Minehead Literary Festival 2019 is now over, but look out for news about next year’s festival
Minehead Literary Festival took place on Saturday April 27 at the Methodist Hall, Minehead, featuring presentations by four leading writers with ties to the area who explored the importance of place in their writing.
The one-day event also featured a workshop on how to find your voice as a writer and get published. Speaking at the festival was one of the country’s foremost writers of novels and short stories Tessa Hadley, winner of the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize and author of critically-acclaimed novels Clever Girl, The London Train and The Past. Her seventh novel Late in the Day was published in February to rapturous reviews.
Tessa Hadley was joined by writer and bird watcher Tim Dee, whose new book Landfill is about how rubbish tips sustain bird life, and Pamela Holmes, best-selling author of The Huntingfield Paintress and Wyld Dreamers and winner of the Jane Austen Short Story Award in 2014.
Popular local writer and ‘the best contemporary writer of pony stories around’ Victoria Eveleigh gave a special illustrated presentation about how farming on Exmoor inspired her Katy’s Ponies stories.
A writing competition, with separate classes for adults and children, was organised in the run-up to the festival, and an art exhibition ran from April 2 to May 6 at the Regal Theatre and Toucan Wholefoods to celebrate Minehead Literary Festival, featuring work by local artists and focusing on the theme of the importance of place.
The lunchtime workshop considered why people want to write, what writing demands and how to find your voice. That it’s possible to start writing at any age and stage of life. Under discussion were ways to find an agent and the different publishing options that currently exist. There was an exercise to complete, tips on staying focused and the chance to ask questions, in the company of others who are keen to write and are inspired by literature.
Registration and coffee
10.30 – 11.15am
Coffee Talk: Pamela Holmes in conversation with Tessa Hadley about
the importance of place in Pamela’s novels.
11.45 – 12.30pm
Tessa Hadley on her novel The Past, set in West Somerset, and her new
novel Late in the Day
12.45 – 1.45pm
Lunchtime workshop: Pamela Holmes on finding your voice as a writer
and getting published.
2.00 – 3.00pm
Tim Dee discusses his books Landfill and Ground Work
3.00 – 4.00pm
Teatime with Tortie – an illustrated talk by Victoria Eveleigh (aka Tortie)
about how farming on Exmoor inspired her ‘Katy’s Ponies’ stories
Cream tea and announcement of short story competition prize winners
4.30pm – 5pm
Q&A with panel of all writers
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