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Licence to Read… WhitLit 11 – 15 May 2016

WhitLit announces third literary festival programme celebrating Ian Fleming & James Bond, fictional spies and real life espionage.

The third WhitLit festival returns in May, and this year the programme will take on a ‘super spy’ theme, celebrating James Bond creator Ian Fleming (who lived in Kent), some of the biggest names in spy fiction today, as well as tales of real life espionage from Bletchley Park to Guy Burgess. Other top names appearing at the festival include ‘Chocolat’ author Joanne Harris, former newsreader and MP Martin Bell, Booker prize short-lister Philip Hensher and Orange Prize winner Helen Dunmore.


WhitLit will present a very special Ian Fleming evening on Friday 13 May featuring his esteemed biographers Andrew Lycett, Matthew Parker and Fleming’s step-daughter Fionn Morgan. The new Young Bond author Steve Cole will be entertaining younger readers and the special ‘Brass Bond’ evening features music from the James Bond films performed by the 1st Whitstable Scout Band. This year’s town read will be ‘Goldfinger’, set largely in Reculver and Whitstable Library has ordered over 40 copies for book clubs and individuals to read and then join the free book debate at the festival.


Inspired by Fleming, the festival will also feature some of the biggest names in spy fiction today from the “new Le Carre” Charles Cumming to Tudor spy writer SJ Parris and literary award winning Francesca Kay. Spies in history will also feature; Andrew Lownie will be discussing his new biography of Cambridge Spy Guy Burgess, Michael Smith will be talking about the female codebreakers at Bletchley Park who helped win the WW2 whilst academic Clive Bloom will be discussing the rise of the ‘Secret State’. But if Bond’s not your thing there are plenty of other subjects and speakers that we hope will interest you from Suffragettes to Tudor queens, Shakespeare and Shackleton, Kent Killers and DFLs!


joanne-harris-picSome of this country’s most respected literary talents will also be making appearances. Bestselling author Joanne Harris who wrote Chocolat which was turned into a film with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp will be in conversation, as well as Orange Prize winner Helen Dunmore and Booker shortlisted Philip Hensher who was names one of the 20 best authors of the decade in the prestigious Granta list. Top screenwriter Glen Laker of ITV hit detective show Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn will also be talking to former Eastenders screenwriter Julie Wassmer about crime fiction and writing for TV.

Other highlights include:

  • Grazia columnist Polly Vernon and her new book ‘Hot Feminist’
  • Screenwriter of ITV’s Vera Glen Laker with Whitstable Crime writer Julie Wassmer in conversation with Radio Kent’s Dominic King
  • The most popular historical fiction writer Alison Weir discussing Katherine of Arogan with Joanna Labon
  • Kent Crime Queens Lesley Cookman and Linda Regan
  • Dog Tales featuring ITV Vet Jo Hardy and Andrea Bennett with Marnie Summerfield Smith
  • Vita Sackville West’s granddaughter Vanessa Nicholson with Marnie Summerfield Smith
  • Bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s last Stand Helen Simonson flying in from the US to talk to Jane Wenham Jones
  • Notorious CK Blaine DFL blogger Alison Dilnutt with Guardian journalist Fay Schopen
  • Journalist Liz Hodgkinson in conversation with Val Hennessy and her book about the first transsexual female to male.
  • Bestselling Anne De Courcy’s book about Margot Asquith with Julia Wheeler
  • Pauline Kiernan discussing Shakespeare’s theatre in his 400th anniversary
  • Suffragettes and female MPs with Mary Honeyball MEP, Jad Adams and Anne Logan
  • Michael Smith’s new book about explorer Ernest Shackleton
  • A play reading from the new Kent Coast Theatre
  • Foreign correspondent Heidi Kingstone discusses living in Kabul
  • Local poets Canterbury Yarners and Influx press.
  • For children Herne Bay bookshop A Bundle of Books will be presenting workshops and story sessions.

WhitLit is also excited to announce the launch of the Kent Festival of Writing, a new venture dedicated to providing workshops and support to emerging writers across the county and beyond. The first day-long festival takes place on 16 April at Whitstable Community College and tickets can be booked directly from the WhitLit website only.

