Weston literary festival event preview: ‘Festival has tremendous future’

Authors and councillors at the literary festival launch.

Authors and councillors at the literary festival launch. - Credit: Archant

The potential growth of Weston-super-Mare’s literary festival is already being discussed by organisers, ahead of the event taking place next week.

Events by Huw Powell and Jeffrey Archer have already sold out.

Events by Huw Powell and Jeffrey Archer have already sold out. - Credit: Submitted

Weston Town Council has organised the free festival, and tickets to seven of the talks have all already been snapped up.

Cllr Roger Bailey, chairman on the community services committee, said: “We hope this is the start of something very exciting.”

He said volunteers and authors being willing to give their time for free has kept the costs down, and meant it has not cost taxpayers anything extra.

Cllr Bailey added: “Weston is the right place for such an event

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“Next year, with sponsorship, we hope to grow the event.

“The Cheltenham Literary Festival generates £15million a year for the economy in Cheltenham. We would be happy with one percent, or even 0.1 per cent of that.

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“The festival has a tremendous future.”

Several events have already run out of tickets, including talks by Jeffrey Archer, Huw Powell, and Damien Boyd.

Workshops by Lois Elsden, Nick Harding and Mark Lewis are also sold out.

Other events are taking place at Weston Museum, the Blakehay Theatre and The Stable, starting on February 22.

The festival will end on World Book Day, on March 1, where the museum will hold a pirate party.

Children can go along in costume and take part in crafts and storytelling sessions.

A children’s trail, sponsored by Weston Business Improvement District, is already available, and the map can be downloaded from www.westonbid.co.ukThere is still a chance to book tickets for other talks, although they are going fast.

For tickets, visit www.wsm-tc.gov.ukThe Literary Festival is also supporting the Mercury’s Books For Schools campaign, which is appealing for donations of new and secondhand books and gift vouchers to help cash-strapped schools across North Somerset.

The Mercury is giving out 100 books to a school each month to enable pupils to have access to a wider variety of reads.

Donations can be dropped off at The Blakehay Theatre, in Wadham Street, Weston Museum, in Burlington Street, and The Stable Creative Hub, in Wadham Street throughout the festival.

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