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Marlborough LitFest 2017

From 28 Sept Marlborough will rock with the cultural literati. Here’s my pick of what’s on.

This absolute feast of writing, tales and poetry always draws the crowds on the mean streets of Marlborough. It might not have the huge hitters of the Cheltenham Literature Festival (think Chris Patten, Alastair Campbell and Hillary Rodham Clinton) but it’s pretty prestigious, has an impressive pedigree and is small enough to be utterly engaging.

Opening the festival and following in the footsteps of Fay Weldon, Louis de Bernieres and Lionel Shriver, is Will Self, possibly the most daring and delightful novelist of his generation, who will be talking about his latest novel Phone due out later this year.

Join bestselling children’s author Francesca Simon of Horrid Henry fame, who has published her first novel for older children and young teens, The Monstrous Child (sounds like mine) – a teen rant on an epic scale based on the myth of Hel, Queen of the Norse Underworld.

The 2017 Big Town Read, back by popular demand, is The Bees, the debut novel by Laline Paull. Like Rachel Joyce and Elizabeth Buchan before her, Laline will appear at the festival on Sun 1 October in a Q&A session – and you’d better be sure you’ve read her book beforehand! Free copies of the novel are available from Marlborough Library; in previous years, readers have returned their copies to the Library for others to read after them. Yes, that’s you, cheeky.

Other highlights include the BBC Security correspondent, Frank Gardner, Man Booker Prize shortlister Graeme McCrae Burnet, local crime writer JS Monroe as well as a talk hosted by William Golding Ltd.

There are loads of other talks and events, including a fab-tastic children’s programme including workshops for local primary schools, an annual Big School Read event with local secondary schools and, Storytelling for the Under 5s.

Marlborough LitFest, 28 Sept – 1 Oct, marlboroughlitfest.org

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