First ever festival proves a real page-turner

Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival - Storytelling and Signing with Amanda Gee'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival - Storytelling and Signing with Amanda Gee'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton
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The first ever Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival took place last week and was a resounding success for everyone involved.

The event, from Wednesday, October 25 to Sunday, October 29, saw authors from all over the country come to Bury to talk about their work.

Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival - Sarah Perry''''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival - Sarah Perry''''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Julia Wakelam, who was on the organising committee, said: “It went brilliantly. We were so pleased with how it turned out.

“Everyone enjoyed themselves and the authors all said what a wonderful event it was.”

Visiting authors included Louis de Bernieres, who wrote the award-winning Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Sarah Perry whose first novel After Me Comes the Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014, and Patrick Barkham, who is the natural history writer at The Guardian.

“The authors were all amazing. Without exception, they were great,” said Julia.

Artymouse books art fun at Waterstones on the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds. L-R: Heather Johnson (Top That Publishing) with, Luna Armel-Shephard (4), Reuben Armel-Shephard (2) and Sophia Arbel-Evans.

Artymouse books art fun at Waterstones on the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds. L-R: Heather Johnson (Top That Publishing) with, Luna Armel-Shephard (4), Reuben Armel-Shephard (2) and Sophia Arbel-Evans.

“They also gave insight into what it was like to be a writer and answers to the kind of questions you have always wanted to ask authors which was really interesting.”

There were also other events such as a drawing class and a short story competition for young people, poetry readings at the war memorial and readings of Charles Dickens’ work at the Angel Hotel, which featured in Dickens’s Pickwick Papers.

“Bury was waiting for something like this,” said Julia.

“It’s great for book lovers to have something that they can look forward to and get involved in.”

The organisers are hoping to make the festival an annual event after the success of its first year.

“It would be great to do it again next year and make it even better. Every single member of the audience came up at the end of every event and thanked us for putting it on,” said Julia.

“We can’t believe we did it. It was just a little idea of ours back in May and here it is a huge success.”