They've been and gone and done it. Last night in a glittering gala event with thousands of sizzling gypsies, the LitFest gang announced the 2015 lineup of authors who'll be workshopping, talking, panel sessioning and generally bringing books, poetry and literature in general to life.
I will, as usual, be infesting the event. The full list of authors is here, so I'm not going to attempt to list them here or pick favourites, but I will point out that Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is my top name of the whole wild and wacky bunch.
One of the things I've been tasked with at the MENA.Online.Literature.Today conference in Cairo (Did I mention I'm going to Cairo?) is talking about the LitFest and its impact on literature and publishing in the UAE and that'll be a sheer pleasure. I've made no secret of the fact I think the Festival has been transformational and has been responsible for the creation of a growing community of writers and people who think they can actually make something of the book they thought they had in them.
It's an important event, as well as a highly anticipated, lively and, well, jolly one. So now you know, block the 3-7 March and save up for the sessions you'll be attending.
I'm thinking of hiring a signing line this year. I've had enough of the sitting by yourself next to a chattering excited stream of people clutching someone else's books as they wait to have it scrawled on by the smiling, relaxed person sat next to me. Last year it was Lynda LaPlante. The press of punters stretched to infinity. I tried to get my queue to shuffle around and look longer, but they got fed up with me shouting at them and the man left while the young couple realised they were in the wrong line...