Events will take place at the Horsebridge Centre, Whitstable Community College and Whitstable Library. Tickets are available from the Horsebridge Box Office. Tickets for the Festival of Writing are available via For full details on the programme visit

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Boswell Book Festival 6-8 May 2016

More than just another Book Festival… Boswell Book Festival has announced its programme of headline-grabbing authors and uniquely curated talks and events that have established the festival, now in its sixth edition, as a landmark in Scotland’s cultural year.

LoydGrossmanLOVEREADING are delighted to be sponsoring Loyd Grossman’s appearance at the Boswell Book Festival on Saturday 7  May. We have two pairs of tickets to win CLICK here to enter our prize draw.

Famously inspired by James Boswell (b. 1740), the inventor of modern biography, it is the world’s only festival dedicated to biography and memoir, staged at Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

World renowned actor, Martin Jarvis, will be reprising his roles of Just William and Jeeves and Wooster, as well as talking about his legendary career on stage and screen; fellow thespian Gregor Fisher, will be exploring his extraordinary childhood with journalist Melanie Reid; polymath Loyd Grossman will be talking of Americans on the make; while stand-up comic Susan Calman will be revealing her inner life, and WWII hero Victor Gregg will recount his extraordinary survival of the Dresden fire bombing.

Boswell-Book-Festival-2016-LogosFestival Director Caroline Knox said: “Our unique theme – biography and memoir – chosen in homage to the great Ayrshire writer James Boswell, has led us to uncover the amazing variety of life stories in this year’s programme marking us out from all other book festivals”.

The cast also includes 87 year-old super-model Daphne Selfe, art sleuth Philip Mould of Antiques Road Show fame, the founder of Mary’s Meals, Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow, as well as James Naughtie, Mona Siddiqui, Charles Moore, A.N.Wilson, Ben Stewart, Erwin James, Gavin Francis, Ferdinand Mount, Charles Jencks and Dr. Gordon Turnbull on the great Boswell himself.

Ayrshire’s magnificent Dumfries House, famously saved for the nation by the Prince of Wales, sets the scene for portrayals of Queen Victoria, Margaret Thatcher, the Scots in India, traitor Guy Burgess and many more, plus discussions on the lot of writers’ wives and the long tradition of politicians in fiction…

Each year the programme guarantees challenging discourse, creative inspiration and intellectual stimulation as well as fabulous fun and entertainment for all the family. The Boswell Book Festival is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding. Aly Barr, Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing said: “The Boswell Book festival is an outstanding hub for books, ideas and the delicate art of bringing literature to life”.

Book tickets at, Box Office Hotline on 01563 554 900

Click here to enter our free prize draw: we have 2 pairs of tickets to give away to hear Loyd Grossman on Benjamin West and the Struggle to be Modern. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 22 April 2016. The winners will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 26 April 2016.

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Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival 1 -3 May 2016

10% discount for Lovereading members plus Enter our Prize Draw to win a pair of tickets to an event of your choice.

Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival is a NEW festival for story-lovers of all ages; set to take place in the glorious house and grounds of Chiddingstone Castle during and after the Bank Holiday weekend 1 – 3 May 2016.


The programme offers author events for adults and teenagers on Sunday 1 May; events for families and children take place on Bank Holiday Monday 2 May and a whole day of events are dedicated to schools on Tuesday 3 May. In addition to author talks, there will be drama, story-telling, children’s theatre, music, illustrations and performance poetry; not to mention sparkling wit and wisdom, a dazzling array of delicious food, tea and cakes, and cocktails.


Janet-Ellis-photo2On Sunday 1 May our wonderful line up of authors includes Juliet Nicolson, who reveals the lives of seven generations of women in the Sackville-West family – including a very honest account of her own – in conversation with Imogen Lycett Green curator of the Betjeman Poetry Prize and granddaughter of John Betjeman. Later in the day Janet Ellis, the former Blue Peter presenter, turned writer talks about her remarkable dark debut novel The Butcher’s Hook with Erin Kelly, whose novel Broadchurch was inspired by the BAFTA award-winning ITV series. Andrew Lownie and Adam Sisman will discuss their new biographies of Guy Burgess and John le Carré, whilst David Lough and Francis Beckett will compare their books on Churchill and Attlee’s money and Blair’s finances. Veteran broadcaster Sandy Gall, Major Richard Streatfeild and (ex-Radio 4 Today editor) Peter Hanington will debate the war in Afghanistan. The evening will feature a talk by acclaimed historian Antony Beevor – From Stalingrad to Syria: How Warfare has Changed, followed by a performance of The Song of Lunch by Christopher Reid with Robert Bathurst (of Downton Abbey and Cold Feet fame).


