What a weekend! Monty Lit Fest 2024

What a weekend we had at Monty Lit Fest 2024! 

We’re delighted that so many of you joined us for a very special weekend that will live long in the memory. There were so many highlights and special moments: from meeting our authors to music and art; from cake, tapas and pizzas to storytelling and readings; from our two Festival bookshops to spending time with the fantastic young book lovers at Montgomery Primary School. Montgomery felt abuzz with the thrill of it all. 

And so many brilliant sessions to remember.

We heard about the inspiration for Sally Coulthard’s 100 objects that tell us the oft-forgotten history of the countryside – as well as tales of Wanda the goose.

We relived the 1990s and the era of Cool Cymru with Neil Collins and Rhys Mwyn and rediscovered the brilliant twentieth century Welsh artist Ray Howard-Jones, courtesy of David Moore.

We talked about writing journeys, research and processes; plots, characters and the importance of a sense of place with top fiction authors Simon Chandler, Tim Pears, Chris Lloyd,  Myfanwy Alexander and Sian Hughes.

We uncovered the World War II secrets of Gwrych Castle with Andrew Hesketh and were left in no doubt about the Welsh credentials of Henry VII by Nathen Amin. 

We explored the power of darkness with Jacqueline Yallop and were spooked by a whole gamut of Welsh ghosts – including the tale of  Montgomery’s own Robber’s Grave – with Delyth Badder and Owen Staton. 

We treated aspiring writers to two workshops in the company of Tim Pears and Jacqueline Yallop. 

We shared Tom Bullough’s journey along Sarn Helen; debated re-wilding vs re-naturing with Roger Morgan-Grenville and learnt how the history of the Welsh landscape might offer a route map for a better rural future with Carwyn Graves. 

We exercised our grey cells with another of Marcus Berkmann’s brilliant quizzes and got the inside story of Wrexham FC’s Hollywood-inspired renaissance with Ian Herbert.

We’re still humming Cwm Rhondda from the Festival’s finale and another Monty Lit Fest first: our version of a Cymanfa Ganu with M Wynn Thomas, Sioned Webb and the Penybontfawr Male Voice Choir. 

We loved buying (too many)  books and having them signed by our authors, and soaking up the atmosphere with so much going on all over town. 

One word kept cropping up in conversations: friendly. That’s no accident. We’re all about our communities coming together to enjoy and spread the joys of the written word – and having loads of fun along the way. We offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped us make that happen. 

We’ll be back next year; see you then!