The line-up of authors for this year’s Salisbury Literary Festival, from Friday, October 18 to Sunday 20, includes international best-selling author Jung Chang.
For the third festival, organisers promise a rich line-up of local, national and international authors, and events for readers and writers, adults and children.
The festival starts with an event in association with Salisbury’s Walking Book Group and local crime author Nicola Ford – leading an Avebury walk around some of the sites that inspired her fiction.
On Friday evening, the festival welcomes Jung Chang to Salisbury Cathedral. Chang’s first book, Wild Swans, is one of the UK’s biggest-selling non-fiction books of all time. Translated in more than 40 languages, her books have sold in excess of 15 million copies outside Mainland China, where her writing remains banned. Her long-awaited new biography, Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister, is published on the day before the festival.
Saturday is the festival’s readers’ day, with a mixture of events at venues in the city.
Salisbury native and award-winning author and playwright Barney Norris talks about his latest book, The Vanishing Hours. He is the co-founder of the touring theatre company Up in Arms. He wrote Turning For Home, and the Times bestseller Five Rivers Met On A Wooded Plain.
Keggie Carew, winner of the Costa Prize for Biography, speaks about her autobiographical book, Quicksand Tales: The Misadventures of Keggie Carew.
For classic crime fans: Erin Kelly, Paul Burston and Alex Reeve. For stories a little more spooky: authors Laura Purcell and Michelle Paver.
Keith Stuart, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller, A Boy Made Out Of Blocks, talks alongside Richard Roper, whose debut novel has been compared to Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant. Other authors include Emma Kennedy, Ayisha Malik and Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, and the day concludes with an event featuring short story writers Irenosen Okojie and Susmita Bhattacharya.
Writers’ Day at Sarum College returns on Sunday, October 20, with a full day of writing workshops by leading authors (Paul McVeigh, Susmita Bhattacharya and Yvonne Battle-Felton) as well as sessions on editing, publishing and submitting to literary agents.
The day also features bursary places, supported by the Professional Writing Academy, for writers on low incomes.
A programme of events for children is in schools, and on the Saturday, at Salisbury Library, featuring author and illustrator team Nathan Byron and Dapo Adeola, Julia Woolf, Julie Pike, Michelle Harrison and Kirsty Applebaum.
Celebrating Salisbury’s rich literary heritage are the ever-popular literary walks around the city: this year, the focus is around the Cathedral Close. The 2019 Salisbury Greats are Michael Gilbert and Edith Olivier: Gilbert was a Cathedral School teacher in the 1930s, before becoming one of the UK’s leading crime writers; Wilton-born Olivier was also a leading writer, mayoress and close friend of painter Rex Whistler.
The festival ends with The Next Chapter at the Chapel Nightclub on the Sunday with local authors reading from works in progress due to be published in the months and years ahead. Among them are authors Barney Norris, Tarn Richardson, Tariq Goddard, Mandy Baggot and Andy Maslen. All proceeds from the event go to this year’s festival charity, the Trussell Trust.
More information and tickets on the festival website, www.salisburyliteraryfestival.co.uk