On Bank Holiday Monday there are events for all the family including a musical performance of The Tailor of Gloucester by the Pericles Theatre Company, and poetry and percussion with Brian Moses who uses a variety of instruments to underpin the rhythm of his words. Children will love Roald Dahl storytelling with Rachel Sellers. There will be musical Stories in Song by Edgelanders who are a five strong folk band; charismatic interpreters of Scottish, Irish and English story-songs from medieval times to the present day. Lady Antonia Fraser and writer Tom Hodgkinson will discuss her memoir My History: A Memoir of Growing Up about her early life and marriage to the great British playwright Harold Pinter. One of our highlights is an opportunity to meet Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell – children are invited to come along with a question and Chris will pick his favourites to illustrate – the lucky questioners he picks can take their doodle-answers home with them! Take an epic voyage through the history of Britain with Christopher Lloyd’s amazing new giant 8m long What on Earth? Wallbook and his coat of many pockets. There will be literary walks around the grounds with local historians Penny Harris and Chris McCooey and an ‘espresso’ theatre stall brewing freshly made individual plays from London’s Royal Court Theatre. Finally, Ed Caesar and Mihir Bose will hold a discussion on pushing the boundaries in sport; taking us into the world of the greatest marathoners on earth – tracing the history, the science and the psychology of running, showing us why we are drawn to test ourselves to the limit.


Tuesday’s programme is for schools, inviting pupils aged 6 to13 to hear children’s authors Philip Womack (The Broken King trilogy) and Sally Gardner (Tinder and I, Coriander) looking at myths and fairy tales in their own writing, Caroline Lawrence talking about How to Write a Great Story and her own Roman Mysteries and PK Pinkerton Mysteries series. Sally Gardner will also entertain young readers with stories from her Operation Bunny. Finally, Nicky Singer (Blue Peter award-winning author of Feather Boy) will discuss her new novel Island.


During the build up to the event, children are invited to enter a Short Story Competition for Schools (two categories: age 7-9 and 10-13). Deadline for entries is Friday 18 March (details can be found on the festival website). The winning entries will be read out on Bank Holiday Monday by Geoffrey Streatfeild (Royal Shakespeare Company/National Theatre) and winners will receive signed copies of Chris Riddell’s latest book.


Chiddingstone Castle is an impressive Historic House in an idyllic country setting, which houses the unique and remarkable collections of the late antiquarian, Denys Eyre Bower. Today it is a fascinating museum, a visitor attraction and an award-winning wedding venue.

Chiddingstone Castle, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD


Lovereading members can claim a 10% discount on ALL tickets (except Early Birds) using the code: Lovereading10.


Tickets are available online: or ring 0800 033 7564. Adults £12 per performance; Children (3-13) £5 and Under 3’s Free. Festival day ticket (Sunday only): £55 for entry into all 7 events. Early bird discounts apply from 1 to 15 March – £12 to £10 – £5 to £4 – £55 to £50, Buy 5 tickets get one free. Tickets include entry into the Castle and its exquisite Japanese and Egyptian collections.


Tickets for the school events on the Tuesday can be purchased in advance by emailing: and are priced at £4 per pupil.

Click here to enter our free prize draw: we have 4 pairs of tickets to give away, 1 per event – choose between Juliet Nicolson, Janet Ellis, Andrew Lownie with Adam Sisman or David Lough with Francis Beckett. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 1 April 2016. The winners will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 8 April 2016.

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Book Festival News. Chipping Norton Literary Festival. Chipping Campden Literature Festival

Chipping Norton Literary Festival 21 – 24 April 2016 announces the line-up of highly acclaimed authors for its 2016 programme. The festival running 21-24 April, will host a variety of distinguished writers from a wide range of genres including fiction, nature writing, politics and cookery.



