Top-selling authors to speak at Weston Literary Festival

Dr Helen Pankhurst, Duncan Beedie, Amanda Prowse, Rosie and Howard Smith and Claire Barker. Picture:

Dr Helen Pankhurst, Duncan Beedie, Amanda Prowse, Rosie and Howard Smith and Claire Barker. Picture: Virginie Naudillon (Dr Helen Pankhurst photo) - Credit: Archant

An exciting line-up of authors will host inspiring talks and workshops during Weston-super-Mare’s second literary festival.

The festival, which is organised by Weston Town Council and runs from Friday to March 1, will feature question and answer sessions, panel discussions and book signings with top authors and speakers.

Rosie and Howard Smith – who set up The Garret Press in 2000 and have published a number of books on Somerset – will give an intriguing and humorous account of the formation of the publishing company.

They also published Weston-super-Mare In Watercolours – An Alternative Guide in 2001, which was a huge success with its combination of illustrations and informative text.

Fans will be able to see some of the original illustrations from their books and ask questions at the talk, which was based in Weston Museum on February 28.

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Soap opera fans can enjoy an evening with The Archers actress Sunny Ormonde – who has played the outrageous Lilian Ormonde in Radio 4’s show for the past 14 years.

Sunny will fill audiences in on what goes on behind the scenes of the longest running soap opera at The Blakehay Theatre on March 1.

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Youngsters can enjoy a host of interactive workshops with children’s authors including Claire Barker – whose stories about Knitbone Pepper were shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s Children’s Fiction Award – and Duncan Beedie – whose debut picture book The Bear Who Stared was shortlisted for a Waterstones prize.

If your bookshelf is full of thrillers, then do not miss top-selling authors Katerina Diamond, CJ Skuse, Rachel Ward, Christi Daugherty and Joanna Nadin revealing where they get their murderous inspiration from on Saturday.

Dr Helen Pankhurst – the great-granddaughter of leading suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst – will give a stirring talk on how far women have come since the suffragettes and what progress still needs to be made.

Amanda Prowse, who is renowned for writing gritty contemporary fiction, will hold a talk and book signing at The Blakehay Theatre on Saturday.

Tickets are available from Weston Town Council’s website at

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