Local talent put in the spotlight

Artist Cara Lockhart Smith.
Artist Cara Lockhart Smith.

In 2014 Berwick staged its first ever literary festival. The event was a great success and will remain long in the memory as a triumph.

Organisers of this year’s festival, taking place from October 16-18, hope it will be bigger and better than its predecessor.

Now staged over three days with more contributors and a loosely-based theme of history, the event is part of the Berwick 900 celebrations.

Christopher Smith, chairman of the Berwick Literary Festival steering group, said: “Our programme this year builds upon the success of last year’s inaugural festival, which was much appreciated by those who attended and involved local, national and internationally known authors.

“Last year’s programme, wide-ranging though it was, focussed especially upon the work of writers and illustrators of children’s literature and upon local talent.

“This year, whilst maintaining and developing those links, we are also delighted to be part of Berwick 900. As a result, there is a distinctly ‘historical’ flavour to some of this year’s contributions.

“We look forward to welcoming many visitors to our town for this year’s festival and to continuing to involve many of Berwick’s citizens, of all ages, in our interesting and varied programme.”

Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan added: “It is a truly wonderful way to showcase both local and national talent, and an excellent way of bringing visitors to our fantastic town.

“I very much hope we can establish Berwick as one of a growing number of outstanding literary festival towns across Europe, and will do all I can to support that.”

Tickets are now on sale from The Maltings. Visit berwickliteraryfestival.com

Guest authors and illustrators taking part in the festival include:

Andrew Ayre - Further Developments with Wilson’s Tales, Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Saturday 10am.

Linda Bankier - Archives for Creative Writing Workshop, Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Friday 10am, Sunday 2pm.

Michael Bloch - In Conversation with Gerry Foley, Guildhall, Saturday, 5.30pm.

Michael Chaplin - Writing the Great War, Maltings, Friday 2.30pm.

Bea Davenport - You Choose: When Readers Decide What Happens Next, Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Saturday 2pm.

Jane Dawson - One of the Lads: John Knox and His Time In Berwick, Guildhall, Friday 4pm.

Mike Fraser - Does My Country Really Need Me?, St Paul’s, Spittal, Saturday 2pm.

Helen Harris - Sylvia Garland’s Broken Heart - What happens to the grandparents when the parents split up?, Guildhall, Sunday 2pm.

Cara Lockhart Smith - Words with Pictures: An Illustration Workshop, Guildhall, Saturday 10am.

Andrew Lownie - Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess, Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Saturday 12 noon.

David Martin - Book Printing in a Digital Age, St Paul’s, Spittal, Saturday 4pm.

Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom - The Story of Britain (Event for Year 4s), Guildhall, Friday 10am and 1.30pm.

Barbara Mellor - Fahim’s Story: How a Child Refugee Became a Chess Champion, Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Friday 2pm.

Richard Moore - Blood in the Borders, St Paul’s, Spittal, Saturday 12 noon.

Chris Mullin - The Art of Political Leadership, Guildhall, Sunday 3pm.

Mike Ross - And a Book Was Born, Maltings, Saturday 11.30am and 1.30pm.

Margaret Skea - History in Historical Fiction, Icing on the Cake or Main Ingredient? Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Friday 12 noon.

Helen Stephens - ‘Gracie Grabbit and the Tiger’ Pop up Workshop (3-7 years), Guildhall, Saturday 2:30pm.

Robert Tombs - The Enlish and Their History, Guildhall, Friday 7pm.