Headline speakers include Ben Miller, Stuart Maconie, Prue Leith and David Nicholls. We have recently confirmed events with the legendary Fay Weldon and Charlotte Brontë’s biographer, Claire Harman, who will be celebrating the novelist’s 200th anniversary. During the four-day event, attendees can hear authors speak in a number of intimate venues in the Cotswolds market town, including the Theatre, Town Hall, Methodist Church and 16th century pub, The Chequers. Familar faces being welcomed to the famous Chipping Norton Theatre will include the inimitable Brian Blessed discussing his memoir, Absolute Pandemonium, and Joanne Harris author of wildly successful novel Chocolat.


For crime lovers, Mark Billingham, Christopher Brookmyre and Vaseem Khan discuss how a crime’s location is as important as the crime itself. Fans of nature writing can hear from gardener Alys Fowler and bumble bee expert Dave Goulson. And we will be marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with workshops on his plays and sonnets.


This is the fifth ChipLitFest and the most diverse programme yet, all to be enjoyed in a beautiful Cotswold setting. Alongside the big names, there are debut novelists with very bright futures and much-loved writers from many genres including a host of children’s writers and creative writing workshops. Acclaimed novelist, Tessa Hadley, will be presenting one of these workshops as well as judging a short story competition that has already seen entries from across the world. We are joined by two young people, a 10 year old and a teenager, on our blogging team who are interviewing many of our children’s authors.


Tickets are now on sale: for booking information, please visit the festival website, or call the box office on 01608 642350

Chipping Norton Literary Festival takes place from 21 – 24 April 2016 in partnership with The Theatre, Chipping Norton, and Jaffé & Neale Bookshop & Cafe.The festival is entirely run by volunteers, and is the only festival in the UK to work cooperatively with its speakers, splitting any profits equally between the authors involved in the event. In 2014 the festival received the Cultural Events and Tourism Award in the Oxfordshire Business Awards.

To receive regular festival updates, follow us on Twitter @ChipLitFest, find us on Facebook /ChipLitFest or sign up for the newsletter. For further information, contact Jenny Dee on 07958 344078 or email




Chipping Campden Literature Festival 3-8 May The aim of seventh independent Chipping Campden Literature Festival is, as in previous years, to celebrate the joy of reading, the beauty of physical books, and the sharing of ideas.


To these ends we have put together a highly original six-day programme of thirty-two events including two workshops, a literary lunch, and a printers’ Wayzgoose. The participants include thirty-three published authors. There are also actors, a theatre director and theatre critic, journalists, and musicians both classical and jazz. Emily Dunn from the local children and YA bookshop has also put together a comprehensive programme of author visits to local schools. Evening and weekend main festival events in the Chipping Campden School Academy are free to full time students. The theme for 2016 is History, and on the Festival Saturday we have events to mark four hundred years since Shakespeare’s death. Speakers include the historians Peter Frankopan, Janina Ramirez and Anna Keay, novelists Dinah Jefferies and Justin Cartwright, philosophers AC Grayling and Roger Scruton, Shakespeare experts Stanley Wells and Paul Edmondson, biographers Andrew Lownie and Hugh Purcell, children’s author Philip Womack, and Anna Pavord and Charles Foster writing on the landscape and wildlife.


Vicky Bennett and Mary Gray run the Festival with neither public nor corporate funding, relying entirely on ticket sales and small private donations.

To receive a printed programme email postal address to

To download a printed programme and booking form

Online booking from 14th March at Follow us on twitter @campdenlitfest and find us on Facebook

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Essex Book Festival 1st – 31st March 2016

EBF-logo-smlBetween 1 – 31 March 2016 a plethora of household names and emerging talent drawn from the world of literature, art, politics, poetry, journalism, dance, TV and film will be descending on the county for the 17th annual celebration of culture.


The Essex Book Festival is the only countywide, month-long festival of its kind in the UK. With dozens of events across 35 diverse venues (from lecture halls, art galleries and hotels, to libraries, prisons and bookshops, to Martello Towers and Tudor Palaces) and featuring more than 150 creative talents, the Essex Book Festival is again set to be one of the leading arts events of its kind in the UK.


