Top authors in Festival line-up

Louis de Bernieres will launch the 2014 Breckland book festival

Louis de Bernieres will launch the 2014 Breckland book festival - Credit: Archant

Celebrated author Louis de Bernieres comes to Watton next month to launch this year's Breckland Book Festival.

Crime writer Sophie Hannah, Breckland Book Festival

Crime writer Sophie Hannah, Breckland Book Festival - Credit: Archant

The winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize will read from his first collection of verse to kickstart the event which sees a month of literary and creative events around the district.

Lucky Bunny by Jill Dawson - recommended read for this year's Breckland Book Festival

Lucky Bunny by Jill Dawson - recommended read for this year's Breckland Book Festival - Credit: Archant

Back for its third year the festival promises more best-selling authors, storytelling evenings, live literature walks and a poetry competition.

Treats include acclaimed crime writer Sophie Hannah who has been chosen to write the new Poirot novel, Susan Hill – author of the chilling 'Woman in Black', Jon Canter - scriptwriter for Lenny Henry, Rowan Atkinson and Richard Wilson, and the popular children's author Paeony Lewis. There's also a fun and inspiring 'Pop-up' workshop for children led by Robert Crowther, live literature walks around Thetford and a poetry workshop with Andrea Holland.

Jill Dawson's book 'Lucky Bunny', is the Festival's recommended read and there will be two opportunities to meet the author during the course of the Festival.

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Funded by Breckland Council with support from Arts Council England, the Festival aims to support local libraries and inspire residents to get reading. Creative Arts East (CAE) has organised the programme and will manage the Festival in partnership with Norfolk Library and Information Service.

Lynda Turner, Breckland Council deputy leader said; 'There's nothing better than settling down with a good book. Reading is the key that unlocks doors to imagination, knowledge and to the world around us. I hope the Festival will inspire people to discover new authors and make use of our local libraries.

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'We've got a truly terrific line-up this year. I'm sure that everyone who goes to a Festival event will have a great time and come away entertained and inspired.'

* If you think you have a flair for writing poetry you can enter the Festival Poetry Competition which is open to everyone living in Breckland.

Submissions, by closing date January 24, must be about local life or landscape and have fewer than 30 lines. Winners will receive £30 of book tokens and the winning poems will be read out by Andrea Holland at Watton Library on 1 March.

* Festival programmes with details of all the events can be found in Breckland libraries, Breckland Council and Town Council offices, Thetford and Attleborough Tourist Offices, CAE carousels and local cafes and shops. For more information call the Festival team at Creative Arts East on 01953 713390, email or look on the website

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