Top names pull in festival-goers

TICKETS are selling like hot cakes and interest has been overwhelming for the first ever Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.

TICKETS are selling like 'hot cakes' and interest has been 'overwhelming' for the first ever Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.

A host of top names is billed to appear after resident Susan Ward dreamed up the idea for the town.

Festival president Sue Lawley believes the three-day Writing by the Sea event, September 18-20, will be the 'start of something big' and promises the festival will be a 'weekend to remember'.

Miss Lawley said Budleigh was an ideal place to host the festival, adding that the whole town had embraced the concept.

She said: "This is the start of something big. It looks as though the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival will be a major event in the diary for many years to come.

"We think Budleigh's the perfect place for reading and writing books - and talking about them. The whole town has risen to the occasion.

Most Read

"We've been able to tap into a deep reservoir of talent - cultural and organisational - all led by a comparatively new Budleigh resident, Susan Ward, whose idea it was.

"It was Susan who asked me to become the festival president - and I have to say there are few positions I've held that have turned out to be so enjoyable.

"The tickets are selling like hot cakes and the local tourist office, where they're on sale, has been overwhelmed. Hardly surprising really: we've the favourite to win the Booker Prize, Hilary Mantel, coming to town, plus Simon Brett, best-selling author of the After Henry series and the crime writer Val McDermid of Wire In The Blood renown.

"And I'm taking part, too, with my husband Hugh and our local MP, Hugo Swire.

"I hope people will join us - and all our other guests - for what promises to be a weekend to remember. Just think: those who come will be able to say 'we were there when it all began!'"

l To see a programme of festival events, visit the website: