High calibre authors for feature in Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival

Exmouth author Emma Richardson. Picture: Emma Richardson

Exmouth author Emma Richardson. Picture: Emma Richardson - Credit: Archant

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival will see some top names on the bill, when it is piped through the internet.

For the last 5 months, my estate has been a hot-bed of romance and intrigue- yes that’s right.

There have been furtive afternoon drop-offs, whole carrier bags of booty changing hands (in a socially distanced and anti-bacteria-wiped way of course) and frantic phone-calls between neighbours looking for a fresh supply.

Word is, number 81 has a large cache of Catherine Cookson and I definitely saw Le Carre in the window of the house round the corner.

Reading has been a lifeline to many people this year, myself included. All joking aside, with shops and libraries closed, there has been a healthy trade in passing on pre-loved books for the further enjoyment of friends and family which is a great thing to be happening. I’ve spoken before of my love for libraries and the gateway they provide for people of any economic circumstance to enjoy reading; but when libraries closed, there will have been some people left without the means to read more books.

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With many events and activities having to move online to adapt to the current situation, there will shortly be another free-to-access resource for book lovers of all ages. The world-class Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is this year running virtually from September 16 to 20. High calibre authors, including Sandi Toksvig, Nazir Afzal and Anthony Horowitz will be piped through the internet to our very own front rooms and all we need to do is sign up for a free login (donations welcome).

In addition to the events for adults, the literary festival has a very active education outreach team who are able to bring the children’s events to our homes this year too. The usual school author visits have been replaced with exclusive filmed content so there is no limit to how many children can hear authors like Alex Wheatle, Juno Dawson and Emily Gravett speak. Keen to encourage as much interaction as possible, the team have ensured there will be competitions for all to enter, a chance to see how your family would score in the Schools Reading Quiz and a self-guided, book character I-spy trail around Budleigh for families with little ones, with a chance to win family prizes. For details of how to sign up to watch events, and for a full programme visit www.budlitfest.org.uk. To keep up to date with all the children’s events, it is recommended you also follow @bud_lit_kids_fest on Instagram.

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Now hold my bookmark, I’ve just seen the latest Stephen King go out in the book swap down the road.

Emma Richardson

Exmouth author

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