Two days of literary events will set the tone for Budleigh’s forthcoming festival and showcase East Devon’s authorial talent.

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“Local Voices” has been organised by the Otter Valley Association in partnership with Fairlynch Museum and will feature, among others, bestselling author and Sidmouth resident Iris Jones Simantel and Radio Devon’s Tony Beard.

On Wednesday, September 19, Michael Downes is leading two walks from the Fairlynch Museum – one at 10am and the second at 2.30pm – entitled Walking with Words.

Budleigh has many literary links, and Michael will highlight these on his walks around the town.

The following day, writers within the Budleigh area will get an opportunity to share and develop their creativity at a workshop on how to write your life story.

This will be led by Sophie King, a successful author well known in East Devon and with an impressive back catalogue of published novels and short stories.

The session runs from 10am to 12.30pm at the Church on the Green.

The afternoon promises to be a literary treat, with readings from invited local writers including Iris Jones Simantel and contributions from the Exmouth Writers, the East Devon Workshop, The Salem Players and the Budleigh Writers Circle.

And in the evening at The Temple Church, there is a chance for members of the audience to seize their five minutes of fame in an open mic session. Tony Beard will start the ball rolling at 7pm.

Nicola Daniel of the Otter Valley Association said: “Wendy Spicer of Woodbury, who is helping to organise the event, has scored a coup for us by inviting Sidmouth’s Iris Jones Simantel to talk about her newly published autobiography Far from The East End, which has shot to number two on the Times bestseller list.”

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