Bringing literature to the Algarve

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Inspired by the success of literature festivals around the world, Barbara Fellgiebel is organising the first literature festival to take place in the Algarve, bringing together authors, poets, screenwriters, musicians and artists in this multicultural feast of culture to be known as Lit.ALGARVE.

After starting ALFAcultura, the association of literature, culture and film in the Algarve, five years ago, Barbara has long wanted to introduce a literature festival to the region.

She told the Algarve Resident: “The Algarve is a well known destination now but not for literature and I would like to put the region on the map as a centre for literature and culture, ideally holding a yearly event – after all, Fatacil started small and look at it now.”

The Lit.ALGARVE festival, to be held between September 16 and 19, will differ from others by being based across the Algarve in numerous locations and also in various different languages. Barbara said: “People in Tavira may not want to travel to Lagoa or further afield, so by having different locations for events, the festival will be more accessible for audiences.”

She added: “There will be no translations of works as this would slow down events. Instead, we have presentations in English, German and Portuguese and audiences can choose what they would like to take part in.”

Among some of the authors taking part will be the prolific Portuguese writers Amélia Brito and Lídia Jorge, who will be joined by writers from Ireland including James Ryan, German writers such as Jutta Ditfurth and British authors including Algarve residents Jenny Grainer and Lisa Selvidge.

By being able to interact with living authors, who will be discussing their works, Barbara hopes that many people will feel what she describes as the “ALFA effect”.

“When an audience can hear firsthand about a book, you will often find that they come away thinking ‘wow, I need to go out and buy that book’ because they have been inspired by the author. This is something I call the ‘ALFA effect’ and I have seen it many times at the ALFA literature salons that we hold in German and English – it often encourages people, who may not have picked up a book in years, to read,” she said.

One of the biggest events to be staged during the festival will be the Literature Marathon on Saturday, September 18, outside the Lagoa Auditorium.

The marathon will begin at 10am and run until 10pm with presentations lasting a maximum of 15 minutes and audience participation encouraged.

The list of participants taking part in Lit.ALGARVE continues to grow and updates are available through the Lit.ALGARVE facebook site.

Barbara said: “Everyone taking part is so enthusiastic about the project; we have crime writers, women writers and many other authors with something for everyone to be able to enjoy.  Hopefully, this will be the start of something that will grow and become an event which puts the Algarve firmly on the cultural map.”

For further information about Lit.ALGARVE, please visit (available in English) or follow the festival via the Lit.ALGARVE facebook page.