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NEW blood is needed to breathe fresh life into a literary festival.

Thousands of people have enjoyed Havant Literary Festival over the past three years.

It has attracted high-calibre writers such as Stella Duffy and Lynne Truss and schoolchildren across the area have been involved with writers’ workshops.

The annual poetry competition receives entries from around the world.

But many of the committee in charge of the festival have decided to move on and pass the mantle on to newcomers with a passion for the written word.

Even though the festival is biennial there will be a mini festival over October 19 and 20 and help is needed to organise the event.

Valerie Bird, who has been involved with the festival since its inception in 2009, has now taken over the role of chairman from Bench Theatre veteran David Penrose.

She said: ‘The 2011 festival was very well received with support from so many people.

‘Our contributors also told us how much they enjoy coming to Havant for the special welcome they receive. We are seeking new members of committee especially for press and publicity throughout the year.’

To get involved in the festival email havantlitfest@gmail.com or go to havantlitfest.org.uk