Prize winning author Hilary Mantel entertains crowds at Budleigh Literary Festival
DOUBLE Man Booker prize winner and Budleigh Salterton resident Hilary Mantel has been the star attraction at her home-town's literary festival - but she was not short of competition in what was a hugely impressive line-up.
Hilary Mantel is Honorary President for the festival which was founded in 2008 by the late Susan Ward, with the aim of attracting acclaimed authors, playwrights and poets, whilst retaining accessible ticket prices and a friendly atmosphere.
It’s certainly a plan that has worked as the festival, now in its fifth year, boasted some interesting speakers but still retained its intimate and friendly atmosphere.
Hilary Mantel talked about her own work, including Wolf Hall and its best selling sequel Bring up the Bodies but will also be introducing new talent on the literary scene. She was joined by Ed Hogan – shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize and winner of the Desmond Elliot Prize and Katie Ward, author of the highly acclaimed Girl Reading, winner of the Clarissa Luard Award.
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PD James was also at this year's festival to talk about her long and fruitful career as a writer, her recent novel Death Comes to Pemberley and her passion for Jane Austen.
Another visitor was Melvyn Bragg. A critically acclaimed author and broadcaster, Melvyn currently presents In Our Time on Radio 4 and he attened to read and talk about his latest novel. Grace and Mary.
Lynne Truss, the journalist, playwright and author is well know for her humorous book about punctuation, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.
She was at the festival to read and talk about her radio monologues A Certain Age with actor James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley, Four Weddings and A Funeral).
Other speakers at the four day event which closes today were Irish writer Edna O’Brien, poet and novelist Jackie Kay, journalist Peter Snow, gardener Toby Buckland and Rachel Cooke, feature writer at the Observer, whose forthcoming book, Her Brilliant Career, tells the story of 10 pioneering women of the 1950s.