First well-known names for 2019 Weston Literary Festival announced

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 June 2018

Helen Pankhurst, Christina Patterson, Claire Barker and Duncan Beedie. Picture of Dr Pankhurst by Virginie Naudillon

Helen Pankhurst, Christina Patterson, Claire Barker and Duncan Beedie. Picture of Dr Pankhurst by Virginie Naudillon

Picture of Dr Pankhurst by Virginie Naudillon, rest submittted

The great-granddaughter of leading suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst will be among those giving talks at next year's Weston-super-Mare Literary Festival.

Helen Pankhurst. Picture: Virginie NaudillonHelen Pankhurst. Picture: Virginie Naudillon

Weston Town Council, which organises the event, has today (Thursday) announced the first names for its festival, which will run from February 22 to March 1, 2019.

Women’s rights activist Dr Helen Pankhurst, is among the well-known authors scheduled to appear next year.

Her book, Deeds Not Words, reveals how far women have come since the suffragettes, and how far there is still to go.

MORE: Votes for women – When the militant suffragettes campaigned in Weston.

Duncan Beedie.Duncan Beedie.

Town clerk Malcolm Nicholson said: “We are pleased to have secured some very well-known authors for the second Weston Literary Festival.

“This is already building towards being a great event for our town in February 2019.”

The event will feature talks, workshops and panel discussions.

Other speakers will include writer and broadcaster Christina Patterson, who will also host a book-signing.

Claire BarkerClaire Barker

She was a columnist at The Independent newspaper, and now writes for The Sunday Times and Guardian about culture, politics and the arts.

She has been described by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy as ‘a clear and important voice in British journalism’.

Claire Barker, whose books about a lovable ghost dog have been translated into eight languages, will deliver a children’s workshop.

Her stories about Knitbone Pepper were shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s children’s fiction award in 2017.

Christina PattersonChristina Patterson

Another children’s author, Duncan Beedie, will host an illustration workshop for youngsters.

His debut picture book The Bear Who Stared was shortlisted for the Waterstones children’s book prize last year.

He has worked in animation in a diverse range of television and online projects, including satirical sketches for BBC Three.

At the launch of 2018’s event in February, councillor Roger Bailey said the festival could be the start of something very exciting for Weston.

Cllr Bailey said: “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.

“The festival has a tremendous future.”

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