After Essex icon Grayson Perry kicks off the festival with his sold-out event, the following day (1 March) former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable will be appearing at the University of Essex (Wivenhoe Park, Colchester). Tune into BBC Radio Essex for a 3-hour live Book Festival special edition of the Dave Monk Show with interviewees including Vince, Festival Director Ros and many others, plus the launch of the Essex Crime Short Story Award.


Essex-Grayson-PerryOther highlights of the 2016 programme include Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis De Bernieres talking about his new book, and events including historian David Starkey, actor Simon Callow, BBC’s Peter Hennessey, Josephine Cox, Helen Dunmore, Rosie Thomas and AN Wilson will be appearing in the Tudor Layer Marney Tower and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis will be talking about her first novel.


The Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend-on-Sea will host the Festival’s ‘Golden Age of Crime Weekend’ marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Essex’s very own doyenne of detective fiction, Margery Allingham. A series of fascinating crime-writing panels, including guest authors from Sweden, Nigeria, Poland and the UK, will be followed by an evening of classic Golden Age film screenings in the hotel’s atmospheric Ballroom. There will also be a Golden Age Criminally Good Afternoon Tea for Mother’s Day.


Later in the month the Festival will take a more serious turn with a weekend of events at Firstsite gallery in Colchester under the banner of Thinking Home, Writing Home. This is a collaboration between the University of Essex and Essex Book Festival, and a number of writers, artists, dramatists, poets and musician, all of whom will be exploring what it means to be living on the margins. The weekend will take a rather more rumbustious turn with the introduction of the Festival’s inaugural Essex ‘Building a Boat’ Ceilidh – a fascinating feast of stories, music and dancing featuring Martin Newell and The Hosepipe Band and Glenys Newton, Winner of The Guardian’s live story-telling The Moth Award in 2014.


Essex-CABLE,-Vince-2-(Credit-Vince-Cable-2015)The festival has plenty for budding writers of all ages – there will be a Killer Women Crime Writing Master Class as part of Golden Age of Crime Weekend, plus Birth of the Book at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford led by Vintage Books with author Ruth Ware and Harper Collins Senior Commissioning Editor Alison Hennessy (an excellent opportunity to find out how to get your book published). There will also be Adult and Children writing Tasters at Firstsite for the Writing Home Day.


Essex Book Festival is also delighted to be launching the Canvey Reads Project, working with all 12 schools on Canvey, Pop Up Festival and Essex County Council to deliver over 100 author workshops and events, which will be taking place on Canvey Island in March. This includes Just Imagine Storytelling Centre, which is bringing Julian Clary, Michael Rosen, Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Axel Scheffer and Philip Ardagh to Essex for four schools events during March.

Festival Director Ros Green says “Essex Book Festival is for everyone. Running for a whole month and taking place in 35+ venues in England’s second largest county, it bridges the gap between different communities and reaches the places other like-minded festivals cannot reach. Our aim is to entertain, Illuminate and inspire, and perhaps most importantly, to be a catalyst for new conversations and friendships countywide and beyond.”

For more information and to book tickets please visit

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Alderney Literary Festival 2016 18-20 March 2016

With an impressive line-up of historical authors participating in Alderney’s first festival last Spring, the Alderney Literary Trust set the standard for its second literary festival – to be held from the 18 to 20 March 2016 in the historic Island Hall on the lovely Channel island of Alderney.

AlderneyLitFest-LogoChaired by the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author, Simon Scarrow, the Festival continues with its theme of the convergence of historical fact and literary fiction. There will be something for everyone during this 3 day event – military adventure and crime fiction, detective and spy thrillers, history and biographical works, poetry and young people’s fiction, a ½ day crime writing workshop, and even a historical and literary quiz evening – with 10 leading authors from the worlds of fact and fiction.



Historical novelists include Harry Sidebottom, medieval thriller writer Karen Maitland and Stalin era detective author William Ryan, Edwardian financial crime writer Susan Grossey, well known poet and author for children Kevin Crossley Holland, and former head of MI5 turned espionage and counterterrorism novelist, Stella Rimington.

On the factual side, investment banker, David Lough, discusses Winston Churchill’s tangled personal finances; biographer Edward Chaney explores the world of Guernsey novelist GB Edwards and his Alderney connection, while WWI historian Gary Sheffield questions the reality of the Battle of the Somme.



