Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel

Young people from across Devon are being given the opportunity to get creative thanks to a local literary festival.

As part of its Educational Outreach Programme, The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is hosting a number of different events and workshops, encouraging children to appreciate the joys of reading and writing from a young age.

Secondary and primary schools from across East and Mid Devon and Exeter have been selected to take part in a diverse range of activities starting at the end of June and running through until the festival in September.

Some of the events provided by the Outreach Programme include talks from Carnegie Medal winner Tanya Landman, a literary quiz involving over 20 primary schools from across East Devon, theatrical performances and poetry workshops as well as a special tent dedicated to ‘Roald Dahl activities’ for primary school students on the Saturday of this year’s festival, celebrating the life and work of the much-loved children’s author.

Honorary President of the Festival and double Man Booker prize winner, Dame Hilary Mantel DBE said:

“A good book lingers in the mind far longer than the time taken to read it. A poem may be read in a moment, but inspire for a lifetime. In the same way, the impact of a literary festival should outlast the few days it occupies, and reach beyond its immediate audience to the wider community.

“Our education programme helps to reach the writers and readers of the future, freeing them up, for a little time, from the constraints of testing and exams, and helping them see that everyone, young and old, has the genius to express themselves through the arts.”

Funding for the festival’s ambitious Education Outreach Programme is supported through last year’s festival ticket sales as well as a number of local organisations including The Norman Family Trust, Exmouth Community College and Western Power Distribution.

Now in its eighth year, The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival has become well-established in the South West’s cultural calendar and consistently attracts big names from the world of literature, drama, film, philosophy, politics and art.

Speakers at the festival in previous years have included, New York Times best seller Paula Hawkins, critically acclaimed author Sarah Waters, former Liberal Democrat Leader Paddy Ashdown and scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock.

This year’s festival will run from September 15th – 18th. The full line up will be released in early July and tickets will be on sale from July 22nd.

For more information, visit www.budlitfest.org.uk, follow the festival on Twitter @BudleighLitFest or Facbook/BudleighSaltertonLiteraryFestival.