Founded in 2019, the event is back for a second time and is taking place on Saturday April 25 and Sunday April 26, 2020.The 2020 line-up of speakers is headed-up by novelist, biographer and critic Dame Margaret Drabble.
Popular children’s author Sam Angus, whose first book Soldier Dog will be released as a movie this year, will be talking about historical events as inspiration for her writing.
Exmoor writer and harpist Hazel Prior talks about her first two novels Ellie and the Harp Maker and Away with the Penguins, which will be published in March.
Cartoonist Kipper Williams, who has drawn cartoons for The Spectator, Private Eye and The Oldie among many other publications, talks about telling stories through cartoons in Talking Cartoons.
Film maker and television director David Parker gives an illustrated talk about the interviews he recorded in 1994 with Laurie Lee, who notoriously didn’t ‘do’ television, giving a rare insight into the experiences that shaped one of England’s great 20th Century writers and author of the much beloved Cider with Rosie.
Hazel Prior will also give a workshop on writing fiction and getting it published.
Margaret Drabble’s session on the Saturday afternoon, and the Panel Session that closes the Festival on Sunday, will address the theme: Fact is the New Fiction – writing in a post-fiction world.
A writing competition, with separate classes for adults and children, will be organised in the run-up to the festival.
When? Saturday April 25 and Sunday April 26, 2020
Where? Methodist Church Hall, 7 The Avenue, Minehead, Somerset TA24 5AW
Who? 2020 –Margaret Drabble, Hazel Prior, Sam Angus, Kipper Williams, and David Parker,Tessa Hadley, Pamela Holmes
Festival Director? A non-hierarchical collective! Victoria Thomas, Monica Hartwel, l Fi Windle, Janet Styles, Pat Younger
Looking back at 2019
Tessa Hadley, headed the line-up of speakers at the festival, having just published her seventh novel Late in the Day to rave reviews, hailing her as ‘one of Britain’s finest writers of contemporary fiction’ (Thea Lenarduzzi, Vogue) and ‘one of the greatest stylists alive’ (Ron Charles, Washington Post).
BBC radio producer, writer and bird watcher Tim Dee will shared his knowledge of the area and particularly his insights into the natural world. Tim is an exceptionally original storyteller, mixing autobiography with nature writing to captivating effect.
Best-selling author Pamela Holmes has been fascinated by the area since she lived and worked on a farm on Exmoor in the 1970s. Her warm and heartfelt novel Wyld Dreamers is loosely based on those experiences.
For the younger audience popular local writer Victoria Eveleigh gave an illustrated presentation about her much-loved series of books Katy’s Exmoor Ponies and The Horseshoe Trilogy. Tea Time with Tortie offered a chance to meet the best contemporary writer of pony stories around.