Literary Festivals

In July 2009, I stood in the sunshine at Dartington Hall and listened to Kay Dunbar describe how Ways With Words had grown from tiny beginnings into the hugely successful event it is today.

We could do with something like that in Chudleigh, I thought!

One month later, at the launch party for Chudleigh Writers’ Circle, I suggested we might want to publish our own anthologies at some point – and that we might even have our own literary festival one day. Well – be careful what you wish for!

In November 2010, just in time for the Christmas trade, we published Lavender Chickens, an anthology of work by members of CWC. We have 20+ members and nearly everyone contributed to this anthology. We got a great thrill out of seeing our names in print – and spent our launch day busily passing round copies for everyone to sign. Sales are going well and we may even need to go for a reprint in time for the 2011 Christmas Fayre.

Now, less than two years since that sunny day in Dartington, plans are in full swing for the first Chudleigh Literary Festival. Wanting it to be a real celebration of words, we are catering both for writers and readers. The flyers are ready, tickets are being printed and plans are being made for refreshments and a book store. It will be a tiny event compared with Ways With Words – no competition at all – but from little acorns etc etc.

I will be at Dartington as usual this year, enjoying listening to all the authors – and also picking up tips. The new kid on the block is going to be a fast learner.

Full details of the Chudleigh Literary Festival can be found at: www.chudleighphoenix.co.uk

For details of Ways With Words, see: www.wayswithwords.co.uk

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By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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