Tag Archive for: Literary Festival

The Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 sees the return of the popular Children’s Writing Competition.

The competition is for children aged 12 and under – with prizes donated by our friends at Waterstones Barnstaple to be presented on the stage on Sunday 19 November to the Winner and Runners Up by Michael Morpurgo himself!

Entries are now open and will close on 31 October; the organisers have mentioned to many local schools across Exmoor, Devon and Somerset that this could be a great writing project for this term’s English curriculum and over the October half term break.  The theme this year is to write a story about farming, farm animals or farm life, with the story to be written in no more than 500 words.

The Competition Judge is historical fiction writer, Kate Lord Brown.  Kate has said “We don’t mind about perfect spelling and grammar, just let your imagination fly and have fun! If you enjoy pictures, you can illustrate your story too. Why not think about the incredible landscape, animals and people who live on our local farms here on Exmoor? Enjoy writing something original with a great plot, characters and language. Write a story you’d love to read!”

See the poster below for the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival Children’s Writing Competition 2023 Rules of Entry and email your story to hello@visitdulverton.com. Alternatively, pop your entry in the special box in Dulverton Post Office. Remember to leave your name, address and contact details – and that final entries to be submitted by 31 October.

Poster illustrations kindly provided by Rebecca Day, The Toad Hall Company.

For full details of the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 – including the creative writing workshops specifically for children – visit here.

Good luck and happy writing!

The programme for the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 is complete, packed with top name author talks across Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November in Dulverton Town Hall.  Tickets are NOW ON SALE HERE and the printed programme is available to pick up from locations across Exmoor, Devon and Somerset.


Michael Morpurgo needs no introduction as one of the UK’s most celebrated writers – he will be conversing with writer Alice Thomson on his new book about life on his Devon farm.  Rachel Johnson will talk about her fascinating life in the political arena, with writer Rachel Campbell-Johnston.  Historical biographers Andrew Lownie and Catherine Ostler will discuss their biographies of two very different duchesses involved in scandals, interviewed by historical novelist Kate Lord Brown.  This year’s ‘Book Club’ fiction panel will include best-selling novelists Janet Ellis, Sarah Turner and Hannah Richell.


Restaurant critic and MasterChef judge William Sitwell will be with award-winning wine writer Henry Jeffreys on the remarkable revolution of British vineyards. Julian Glover, writer and author of the Government’s Landscapes Review: National Parks and AONBs will be with Exmoor farmer and writer Victoria Eveleigh discussing ‘What is our countryside for?’  Another fascinating session will be celebrity photographer Harry Borden and writer Albert Read in conversation with travel editor Miranda Taylor on the subject of enhancing creativity.


Dulverton will also welcome British explorer Belinda Kirk, UK top survival expert John Hudson and travel writer Hilary Bradt discussing survival and adventure.  Well-known ITV sports reporter Dennis Coath will recount some funny anecdotes from his many interviews over the years; and local railway historians Freddie Huxtable, Ian Coleby and Amyas Crump will talk on the subject of our local lost railways.


Festival Director, Ali Pegrum said “There is already a huge buzz about the 2023 Literary Festival right across Exmoor and tickets are selling fast!  Our thanks to the amazing group of writers for taking part in the event and creating a literary celebration of which Devon and Somerset should be very proud.”


The popular Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival Children’s Writing Competition returns, with prizes donated by Waterstones Barnstaple to be presented this year by Michael Morpurgo.  Waterstones will again provide a popup bookshop in the Town Hall with author book signing.  Creative writing workshops for adults and children will be held in Dulverton Library on the Saturday.  All information and tickets can be found via visdulverton.com.


The event has been generously sponsored by local businesses Tozers Solicitors, The Exclusive Cake Company, Exmoor Character Cottages, Exmoor News, First Design, Friendship & Sons, Hedley Price, Jeff Pegrum Landscaping, Maitland Walker, Osteo & Physio, Risdon Hosegood, The Sip Shed, Stockham Farm Exmoor, Town Mills, Ware Construction, Wellhayes Vineyard, Winsbere House, The Bridge Inn Dulverton, James Pryce Tractors, Masons Kings, Rothwell & Dunworth and Fabula Arts.


The inaugural Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival on 19th and 20th November has been described as a “triumph” by MasterChef judge, restaurant critic and author William Sitwell.

Norman Scott

With a packed programme of fascinating author talks in the Town Hall in Dulverton on the Sunday, culminating in a sellout event with Norman Scott sharing his extraordinary life story and how he survived a murder attempt on Exmoor instigated by 1970’s Liberal politician Jeremy Thorpe.

Norman Scott signing his book, An Accidental Icon.

Creative Writing Workshops

The Saturday programme was held in Dulverton Library with local children’s author Annabel Collis hosting creative writing workshops for adults and children.  Much fun was had and storyboards created by all ages!

Children’s author Annabel Collis hosting the children’s creative writing workshop.

Children’s Authors and The Children’s Writing Competition

The Sunday began with a family audience being treated to a chat with two of Exmoor’s most loved children’s authors, Claire Barker and Victoria Eveleigh, followed by the presentation to Orla Scandrett, age 8, of the winner’s prize in the festival’s Children’s Writing Competition with her story, The Hungry Deer.  The competition judge, author Kate Lord Brown had the tricky task of judging 22 entries from across Exmoor and beyond. The runners up were Thomas Hill, age 7, and Kirsty Tyrrell, age 10.

Orla Scandrett, age 8, with her winning story for the Children’s Writing Competition. With (L to R) authors Claire Barker, Victoria Eveleigh and Kate Lord Brown.

