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The 24th Wells Festival of Literature. 14th – 22nd October .

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Sarah Helm
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Vince Cable
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James Veitch
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Richard Coles
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Margaret MacMillan
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Lemn Sissay
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Marc Allum
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Tom Holland
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Alexandra Harris
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Prue Leith
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Malcolm Grimston
Emma Craigie

We welcome a new cyber comedian with a hilarious approach to emails…

Everyone knows they must delete SCAM emails…everyone except James Veitch. James is a comic genius who has spent the past few years responding to as many scam emails as he can – and then turning the resulting correspondence into one of the funniest shows around. And he’s coming to the Wells Festival of Literature on Saturday 15th October at 7pm.

James is kindly taking the place of Isy Suttie who has had to cancel due to ill health. We wish Isy well but are delighted that James has been able to step in with his hilarious show built on scam emails.

Our speakers in the news…

With the Festival beginning next month, now is a good time to look back at the impact many of our speakers have been making over the past few months:

  • Arkady Ostrovsky won the Orwell Prize.
  • Tom Holland has been presenting Making History on BBC Radio 4
  • Alexandra Harris's Weatherland was serialised on BBC Radio 4
  • Simon Loveday was interviewed on Radio 4's Sunday Programme on 21st August
  • Malcolm Grimston commented on the latest Hinkley Point development in BBC Today in July.
  • Colin Thubron talked to Mariella Frostrup about his new novel Night of Fire
  • Lady Antonia Fraser gave the Mail on Sunday her tips on public speaking: 'Dress up, speak up, shut up'.

…and a call for creative children

And now that the long summer holidays are over it’s time to remind youngsters about the exciting 500 words Children’s Story Competition which is being run by the Mid Somerset Series in conjunction with WFL and Beanstalk. The theme is Time Travel and the competition is open to anyone who will be aged between 5 and 15 on 14th October 2016. Deadline for entries: midnight on 15th September 2016.

The Mid Somerset Series has teamed up with Wells Festival of Literature and the national literacy charity Beanstalk to launch its own version of the popular 500 Words children’s writing competition which has been running for six years on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 Breakfast Show.
The theme for the competition is Time Travel and it is open to anyone who will be aged between 5 and 15 years old on October 14th 2016. There are two age categories: 5 to 10 (on October 14th, 2016) and 11 to 15 (on October 14th, 2016).
The entries will be judged by a panel of experts including Jenny Smith, who organises the WFL competitions, Mid Somerset News & Media editor, Bede MacGowan, and Amelia Shaw, area manager for Beanstalk. Entries will be judged on the following criteria: plot, characterisation, originality, language and enjoyment.
'The aim of this competition is to help foster and inspire a passion for words and to showcase the amazing talent in the area we serve. We hope to receive a lot of entries and hope that parents, schools and other organisations will encourage children to put pen to paper and get involved.' Bede MacGowan
The two winners will receive prizes including £50 worth of books each at the Wells Festival of Literature, where their entries will be read by one of the speakers. They will also receive a special reading experience courtesy of Beanstalk and the winning entries in each age category will also feature in the Mid Somerset Series.
Entrants must write a fictional short story of no more than 500 words in length. Hard copies can be sent to Mid Somerset News & Media, Southover, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1UH or email your entry to editor@midsomnews.co.uk
Submissions received later than midnight on 15th September will not be considered. Entries must be an original piece of fiction and not an account of real events. Entries cannot be returned, so please remember to retain a copy.

Emma Craigie


Fine dining discount

In addition to a brilliant programme, we also have a brilliant offer this year. Several local restaurants have very generously offered a 10% discount on evening meals to Festival-goers. During the Festival these restaurants will offer this discount on a one ticket one discount basis on production of your Festival event ticket. Booking is essential. More details HERE

As October approaches, more of those involved with WLF will be taking their coffee with us. Catch up with them here


What does the Festival do?
The aim of the Festival is to promote books and the love of reading in the community and particularly in schools...
Wells Festival of Literature Ltd A company limited by guarantee registered in England with number 2827744 Registered address: Tregantle, Milton Lane, Wells, Somerset. BA5 2QT Registered Charity number 1045654.