Writers’ Day at Salisbury Literary Festival


As we approach the second run of literature festivals, I’m thinking of the different kinds of festival within easy travel of Marlborough.

Swindon (okay, it’s in May), focuses on ideas and has a lot of intellectual non-fiction catering to a city-sized town (and county) missing undergraduate education. Cheltenham (October) has grown into a mega book behemoth, even more so than when I was press officer there twenty years ago. Marlborough (end of September) started out ten years ago with a mission to support fiction and only fiction (entry barred to celebs, non-fiction and even journalists) but has become more similar to Swindon in recent years. And there’s tons of specialist stuff in Bristol, including CrimeFest in June. At the end of September, Bath hosts Europe’s largest children’s literature festival, while the main May festival morphed into a general arts festival in 2017, like Swindon did this year.

A recent edition is the Salisbury Literary Festival (18-20 October 2019), set up by locally-based author and Faber Academy course leader, Tom Bromley, in 2017, and grew out of the monthly Salisbury Writing Circle. Not only is it focused on creative fiction, but Sunday is Writers’ Day, packed with authors, publishers, agents and editors.

Salisbury Literary Festival also runs a short story competition, free entry, for ages 4 and over on the theme of rivers, and up to 500 words in length. Deadline is 30 September 2019 with a prize of book tokens for under 18s and a place on the Professional Writing Academy ‘Writing Short Fiction’ course for adults.

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