Page turned in Havant Literary Festival’s latest chapter

LINE-UP From left, competition judge David Swann, The Spring writer in residence Claire Collison, writer in residence and festival patron Stella Duffy, Mayor of Havant Ken Smith, treasurer Sian Bamber, Mayoress Hazel Smith, secretary June Halford, chairman David Penrose and vice chairwoman Valerie Bird.   Picture: Sarah Standing (113379-5226)

LINE-UP From left, competition judge David Swann, The Spring writer in residence Claire Collison, writer in residence and festival patron Stella Duffy, Mayor of Havant Ken Smith, treasurer Sian Bamber, Mayoress Hazel Smith, secretary June Halford, chairman David Penrose and vice chairwoman Valerie Bird. Picture: Sarah Standing (113379-5226)

Henry VIII themed events over half-term in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

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DISCOVERING a love for poetry, novels and films is being encouraged at this year’s Havant Literary Festival.

The official opening of the four-day festival took place at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, in East Street, Havant, yesterday evening.

It was declared open by the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Ken Smith, in front of literary enthusiasts, including writer in residence Stella Duffy.

Cllr Smith said: ‘The evening was good and we had a great reception. We heard poems from the annual competition read out and heard details about what events would be happening over the next few days.

‘Havant Borough Council supports the festival as it helps to raise the profile of reading and the borough.’

June Halford, secretary of the festival, said: ‘The opening was marvellous – it was wonderful.

‘We had our writer in residence Stella Duffy in attendance, who delivered amazing words of wisdom.’

The festival is now in its fourth year and runs until Sunday.

‘The idea of the festival is to get people, who wouldn’t even pick up a book, to come along and try it,’ added June. ‘We want to get those who wouldn’t dream of reading to try it.

‘We also want to reach out to children, so they can discover books too. So we encourage people to come and take a look.’

The winner of the annual poetry competition, which is open for international entrants, was also announced. Christian Ward, from London, captured judge David Swann’s heart with his poem, titled The Horse.

Over the next few days a host of talks, film showings, signing sessions and creative writing workshops will be taking place. Among those appearing are David Lodge, Lynne Truss and Precious Williams.

For a full list of events visit havantlitfest.org.uk or email havantlitfest@gmail.com.

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