Welcome to Minehead
Literary Festival

Minehead Literary Festival 2019 is now over, but look out for news about next year’s festival 

Leo Davey

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.

TimDeePortrait - Home

Meet the 2019 speakers…

Tessa Hadley

TessaHadleyPortrait 1 - Home

Tim Dee

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Pamela Holmes

PamelaHolmesPortrait1 1 - Home

Victoria Eveleigh

VictoriaEveleighPortrait 1 - Home

For those who feel there’s a book in you but just need some encouragement to get going and are tempted to write a short story or memoir – or for those who have already started a novel that’s been abandoned in a drawer but now want to revisit it, this year’s creative writing workshop was just the job.

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. 

2019 Programme for the day…

10am

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.

11.15 –11.45am

Break

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

4pm

Cream tea and announcement of short story competition prize winners

4.30pm – 5pm

Q&A with panel of all writers

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