Dr Dimitra Fimi, Associate Lecturer: University of Wales Institute, Cardiff writes: Festival in the Shire: A celebration of all things Tolkien inspired! Announcing the biggest and most exciting event for Tolkien enthusiasts in 2010: Festival in the Shire is a conference, exhibition and fair celebrating themes inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien, which will be held in mid-Wales, in Machynlleth’s historic Y Plas house and grounds between 13 and 15 August 2010.

Festival in the Shire aspires to be one of the most comprehensive events ever held for the fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, with a conference, a collector’s exposition of original art, rare books and memorabilia as well as a large festival with stalls and entertainment. Tolkien literature enthusiasts will have the opportunity to delve deeper into Tolkien’s work with a three day conference on ‘Welsh influences on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien’. This will feature internationally respected speakers such as Tom Shippey, Verlyn Flieger, Douglas Anderson, John Garth, Colin Duriez, Jane Chance, Brad Eden and Dimitra Fimi.

The exhibition will showcase rare first editions of Tolkien’s books, original art and other Tolkien artefacts. Many of these pieces are from private collections and unlikely to be shown again. In addition to displaying their paintings some of the famous artists who have illustrated Tolkien’s books will be present at this event and attendees will have the exciting opportunity to meet them and discuss their work. Artists attending include Roger Garland, Ted Nasmith, Jef Murray, Peter Pracownik and Ruth Lacon.

To find out more about the festival and conference and to book your place please visit: http://www.festivalintheshire.com/