Felixstowe Book Festival 2019
Hundreds of book lovers will descend upon Felixstowe in the last weekend in June, for the annual Felixstowe Book Festival. Many make the annual trip to the Orwell Hotel, to hear their favourite authors but also to discover new writers. Across the weekend of the 27-30 June, over fifty invited authors will arrive from across the UK to discuss their books and their inspirations
The festival was started in 2013 by Meg Reid who, as an avid reader and attender of book festivals elsewhere, thought that the town where she lived would be an ideal location for something similar.
“Felixstowe Book Festival is like a very tiny Edinburgh Book Festival where everything is in one location and you get a real buzz as people go from one event to another,” explained Meg Reid. “That buzz came about very quickly, even in that first year.”
This summer, Alan Johnson, former politician, talks about his love of music, novelists as diverse as Liz Trenow and Jonathon Coe will be talking about their books, and there are opportunities to hear writers speak about biographies, thrillers, nature writing, politics, crime fiction, history and travel.
“We have a very exciting mix of fiction writers this year,” continued Meg. “We have Lucy Hughes Hallett and Georgina Harding who are among the highest quality writers the country has at the moment. Emma Healey who wrote the popular Emily is Missing is coming to talk about her latest book, and Rupert Thompson is also coming.”
James Runcie, the author of the Grantchester novels, who is appearing this year, has advice for anyone planning to attend the festival,
“Read the programme carefully and take a risk with new and upcoming writers, and so discover new ones, rather than always go to those you know about,” he advised. “Also think about the questions you want to ask, and don’t be too shy to ask the first question. There is always a massive pause, but then you run out of time at the end.”
Children also have a range of events and workshops at the library in the town as part of the Children’s Book Festival. Author Sophie Green talks about her debut novel Potkin and Stubbs, about a determined young reporter and her ghostly companion, and will be interviewed by a panel of young people who have read this book at school. Award-winning author, Ally Sherrick takes her audience on a trip through time to discover the places and events that inspired her World War II, Suffolk-set adventure, The Buried Crown, and writer/comedian James Campbell will ask what do teachers do when they go home? Are they undercover detectives, or do they play with their 576 cats?
Anyone who aspires to be a published writer themselves can attend workshops with the National Writing Centre from Norwich or others that will help them with their research or guide them in the direction of publishers and agents.
Info: Details about the authors, workshops, and events are on the Felixstowe Book Festival website www.felixstowebookfestival.co.uk
where you can also book tickets. Tickets can also be bought via the New Wolsey Box Office 01473 295900.