Attention, book lovers! The Sturminster Newton Literary Festival is back, and this year it’s bigger and better than ever! The festival is expanding to include writers with a Wessex connection and is now open to non-fiction as well. With a diverse range of events celebrating the best of writing in the Dorset and wider Wessex region, the festival offers a fabulous range of experience for all literature enthusiasts.
One of the many exciting events at this year’s festival is the Rupert Brooke Walk (3rd June). The poet spent much of his time in Dorset, and David Caddy will lead a short walk along the North Dorset Trailway from Shillingstone, the same route the poet travelled on his way to Gallipoli in 1915. He will give a talk about Rupert Brooke – one of his most famous poems, The Soldier, was written while he was stationed at Blandford Camp – and read his poems in a vintage restored railway carriage at Shillingstone Station.
Libby Page (8th June), the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido, The 24 Hour Cafe and The Island Home will appropriately talk about her latest book The Vintage Shop of Second Chances at 1855, Sturminster Newton’s creative indoor market of artisans. After book signings the team from The Boutique in Sturminster Newton will hold a fashion show of pre-loved items (all for sale on the night).
Familiar to BV readers will be our own wildlife writer Jane Adams (10th June), who will be discussing her new book Nature’s Wonders, published with the National Trust, which is an inspiring guide to connecting with the nature around you and seeing how it changes through the year.
Another must-see talk is from Jon Woolcott (6th June), whose new book Real Dorset is a personal, humorous and idiosyncratic look at our county, with a peek below the pretty village surface to the subversion, rebellion and revolt, wealth and poverty, ghost stories and rich folklore beneath.
Or perhaps The Tennis Champion Who Escaped the Nazis (5th June) is more your thing, as you listen to Felice Hardy tell the story of Liesl Herbst, Austrian National Tennis champion, who fled Nazi occupation with her family. You’ll hear the moving story of their escape and of what happened to those left behind.
Matthew Harffy (10th June) is the author of the action-packed Bernicia Chronicles, a gripping, powerful, action-packed historical thriller series about vengeance and coming of age in seventh century Britain. He’ll be discussing writing historically accurate fiction, and what it is that inspires him.
In addition to the literary walks and talks, the festival has writing workshops and free events such as the Stained Glass Stories walks around the town.
Be sure to keep an eye on the festival’s official website and subscribe to their newsletter for the latest announcements about upcoming events. Mark your calendars and join us in celebrating the magic of literature at the Sturminster Newton Literary Festival in 2023.
And The BV is excited to announce we have three pairs of tickets to any event at the SturLitFest (as it’s affectionately known)!
To be in with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the event of your choice (subject to availability), just answer the first three questions in the widget box below. There are more chances to win by completing the other entry options if you so wish – they’re entirely up to you! The closing date for this competition is 21st May 2023 and only entries received on or before that date can be included. The prize will go to the first three randomly chosen entries. Good luck!Win tickets to Sturminster Newton Literary Festival