Hospitality & Tourism

Second Bournemouth Writing Festival promises to be a bestseller with over 100 events and activities

(L-R) Dominic Wong Festival Director, author Whitney Sharp and Claire Hillier from Bourn Jammy. All images credit: Solid Imagery Photography

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: January 29, 2024 | Updated: 30th January 2024

This year’s Bournemouth Writing Festival is on course to be a real best-seller.

More than 100 events and activities are being lined up to fire the imagination and encourage writers to write.

Inspired by the success of its inaugural event, the Bournemouth Writing Festival 2024 is preparing to welcome even more writers.

There will also be the opportunity to meet literary agents face-to-face.

Paul Kinvig, COO of Bournemouth Town Centre BID, author Lorna Child, author Kathleen Whyman and media lawyer Luke English

Paul Kinvig, COO of Bournemouth Town Centre BID, author Lorna Child, author Kathleen Whyman and media lawyer Luke English

Taking place from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April, the festival will bring together a diverse community of local and UK-wide writers, authors and professionals for a weekend of learning and collaboration to improve and progress people’s writing.

Attendees will enjoy a packed programme of free and ticketed talks, workshops and activities with authors, experts, and professionals from the literary world.

Writers appearing this year include:

  • Award-winning author Kathleen Whyman
  • Editor and writer Gary Dalkin
  • Self-publishing success Matt Shaw
  • Bestselling author Alex Stone

They’ll be discussing topics from plotting a novel to choosing the best publishing options.

Peter Strauss is one of several high profile literary agents giving writers 1:2:1s at the festival.

New for 2024 is a poetry and flash fiction competition, as well as the chance for writers to pitch their manuscripts to literary agents in personal 1-2-1 sessions.

Festival Director Dominic Wong said: “There was a huge buzz and community feel around the first writing festival.

“This has been reflected in the interest from writers across the country booking tickets and national agents, publishers and companies wanting to get involved this year.

“Word is spreading. We have had competition entries from as far afield as Australia.”

The festival has experiences to inspire writers in whichever genre they are passionate about and wherever they are in their writing journey.

Also new for 2024 is the poetry hub which will host activities and talks to inspire verse, including a quirky poetry machine located in the Bandstand in the Lower Gardens.

A host of events for children includes a writing competition for school and home-educated children with an exclusive video introduction from Chris Packham, and writing workshops supported by local organisations.

Dominic Wong, Festival Director

Dominic Wong, Festival Director

Dominic said: “We’ll be making full use of what Bournemouth town centre has to offer in terms of hospitality, with genre breakfasts and networking lunches and dinners in many of our independent cafes and restaurants.”

The festival’s Sunday night finale features writers and artists from local art community groups showcasing the huge array of talent that is being nurtured in Bournemouth and its surrounding areas.

The main festival hub will be at Pavilion Dance South West and tickets are now on sale.

Paul Kinvig, COO of the Town Centre BID, said: “The first writing festival was a huge success and just what Bournemouth needed, bringing together creatives, writers, students and local businesses with an energetic focus.

“It demonstrated that towns outside of London are hubs of creativity and imagination.

“We are pleased to continue our support in 2024.”

The Bournemouth Writing Festival is supported by the Town Centre BID and Solid Imagery Photography. This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Arts Council England.

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