Quite a few authors will be attending Lesvos Lesfic in 2016. So far the following Ylva authors confirmed their presence for this year too:
Jae (a.k.a. Sandra Gerth)
Jae grew up amidst the vineyards of southern Germany. She spent her childhood with her nose buried in a book, earning her the nickname “professor.” The writing bug bit her at the age of eleven. For the last eight years, she has been writing mostly in English. She used to work as a psychologist but gave up her day job in 2013 to become a full-time writer and a part-time editor. When she’s not writing, she likes to spend her time reading, indulging her ice cream and office supply addiction, and watching way too many crime shows.
Gill McKnight is Irish but spends as much time as possible in Lesbos, Greece, which she considers home. She can often be found traveling back and forth between Greece and Ireland in a rusty old camper van with her rusty wee dog. Gill enjoys writing, roses, and by necessity DIY.
Benson spent her childhood wrapped up in any book she could get her hands on and—as her mother likes to tell people at parties—even found a way to read in the shower. Moving on from writing bad poetry (thankfully) she started to write stories. Tearing her from her laptop is a fairly difficult feat, though if you come bearing coffee you have a good chance. When not writing or reading, she’s got her butt firmly on a train or plane to see the big wide world. Originally from Australia, she currently lives in Spain, speaking terrible Spanish and going on as many trips to new places as she can, budget permitting. This means she mostly walks around the city she lives in.
A.L. Brooks currently resides in London, although over the years she has lived in places as far afield as Aberdeen and Australia. She works 9-5 in corporate financial systems, and spends many a lunchtime in the gym attempting to achieve some semblance of those firm abs she likes to write about so much. And then promptly negates all that with a couple of glasses of red wine and half a slab of dark chocolate in the evenings. When not writing she likes doing a bit of Latin dancing, cooking, travelling both at home and abroad, reading lots of other writers’ les-fic, and listening to mellow jazz.
Two people you will definitely meet are Joanna, the owner, and Wendy, the manager, of Sappho Travel. Their travel agency sits in the heart of Skala Eressos and is always buzzing with people coming and going to use its services, ask advice, or just pop in for a friendly chat.
Sappho Travel offers travel services including flight/ferry tickets, accommodation, car hire, excursions, etc., to all locations in Greece including the beautiful Island of Lesvos. With their base in Skala Eressos, they are specialists in arranging holidays for women.
Tzeli Hadjidimitriou will be your guide on the Friday morning walk around Vigla and its hill fort remains. A renowned expert on local history, she will talk about the cultural and archaeological significance of the ancient city of Eressos.
A fine art photographer, filmmaker, and travel writer, Tzeli is also an expert on the legacy of the poetess Sappho.
Erna Boyum and Lilien Jensen are our hosts at the Flamingo Beach Bar. You can’t miss it; it’s the bright pink bar situated on the sea front promenade right beside the beach!
As if their summer wasn’t busy enough, Lilien and Erna also run BLIKK, the leading Norwegian LGBTQ magazine.
The Flamingo Beach Bar looks forward to meeting the Lesvos Lesfic attendees and will host the Meet and Greet on Thursday night after your arrival in Skala Eressos.
Annie and Aylin are members of the Eressos women’s hiking group Sourtoukes. As they explain on their Facebook page:
Σουρτούκα (sourtouka) in Greek and Sürtük in Turkish is the same word, and it refers to a woman who avoids the domestic role assigned to her by society. She is out all day, shopping, visiting friends, going to movies, etc., instead of cooking, cleaning, ironing all day. This “outdoor” character of this woman is generally frowned upon, which explains why these women are seen as “loose.” But we, as outdoor women, like these women who also spend most of their time outdoors. That’s why we thought it was proper to name a walking group after them.
There are plenty of gorgeous hikes in the surrounding valley and always someone to walk with. Ask Aylin or Annie when the next hike is and go along with them. On Saturday, they will guide us on a gentle hike to the Profitis Ilias chapel on the headland overlooking Skala Eressos, where we will have breakfast al fresco, listen to author readings, and, of course, admire the view.
And if you are not enamoured of a morning hike, then breakfast can also be served on the roof terrace of Flamingo Beach Bar. You can find out more about Sourtoukes at their Facebook page.
You will meet Alison Terry-Evans, founder of Dirty Girls of Lesbos.
How did Dirty Girls come about?
Volunteer groups had organised the welcome and rescue facilities for the refugees arriving almost daily. Out of this, Dirty Girls sprang into existence as a fun group of volunteers taking care of the unglamorous job of collecting, washing, and redistributing the clothing refugees discarded once they arrived. It was an ecological decision too. Lesbos was not equipped to manage these people in crisis arriving on its shores, never mind the extra workload that comes with that, like sanitation, food, and of course medical needs.
That sounds like a mammoth task.
So far, Dirty Girls has redistributed about 140 tons of clothes, blankets, and sleeping bags destined for landfill. It was a massive ease for our already overstretched resources.