the festival was a poetry workshop with the English poet and singer, Jemima Foxtrot. She started by performing one of her poems and immediately I knew this workshop was going to be fun. Using word games, she told us about the essentials of poetry and got all the participants working together. The poems everyone came up with were very good. She gave us tips on how to make our poems more exciting and enjoyable and how to write freely. I then attended some of the talks along with my mother. One of them was by John Gimlette on his book Elephant Complex. The dinner that night was at the Galle Fort Hotel. It was a good experience for me, hearing the famous author Amish talk about his trilogy about the Hindu gods. Interacting with people who I didn’t know, was quite interesting too. I even got to talk about my love for photography with some of the people there.
The next day was an exhausting day, walking all around the Galle Fort. But learning the history of the incredibly beautiful city of Galle, made it worthwhile. I could have just stayed inside the hotel room, lazing around with nothing to do, but thankfully I didn’t. Had I done that, I would have missed out on all the fun everyone was having. Even though I had not read any of the books, it was interesting hearing authors like Anita Nair and Philippa Gregory talk about their books and how they write. I was exhausted, but when I heard my mother and her friends talking about the different sessions and sharing their experiences, I was happy to have been part of something this special.  I learnt quite a bit. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the festival. Dinner that evening was with Kate Tempest. Once again, I got to interact with other people there and talk about my love for photography with some of them there. I was the youngest, but everyone was very nice and chatted with me. Kate Tempest recited two of her poems and both were absolutely brilliant. I also got to share my love for poetry with this famous poet.
My last day at the festival, in the beautiful city of Galle, was also quite an interesting day. I would say that it was my favorite day. I attended a workshop on graphic novels. Reinhard Kleist is a famous German graphic novelist and artist. He taught us the art of writing comics and graphic novels, showing us some of his famous works. I also attended his talk later, where he showed us slides about his novels, The Boxer and An Olympic Dream. I wish I could have stayed on longer, but it was time for us to head back home. As I left the city of Galle, I knew I would definitely come back for the Fairway’s Galle Literary Festival 2018.





About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

3 comments on “Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017, in the words of Himmat Singh Bakshi

  1. Sravasti Ghosh Dastidar
    January 18, 2017

    Good details about the Galle Literary Festival. Hope your friends will attend next year with you, after reading about your experience. In this way, we will never have a dearth of authors and poets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That90sKid
    January 18, 2017

    You should come down next year. Maybe even volunteer. I did volunteer this year and it was honestly one of the best experiences ive had for 2017. You not only discover and meet a lot of authors but learn and come across great discussions and books of course.


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This entry was posted on January 18, 2017 by in Events, Guest Reviewers and tagged , , , .
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