William Sitwell

After a free yoga session at lunchtime with celebrated yogi Colin Dunsmuir, the audience was treated to a talk from William Sitwell about Lord Woolton’s task of feeding the nation during WWII.

William Sitwell gives a talk around his book, Eggs or Anarchy.

The Book Club Talk

The next popular talk was with three bestselling authors of fiction, Veronica Henry, Katherine Webb and Kate Lord Brown.  Veronica latterly congratulated the festival organisers for the warm and inviting atmosphere they had created and, along with the other writers, was delighted to have signed and sold so many books via the festival’s popup bookshop hosted by Waterstones Barnstaple.  The trio of authors were interviewed on stage by Poppy Flaxman, Manager of Waterstones Barnstaple.

Bestselling fiction authors (L to R) Katherine Webb, Veronica Henry and Kate Lord Brown.

Alice Thomson

Alice Thomson, Times columnist, then took to the stage to talk about her remarkable book outlining her many interviews with famous and successful people who had faced adversity in their early lives.

Alice Thomson signing her book, What I Wish I’d Known When I Was Young.

Rugby and the Exeter Chiefs

This illuminating talk was followed by Guardian sports correspondent and author Rob Kitson chatting with South West rugby legend Chris Bentley about all things rugby and the rise of the Exeter Chiefs.  Gossip and laughter was shared by the rugby-loving audience!

Chris Bentley and Rob Kitson sharing rugby stories on stage.

Rob Kitson signing copies of his book, Exe Men, The Extraordinary Rise of Exeter Chiefs.

Festival Feedback

Ali Pegrum, Festival Director, was delighted with how the event had gone and said, “After a long year in the planning, it was wonderful to meet this extraordinary group of writers in Dulverton and bring this new event to Exmoor.  Many complimentary comments have been received from the speakers and the audience, thrilled to have been a part of this inaugural event and hoping it will be repeated.  I’m sure it will!”


The entire two-day festival had been supported by Dulverton Town Council and generously sponsored by local businesses Exmoor Character Cottages, Stockham Farm ExmoorExmoor NewsHedley Price Funeral DirectorsJeff Pegrum LandscapingPFG FabricationTown Mills B&BTozers SolicitorsWare ConstructionRothwell & Dunworth Books, Your First Book, Stags Estate Agents, Osteo & Physio Tiverton, Maitland Walker Solicitors, The Exmoor Feasting Company and The Exclusive Cake Company.

It is with a huge fanfare that Visit Dulverton announces its new and exciting event for 2022 – The Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival!  Taking place over the weekend of 19/20 November and billed as ‘A new Exmoor festival for story-lovers of all ages!”

There will be six hour-long informal talks taking place throughout the day in Dulverton Town Hall on Sunday 20 November, given by bestselling authors and writers on a variety of topics such as politics and drama, sport, psychology, historical, romantic and crime fiction, food and wine, yoga and writing for children.

Festival-goers can expect an illuminating talk from Norman Scott discussing his recently-released memoir An Accidental Icon, looking back at his life and his much-documented turbulent relationship with 1970’s Liberal politician Jeremy Thorpe, including his attempted murder on Porlock Hill. The UK’s most respected rugby union columnist, Rob Kitson, will talk about his bestseller Exe Men: The Extraordinary Rise of Exeter Chiefs, and MasterChef judge William Sitwell, one of Britain’s leading food writers, will discuss the history of food, including the problems associated with feeding Britain during WWII – so topical today.

Festival Director, Ali Pegrum said “Since first imagining the festival at the beginning of the year, we have received an immense amount of encouragement and support from a host of authors, writers, publishers and libraries right across the South West – all keen to help promote Exmoor’s very own inaugural literary festival and encourage reading and writing for everyone. As the Southern Gateway to Exmoor, Dulverton is the perfect place to host such an event and we hope that it will be repeated annually.”

Details of other bestselling authors attending the festival will be released shortly, along with the full programme and links to ticket purchasing.  Each talk will include time for audience questions, followed by author book signing in the festival’s in-house popup bookshop provided by Waterstones Barnstaple. There’ll even be an opportunity for a brief seated yoga meditation therapy session with Colin Dunsmuir, writer and a leading voice in the global yoga community.

The winner and runners up of the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival Writing Competition will be announced on the Sunday, with the winning entry read out by the competition’s judge, historical fiction author Kate Lord Brown.  The competition will be open to all children from Reception to Year Six, more details to follow.

The entire two-day event has been generously sponsored by local businesses Stockham Farm Exmoor, Exmoor News, Hedley Price Funeral Directors, Jeff Pegrum Landscaping, PFG Fabrication, Town Mills B&B, Tozers Solicitors, Ware Construction, Rothwell & Dunworth Books, First Design Print Web, Stags Estate Agents, Osteo & Physio Tiverton, Maitland Walker Solicitors and The Exclusive Cake Company.

Tag Archive for: Literary Festival

The Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival is back for 2023!

Head to the Literary Festival page to learn who will be attending this year’s event and to book your tickets.  The 2023 festival features a great lineup of author talks across both days of the weekend of 18/19 November in Dulverton Town Hall; with more creative writing workshops for adults and children taking place in Dulverton Library on Saturday 18 November.

We have Michael Morpurgo, Rachel Johnson, Janet Ellis, William Sitwell, Sarah Turner, Andrew Lownie, Catherine Ostler, Albert Read, Julian Glover to name a few….  Tickets are selling like hot cakes, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Encourage your youngsters to take part in the Festival Children’s Writing Competition – with prizes to be presented by Michael Morpurgo no less!  Full details on the Literary Festival page.