Havant Literary Festival is back with authors, poets and artists

VISIT Miriam Halahmy will host a workshop for children
VISIT Miriam Halahmy will host a workshop for children
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FANCY watching an MP, a newspaper editor and a poet battle it out in a bookshelf barney?

Or perhaps taking part in a writing workshop with a professional author?

If you love books and poetry then make a date in your diary for this year’s Havant Literary Festival.

Spread over two days, there are some top authors, artists and poets heading for the town in a packed programme of events – all of which are taking place at The Spring, in East Street, Havant.

The grand opening is at 6pm on Friday, October 19 where the winners of the poetry competition will be announced.

That will be followed by the bookshelf barney at 7.30pm where Mark Waldron, the editor of The News, will pitch what he thinks is the best book ever written against the choices of MP David Willetts and other panellists. The audience can vote for their winner.

Throughout Saturday there are events for children and Portsmouth’s young poet laureate Joe McQuilken will make an appearance for a recital at 5pm.

There are also writing workshops for adults and children throughout the day.

Popular crime writer Graham Hurley will give a talk on his prodigious output, including the popular Detective Inspector Joe Faraday series, set in and around Portsmouth. He will explain the death of his amazing detective whose funeral at Portchester Crematorium opens his latest novel, Happy Days.

The festival director Valerie Bird said: ‘We’re all very much looking forward to it.

‘There are some brilliant things happening.

‘Miriam Halahmy who has written the inspirational and thought-provoking novels Hidden and Illegal, based on Hayling Island, will be giving a workshop to children from five local schools.

‘It’s an opportunity for them to be taught to write by a professional.

‘I’m also really looking forward to seeing Graham Hurley. Even though he no longer lives in the Portsmouth area he still set his novels here.

‘And John Scadding’s rendition of David Copperfield is a must.’

The festival is now in its fifth year.

Although some of the events are free, tickets must be booked for all of them.

Pop into The Spring, East Street, for tickets or go to thespring.co.uk.

Alternatively call the box office on (023) 9247 2700. Go to havantlitfest.org.uk.