Impressive line up for Southwold Literature Festival revealed

A host of high profile writers will discuss their love of literature at Southwold's annual literary festival.

The much-anticipated line-up for this year's Ways With Words festival, taking place from November 10 to 14, was announced today with Tony Benn, Melvyn Bragg, Joanna Trollope and Maureen Lipman among the highlights.

The five-day festival aims to bring together world-class writers, with media figures and contemporary thinkers and attracts an annual literary pilgrimage of festival-goers from across the UK. This year's programme comprises more than 20 events including a literary dinner with guest speaker Sam Leith, former literary editor of the Daily Telegraph; and a tour of Southwold aboard Olive, a single-decker vintage bus, with local author Ian Miller on hand to show off the town's secrets and eccentricities.

Acclaimed politician, diarist and essayist Tony Benn will open the festival at St Edmund's Hall, Southwold, on Thursday, November 10. His talk, based on his latest book Letters to my Grandchildren, looks to the future and examines the challenges facing the next generation.

Inside St Edmund's Church, Melvyn Bragg looks back, delving deep into the past to recount the political, linguistic and literary stories behind one of the most influential books in the English language, the King James Bible.


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Andrew Davies, the man behind some of the best-known film and television adaptations of the past 15 years, will talk about his screenwriting career from Bleak House to Bridget Jones, via Pride and Prejudice and Brideshead Revisited.

Verteran journalist John Sergeant, more recently seen dragging his partner across the dance floor on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing show, will be in town to talk about his life on and off camera.

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Novelists Salley Vickers and Joanna Trollope along with broadcaster Joan Bakewell will discuss their new books, while art-critic Martin Gayford will talk about a decade of personal conversations with the influential British artist David Hockney, and the story of the Pitmen Painters, a group of Geordie coal miners whose artworks wowed the world, will be brought to life by art-critic William Feaver.

Tickets will go on sale to Friends of Ways With Words on August 30, then on general sale from September 6.

• For more information visit www.wayswithwords.co.uk where a full programme can be downloaded from August 8, email admin@wayswithwords.co.uk, call the box office on 01803 867373.

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