Review: “Writing and Reading in the Digital Age” Panel @ Ilkley Literature Festival

By October 19, 2015


Simon Savidge

Simon Savidge

New Writing North’s Claire Malcolm chaired a discussion looking at the impact of the internet on the writing and reading industry. Guest panellists were book blogger Simon Savidge, vlogger Jen Campbell and Unbound’s Rachael Kerr.

New Writing North

Topics covered included the rise of book blogging and vlogging and whether big corporations such as Amazon are potentially squeezing out small booksellers. These engaging and current topics gave the audience plenty of things to think about, and it was an easy-flowing conversation between Claire Malcolm and the panellists.

Jen Campbell, for me, was the most likeable of the three, and offered frank and honest insight into her experience of writing in the internet era, from both a vlogger and writer’s point of view.  Simon Savidge was hilarious and witty, offering energy and vibrancy when he spoke. Rachel Kerr was slightly offhand in her approach, and I found it hard to put my finger on exactly why when the discussion was so engaging in topic.

Jen Campbell

Towards the end of the discussion a few ‘I won’t name who but…’ stories crept into conversation and it was hard to differentiate between smiles and smirks for some of the talk. At times it did leave me feeling uninterested in what the panellists had to say, which was such a shame as everyone on stage had such a wealth of interesting knowledge and experience.

The Q&A session was surprisingly the most interesting part of the discussion for me, as the panellists were directly answering questions on a variety of different subjects – not just discussing their own work or experiences.

For bloggers or vloggers, I would recommend attending a similar talk, or following the panellists on Twitter to get insight into this fascinating new way for book fans to share their enthusiasm.

The Ilkley Literature Festival runs until 18th October. Find out what’s on here: