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SOME of Britain s finest authors, novelists and dramatists will be drawn to Budleigh Salterton s literary festival this autumn.

SOME of Britain's finest authors, novelists and dramatists will be drawn to Budleigh Salterton's literary festival this autumn.

Appearing in person will be luminaries including Michael Morpurgo, Virginia Ironside, Sarah Harrison, Val McDermid, Hilary Mantel, HRF Keating, Simon Brett, Michael Forman and Pamela Neville-Sington.

They will all read from, and discuss, their books, with former BBC presenter Sue Lawley. Hugh Williams and MP Hugo Swire will present an evening celebrating the work of Hilaire Belloc.

Dennis Harness will give a performance as Samuel Taylor Coleridge - born just up the road - and Pamela Neville-Sington will read from and talk about one of Budleigh's most distinguished literary figures, Adolphus Trollope, and other members of his family.

A friend of the late John Fowles, Nigel Cozens, will introduce a showing of The French Lieutenant's Woman, Martin Sorrell will run an adult workshop on writing plays for radio and there will be an all-day poetry workshop for children.

There will also be a special exhibition of original prints in the Brook Gallery and a display of "Writers in and around Budleigh" in the Fairlynch Museum.

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Dickens will be there too - Gerald Dickens the great-great-grandson of the author and social commentator Charles, will give a performance based on the works of his illustrious forebear.

The President of the Literary Festival, Budleigh resident Sue Lawley, said: "This is an exciting and ambitious project and I'm very proud to be associated with it.

"The whole event will be one glorious long week-end of words, wit and well-being.

"The sea has always attracted people who want to write as well as those who just want to sit quietly and read. Budleigh Salterton is the perfect place to hold a literary festival and we will try to bring writers and readers even more closely together - to the lasting benefit of both."

For more information call: (01395) 445275.