Three members of Chudleigh Writers’ Circle are busily practising in front of their mirrors in preparation for appearing in the second annual Exeter Literary Festival, which is coming up very soon. In today’s blog post, we bring you details of their sessions, plus an overview of other highlights from the festival.
Angela will be presenting You’ve written a short story—now what? The session is aimed at writers with a collection of short stories taking up space on their hard drive, unable to decide what to do with them. Bedazzled by all the competitions out there; or having trouble finding them? Writers who would like to be published in a magazine or anthology, but are not quite sure how to go about it.
Short story writer, Angela will walk us through the options out there, helping us weigh up the pros and cons to decide what might be the best home for our stories. Angela will be speaking at the Exeter Custom House between 12.45pm and 1.45pm on Friday 8th November. Tickets are £4 each.
Margaret Barnes and Elizabeth Ducie
Margaret and Elizabeth will be presenting The Lawyer and The Chemist Turn To Crime. The pair, a former barrister, and a pharmaceutical chemist respectively, will be talking about writing books; drawing on their professional experiences, their roles as writing buddies, and the decision to publish their own work. The event will take place at 10.30am on Saturday 9th November in Exeter Central Library and tickets are just £3.
The following day, Elizabeth Ducie pops up on the programme again, this time in collaboration with fellow member of Exeter Writers, Cathie Hartigan, when they will be presenting Can’t You Just Make It All Up? The pair will demonstrate their passion and appreciation for place and time, as they discuss their dual narrative novels. What inspires them to step out side their comfort zones and write about diverse periods of time and locations around the world. The session will take place from 2pm to 3pm on Sunday 10th November at the Exeter Custom House and tickets are just £4.
A Treat for Sports Fans
Thursday 7th November is not only the first day of the festival but also the launch day for Land of Grecian Glory, The Story of Exeter’s St James’ Park, written to mark the 125th anniversary of the first known football match on the site in 1894. At a free event, from 4pm onward, you can hear about the book before taking a tour the Grecians’ home ground including the new Museum (details here). Then from 6.15pm, listen to a panel of sporting heroes talk about the last book they read, their ‘go to’ book or their favourite book from childhood; before joining in a lively Q&A session. Chaired by BBC Devon’s Hamish Marshall, the panel includes Engalnd U19 and England Young Lions cricketer, Ethan Bamber; Kirsty Barker of ’Row the Ocean’; and members of the Grecians and Exeter Chiefs teams—names to be announced (ticket prices and details here).
Write Hub with Exeter Writers
This will be a networking event for writers. Representatives of various local writing groups will be present. If you’re looking for a group to support your own writing, or just interested in what’s going on in the area, come along and meet some like-minded people. There will be readings, books for sale, and maybe even a literary quiz (although Elizabeth has been banned from setting it, as it was too difficult last year!) The Write Hub will be in the Custom House on Exeter Quay from 2pm to 5pm on Friday 8th November. It is a free event, but ticketed due to a limit on numbers.
Nicola May in Conversation…
The independent publishing phenomenon of the year! Devon-based The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay has nearly 3000 reviews on Amazon. It was the bestselling Kindle book in the UK for a month and #1 in Romantic Comedy for over 16 weeks. Nicola May talks to us about her incredible self-publishing journey to bestselling author, and enlightens us on the inspiration for her new book, #2 in The Cockleberry Series, entitled Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay. With fellow romcom author Drew Davies interviewing Nicola on stage and offering an open Q&A session throughout, this looks to be both a fun and interactive session, and a must for any writer considering the independent route. Details and ticket information here.
And So Much More…
The second annual Exeter Literary Festival, running from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th November, will be an intriguing collection of events celebrating the region’s diverse range of literature. Aimed both at writers and readers: there will be opportunities to meet well-known authors; engage in talks and debates that will challenge and excite; or participate as a local writer.
In addition to the sessions detailed above, the programme includes Adam Hart-Davis on The Weird and Wacky World of Heath Robinson; environmental campaigner, Isabella Tree, on Re-Wilding—is it the Future for Britain?; historical novelists Virginia Baily and Kate Furnivall, talking about their latest books in Lest We Forget: Hidden Histories & Forgotten Lives; and the Unmumsy Mum, Sarah Turner on her new Inexpert Guide to Parenting. Judy Spiers will be very busy on Saturday 9th November; at lunchtime she will be in conversation with Hugh Montgomery about his latest thriller, Control; while in the evening, she will be interviewing Patrick Gale about his bittersweet comedy of adolescence, Take Nothing With You.
Over the four days of the festival, there will be nearly fifty events taking place at a variety of venues across the city. Some events are free and most are below £10. That’s four days of talks, poetry, storytelling, workshops and panel discussions for all ages, from the very young to the very old.
The festival has attracted a number of generous sponsors including Arts Council England, Devon County Council; Devon and Exeter Institution, Trower and Hamlins; Foresight Financial Planning; Royal Albert Memorial Museum; The Quay; and Amicus Law and the organisers are most grateful to all sponsors and supporters.
Get full details about this exciting Literary Festival and find out how to buy your tickets on the ExeLitFest website.