One of the best things about the Literary Festival, however, is its boutique nature, focusing on the personal touch. Small audience numbers allows festival goers to interact with these amazing authors on and off the festival venues all weekend amid the historical backdrop provided by the Island of Alderney.

For more information on the 2016 Alderney Literary Festival, the full programme and online ticket sales, go to or email .

Follow the latest festival news on Twitter @AlderneyLit #AlderneyLitFest and on Facebook Literary Alderney.

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Brand new Lutonia Festival set to put Luton on the literary map

LUTON FESTIVAL 5 March – 2 April 2016 It is a town known for its airport and its football club, which often attracts attention because of its low literacy rate and reputation for extremism. But this year, Luton will become the home of a new annual festival of art and culture when ‘Lutonia’ opens in March.

Lutonia-Logo-BLACK-CMYK-no-date_XLRG_XLRGOver four weeks, 30 events embracing different art forms including poetry, art, film, theatre, dance and music along with circus acts, author workshops and debate, will take place across the town. Highlights include performances from the inimitable ‘punk poet’ Dr John Cooper Clarke in what will be his first visit to Luton, poetry readings by local actor and now director, Colin Salmon and Forward Poetry Prize winner Mona Arshi and a family sing-a-long with broadcaster, author and song writer Cerys Matthews.



JohnCooperClarke_Final685There will be a Poetry Parliament arguing today’s current affairs through poetry and the premier of the short film Oh Syria, My Syria. Filmed and produced by a local student, the film follows the life of Syrian refugees as they live in Zaatari camp, Jordan.



Events also encompass an 8 hour ‘Beats Day’ on Saturday 19 March at The Hat Factory, including a 60th anniversary performance of Alan Ginsburg’s ‘Howl’, along with music, an art exhibition and ‘Beat Books’ bookstore.



The festival is curated by former punk singer Steve Abbott, who left school in Luton with only 3 GCSE’s. He says: ‘Luton might seem like the last place to host such an arts event, but in fact it is the ideal location as it is a town rich in the cultures of the world where over one hundred languages are spoken.’



The eclectic programme of events starts on Saturday 5 March and finishes on Saturday 2 April. Most events take place across Luton Culture venues, predominantly the Luton Library Theatre, Luton Central Library and The Hat Factory.

To find out more and to book tickets, go to, call the box office on 01582 878100 or follow on social media @lutonlibraries, #Lutonia.

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Budleigh Salterton Literary Event 3 March 2016

Prue Leith heads to Budleigh Salterton to discuss latest novel

Pru_leithCook, restaurateur, food writer and novelist Prue Leith will be taking part in a special event in Budleigh Salterton to discuss her latest novel, The Food of Love. Much loved food writer and catering specialist, Prue has played a key role in the revolution of Britain’s eating habits since the Sixties. Having published twelve cookbooks, she gave up writing about food in 1995 to concentrate on fiction.



The Food of Love is Prue’s sixth novel and the first in a trilogy detailing the change in food, farming, cooking and the restaurant trade since World War Two. A tale of prejudice and ambition, power and passion, the book follows one couple’s struggle to overcome all obstacles and carve out a life of their own in post war London. Following the lives and loves of three generations of the Oliver and Angelotti families, most of whom are cooks, restaurateurs and farmers, the trilogy begins with Laura’s story after she falls in love with Italian ex-prisoner of war Giovanni.

Good Housekeeping described the novel as “A book not to miss, an uplifting tribute to female friendship”, whilst the Daily Telegraph said “Leith’s subtle characterizations never sound a wrong note. A satisfying and illuminating read.”



9781784290245Prue will discuss her novel in the intimate setting of St Peter’s Church in Budleigh Salterton on March 3rd at 6:30pm. There will be a question and answer session with the audience after her talk, followed by a book signing. The event is organised by the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival in order to raise funds for the 2016 Festival.

Prue said: “I’m delighted to be trying to help the Budleigh Salterton festival – partly because I’m a sucker for lit fests and partly because I’m such an egotist I love yapping about myself and my books, and, like most writers, I love meeting readers.”

The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival was founded in 2008 by the late Susan Ward, with the aim of attracting acclaimed authors, playwrights and poets, whilst retaining accessible ticket prices and a friendly atmosphere. This year’s Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival takes place from 15-18 September.



