Literary festival hosts big name authors in 10 year celebration

PUBLISHED: 13:52 26 September 2018

Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.

Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.


For its 10 year anniversary Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival pulled out all the stops to bring big name authors to the town and the area’s young people.

Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.

Stars of the literary world including Dame Hilary Mantel and Sir Michael Morpurgo descended on Budleigh Salterton last week for the town’s literary festival.

This year Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival celebrated a decade of events in the town.

The festival’s wide variety of events, workshops, talks and meetings attracted thousands of visitors to the town, running from Wednesday to Sunday.

Journal reporter Joe Bulmer caught up with John Boyne, 47, author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, after he gave a talk at the Festival, he said: “I always enjoy doing a talk in a church, the audience was very engaged and it is clear to see the whole town’s involved in the festival.

Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.

“Festivals like this keep people engaged with books, which is great for an author as there is only so much disposable income out there. One of the best things about this festival is the central marquee hub; it’s great to be able to meet readers and fellow authors.”

John was at the festival to talk about his latest book A Ladder To The Sky, a psychological drama about an ambitious writer willing to do anything to rise to the top.

One of the key elements of the festival is the inclusion of young people with writers visiting schools, offering workshops and tutorials.

The child friendly events included quizzes, poetry slams, creative writing workshops and poetry competitions.

Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.Inside the festival marquee. Picture: Joseph Bulmer.

Festival chairman Malcolm Elliott, a former head teacher, hopes the festival inspires youngsters to read more and to take up writing, he said: “I became part of the festival six years ago; I was a local head teacher at the time and wanted to promote the festival with primary schools. It’s harder for schools to promote reading in the current climate; I hope the young people involved get to see adult role models doing something creative. Around 10,000 people have taken part in the festival in some way; I tend to think of it as the East Devon Literary Festival centred on Budleigh.”

Work has already begun on organising next year’s festival, to find out more visit

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