Writers gear up for literary festival this weekend with top-notch line-up

Carl East, manager of Winstones bookshop

Carl East, manager of Winstones bookshop - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Literary Festival, one of the big events in Sidmouth’s calendar, promises a weekend to remember.

This week, the Herald spoke to Wayne Winstone of Winstone's Books - one of the organisers of the event.

The festival will kick off with a series of author talks at Kennaway House starting tomorrow (Saturday, June 8), covering topics such as stonemasonry, thriller writing and reflections on D-Day.

Alex Woodcock (£8) will take to the stage at 11am, followed by Ruth Ware and Lesley Pearse at 2pm (£8), Giles Milton at 4.30pm (£8) and Ann Cleeves at 7pm (£10).

On Sunday, there will be a 'how to get published' workshop (£25) at 10am, followed by an author talk from Tim Pears at 5pm (£8).

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When asked what makes the Sidmouth Literary Festival special, Wayne said: "Sidmouth has one of the most interesting associations, with writers including Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen and R.F. Delderfield, and we wanted to revive that tradition.

"Also, the Sidmouth festival is one ofthe few that dedicate so much of its programme to encouraging new talent, some of which have gone on to be successfully published.

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"We have some great writers this year, including Ruth Ware, Tim Pears and Ann Cleeves.

"However, I am really interested to hear Alex Woodcock, who has spent the last 10 years as a stonemason working on Exeter Cathedral and has written a book about working on and restoring historical ecclesiastical buildings."

He said he was also keen to hear Giles Milton, 'a historian who has written a fascinating book on D-Day coinciding with the 75th anniversary of this monumental event'.

The festival will be headlined this year by the acclaimed Ann Cleeves.

Her novels have been adapted into the popular television series Vera and Shetland.

If you are going to the event this year, please feel free to send us your reviews of the event and tell us how much you enjoy it.

Sidmouth Literary Festival tickets and programmes are available at sidmouthlitfest.co.uk or Winstone's, in Sidmouth High Street.

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