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Exciting mix of writers and workshops as resort stages annual book fest

PUBLISHED: 15:32 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 26 June 2019

Meg Reid, artistic director of the Felixstowe Book Festival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Meg Reid, artistic director of the Felixstowe Book Festival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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More than 50 authors are in Felixstowe this weekend as the resort hosts its seventh annual festival for book-lovers and writers.

Allison Pearson, who is appearing at Felixstowe Book Festival  Picture: SANDRO SODANOAllison Pearson, who is appearing at Felixstowe Book Festival Picture: SANDRO SODANO

Some of the country's top writers will be giving workshops and talks on their craft at the event, which is taking place from today June 27 to Sunday June 30 - based at the Orwell Hotel in Hamilton Road, with the children's festival at the library, and other events and writer's workshops across the town and seafront.

Festival founder Meg Reid said: "Felixstowe Book Festival is like a very tiny Edinburgh Book Festival where everything is in one location and you get a real buzz as people go from one event to another.

"That buzz came about very quickly even in that first year. There seemed to be a thirst for this type of thing in Felixstowe and everyone was really, really enthusiastic."

For festival-goers there will be opportunities to meet favourite authors, discover new writers, get advice on how to become a writer, and explore the seaside town.

Canadian-born Polly Clark, author of three poetry collections, will be talking about her latest book at the Felixstowe Book Festival Picture: MURDO MACLEODCanadian-born Polly Clark, author of three poetry collections, will be talking about her latest book at the Felixstowe Book Festival Picture: MURDO MACLEOD

Meg said: "Although the Felixstowe Book Festival is based at the Orwell Hotel, and the Children's Book Festival is at the library, there will be events popping up all over the town. We are again having writing workshops for writers and some will be held at the Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club, at St Nicholas Church and even in a beachside shipping container, as in previous years we have found that people like stepping inside, and the emotions it creates.

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"We have a very exciting mix of writers and workshops this year," said Meg Reid, founder of the Festival. "We have Lucy Hughes Hallett and Georgina Harding who are among the highest quality writers the country has at the moment. Emma Healey who wrote the popular "Elizabeth is Missing" is coming to talk about her latest book and Rupert Thompson is also coming. I invited him after hearing him speak at the Edinburgh Festival."

"Containment as creative inspiration" is led by Richard O'Neill and comprises three sessions across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday including one in the Felixstowe 'Container Writing Room'.

There are 10 workshops for writers, including one run by the National Centre for Writing, coming to Felixstowe from its base in Norwich.

The workshops also include a session by the award-winning short story writer Pamela Holmes, on starting writing later in life, author and editor, Phoebe Morgan advising on how to get published, and Matt Gaw talking about nature writing.

Award-winning writer Emma Healey, who is appearing at the festival, said: "For new writers, I also think listening to a writer talking about their process is incredibly useful. When you read a book, you can analyse it but it's a closed thing.

"It's finished, varnished and sealed as it were, and it's hard to understand how it was made, so to hear a writer talking about their book reveals tiny things.

"I write in a little study and I write in fragments about what is in my head at the time, and then join them up, expand them and make them into a book. I don't write first one scene and then the other. Sometimes hearing that gives a new writer permission to try something new. When you are starting out, the more ideas the better."

Full details of sessions can be found on the Felixstowe Book Festival website - www.felixstowebookfestival.co.uk - and tickets can also be booked via the New Wolsey Box Office 01473 295900.

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