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Somerset was long considered the heart of England. After all, it’s easy to feel at home here. Many of our speakers do and are: Dr Lucy Pollock who urges us actually to talk about getting older; Lucy Jago who set her first YA book at Montacute House and has now written about a scandal at […]

Legendary war reporter Kate Adie CBE, in conversation with Festival Patron William Waldegrave, set the tone for this year’s Festival during a unique pre-Festival event for Friends and supporters, sponsored by Investec. Kate reported from battlefields and disaster zones all over the globe and her descriptions of what she saw were mesmerising. Her experiences at […]

Recent announcements about some of this year’s Festival events will certainly provide plenty to get people talking. First on the horizon is the opportunity to listen in on someone else’s conversation – a chat between the legendary war reporter Kate Adie CBE and the Festival’s own distinguished patron, Lord Waldegrave. This fascinating exchange will take […]

A few weeks ago it was reported that Nicola Clifford, a former winner of the Short Story Competition, had gone on to snap up a three-novel publishing deal (a spine-chilling murder mystery series set in Wales). The most recent triumph has gone to a poet. Last year’s Open Poetry winner, Maggie Wadey has been Highly […]

The final event of the 2021 Festival will probably see more characters on the Cedars Hall stage than have ever gathered there together before, including a journalist, comedian, MP, radio presenter, university chancellor, actor, entertainer, Oldie of the year, poet, podcaster, bear collector, royal biographer… and more, all rolled into one self-confessed ‘oddball’. Gyles Brandreth will close […]

We hope you have already made a note of the dates for the bumper Festival being planned for Wells this year (15 – 23 October) but there are also a few other key dates to remember. The full programme will be revealed during the week commencing 23 August Tickets will go on sale to the […]

Our 2021 International Competitions got off to a racing start on 1 April with over 30 entries arriving in the first couple of days. Yet again it looks as though the adjective ‘international’ was aptly chosen: there are poems, short stories and books for children coming from all over the place – and covering a […]

Ever since 2014 the Wells Festival of Literature has been recognised by its iconic green and yellow apostrophes.  Now the Festival has reinvigorated those well-known literary markers, making them bolder and brighter yet still a perfect reminder of what our Festival is all about: namely a celebration of the written word. This innovative departure for […]

With the 2020 Festival over, and the streamed events all watched, our other book business began: the business of inspiring a love of literature in the younger generation. Funding virtual author talks in local schools has been an important feature of our work this year – but there was nothing virtual about the books we […]

Professor Helen Taylor was a speaker and an interviewer in Wells this year. She describes the experience: As I struggled into a pair of sleek satin tights on a Tuesday morning, I realised I hadn’t worn a skirt or dressed smartly for over eight months. It was a wet October day and I was off […]

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