Call to give local writers a larger platform at fest
THE Cheltenham Literature Festival may be over for another year, but writers in the area should not put their pens down just yet.
Following the success of the Locally Sourced strand of the festival this year, it looks likely that Gloucestershire's writers will continue to have a platform for their work during future festivals.
There were exciting opportunities on offer for aspiring writers, such as the popular open mic session where people could bring a five-minute excerpt of their work to perform live on stage.
The Gloucestershire Writers' Network also put on a writing competition judged by critically-acclaimed novelist Jennifer Cryer and local poet Jennie Farley.
The winners of the competition, along with a selection of other local writers, presented their audience with an enjoyable mix of writing inspired by the festival's theme of 'memory'.
A writing workshop was hosted by Cherry Gilchrist aimed to help people delve deeper into their memory and give advice on how to shape these memories into a fascinating personal story.
The Creating Crime Fiction event also involved local inspiration, featuring Carol Peacock whose book The Path of the Wicked, is based on a real-life Victorian murder case from Gloucestershire.
Jane Furze, director of the festival, said: "Cheltenham Literature prides itself on its exceptionally broad programme.
"We pride ourselves on featuring the most influential voices from culture in its broadest sense, so we also have talks from the country's leading actors, politicians, chefs, sports people, historians and designers.
"We also have a strand dedicated to local writers and we work very closely with local writing networks, such as the Society of Authors and the Gloucestershire Writers' Network, to ensure that the very best of emerging local talent has a platform at its local festival."
John Burton, co-owner of Courtyard Books in Bishop's Cleeve, is a supporter of local writers. He aims to stock their works.
Mr Burton said: "We think the festival would do a great thing by having more local talent.
"I would love to see a set-aside area at the festival purely to give talented local writers a platform for their work."
Courtyard Books is hosting a book signing with local author of Cowbells Down the Zambezi, David Lemon, today from 10am to noon.