Tickets to Prue’s event cost £12.50 and can be purchased online or in person or by phone from The Tourist Information Centre: 01395 445 275.

Follow the festival on Twitter @BudleighLitFest.

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26 February – 6 March 2016 sees the 21st birthday of The Independent Bath Literature Festival and to celebrate festival organisers are pushing the party boat out with over 130 events across Bath featuring a host of literary names including journalists, comedians and broadcasters from contemporary fiction both at home and abroad.


Viv Groskop, Artistic Director for The Independent Bath Literature Festival, explains: “Bath has always been synonymous for having fun, the Georgian equivalent to the city that never sleeps, and so a natural fit with Bath Festivals. Think of this year’s Festival as a sort of intellectual face lift where you leave feeling renewed and rejuvenated.”

Bliss, Nature and Science, Comedy, Thought Leaders, News and Current Affairs, History and Creative Workshops are just some of the other strands that will be taking you on a 10-day literary journey of self-discovery.



Bath’s biggest venue, the 1500-seater Forum, has been the backdrop for a host of first-class theatrical and musical performances. This year, Al Murray the nation’s favourite pub landlord (Saturday 27 February), leading feminist Gloria Steinem (Saturday 27 February) and author Sebastian Faulks (Saturday 27  February) are just some of the big names that will be taking to the stage.

To mark this special anniversary Artistic Director, Viv Groskop, and a panel including the Independent’s John Walsh, journalist Stephanie Merrit and Guardian culture writer Mark Lawson will debate the 21 ‘Best Ever Coming of Age Novels’ that depict the transition to adulthood in a lively and witty exchange (Sunday 28 February). Secure a front row seat at an unmissable audience with much-loved broadcaster Joan Bakewell (Sunday 28 February) or enjoy a hilarious take on science with comedian and actor Ben Miller (Friday 4 March).



For history buffs, explore the links between fiction and history with award-winning author of Girl with a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier (Friday 4 March) and get the inside track on 21st century politics with feisty outspoken politician Vince Cable (Saturday 27February). Dom Joly, best known as the star of Trigger Happy TV, will also be sharing rib-tickling snippets and anecdotes from his new autobiography Here Comes the Clown (Saturday 5 March).

Returning by popular demand, Edinburgh Fringe smash hit Austentatious: An Improvised Novel brings their wonderful comedy take on Jane Austen’s work. Based on audience suggestions, the show is never the same twice and is guaranteed to leave you feeling 10 years younger!

To book tickets visit or call the Bath Box Office on 01225 463 362.

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Literary Leicester 11-14 November 2015

Brought to you by the University of Leicester – Literary Leicester is among the city’s leading annual festivals of the written and spoken word – all completely FREE!



Join us for four days of exciting and stimulating sessions for all the family. This year, hear two of the country’s leading writers, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Caryl Phillips, in conversation. Old friends, they will be discussing their lives in writing, the important role which writing of all kinds can play in an ever-changing world, and many other topics.


Fantasy Fiction Day, asks ‘Why Do We Need Fantasy Fiction?’ This panel event will kick off with a short talk from leading Oxford University Tolkien scholar, Stuart Lee (author of, among other works, The Keys to Middle Earth). Joining him thereafter will be acclaimed biographer Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, who wrote this year’s bestselling biography of Lewis Carroll and ‘Alice’; and Juliet E. McKenna, fantasy author and founder of ‘The Write Fantastic’, which promotes science fiction and fantasy writing. Louis de Bernières will discuss his latest book – The Dust that Falls from Dreams – set before and during World War One which has been described as “A feast of a novel…peculiarly de Bernières …very much a hit” (The Times).


EMILY-GRAVETT-BESTLegendary Withnail and I film director and author Bruce Robinson discusses his new book, They All Love Jack, about his long obsession with Jack the Ripper, followed by a showing of Withnail and I. Simon de Montfort will debate Magna Carta, James Joyce will be remembered, there will be children’s workshops and an appearance by Emily Gravett – prize winning author and illustrator – and much more. There will also be vibrant and dynamic fringe events offering fascinating insights into the University’s research.

Find out more at:

Facebook: /LiteraryLeicester

Twitter: @LiteraryLeic

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