Chrissie has Lunch with Lina LitFest


Hi, I’m Lina LitFest, the new mascot for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favourite literature festival, look no further!

Lina-LitFest-English-1-e1448284692857Lina: What exactly does a Radio, Festival Friends and Volunteer Programme Manager do?

I manage and co-ordinate the Radio, Festival Friends and Volunteer programme.

Managing the radio programme involves organising the schedules of both our Monday and Saturday programmes. I co-ordinate who will appear on the programme in advance, verify that those scheduled to take part are still available closer to the time and I make sure that all the smaller details are in place such as the required books to be discussed are sent out and received.

The Festival Friends scheme and the Volunteer programme mainly involves responding to queries, recruitment and media coverage and organising events. We start recruiting our volunteers for the Festival from September and organise a monthly get together for all old and new volunteers.

Lina: What’s a typical day for you?

I’m usually first in. I travel from Sharjah and I’m normally in the office by about 6 but I leave early. The first thing I do when I get in is check and clear all my emails and then send out any that need sending.

The rest of my day depends on the day of the week and what’s happening with the various programmes I am in charge of. For example, today I have been rescheduling the Volunteers meeting due to Diwali which has been organised to give volunteers an idea of what their roles will be at the Festival. When we have to make a change to our schedule, this involves contacting the various groups of people that need to be informed and following up on social media. I also respond to queries from Festival Friend members about the programme.

Lina: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at #EAFOL16?

AC Grayling c Rugby SchoolI don’t know… Everybody! My one special favourite is A C Grayling. I just think he’s a wonderful guy and I love his books. But there are so many others that I’m looking forward to as well… Ian Rankin, for example… There are just so many! There is no one that I’m not!

Lina: Tell me about your favourite book.

Anything with writing in it! Anything and everything! I read voraciously. However if I had to recommend only one book everyone should read, I’d say The Good Book by A C Grayling. It’s a book that contains a lot of wisdom and guidance for every situation you might encounter in life. You can dip in and out of it as you wish. It’s described as a Secular Bible, but never once mentions religion. It is the culmination of many years of exhaustive study. But I have so many other favourite books and authors; I really can’t narrow it down to just one choice.

Lina: If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?

I have no idea! The best way I can answer that is to say that I prefer being me; I can be any character I choose at any given time when I’m reading a book. I could never choose just one character…