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Bury St Edmunds’ first literature festival will feature top authors including Louis de Bernières

PUBLISHED: 12:10 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 19 May 2017

Bury St Edmunds' first literature festival is coming to the town in October.

Bury St Edmunds' first literature festival is coming to the town in October.

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Avid readers in Bury St Edmunds are celebrating books by organising the town’s first literature festival - and have managed to secure famous author Louis de Bernières.

Louis de Bernieres.
 Picture: ANTONY KELLY Louis de Bernieres. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Originating in book clubs and groups in the market town, the idea has taken hold and now plans are in full swing, with the dates set for Wednesday, October 25, to Sunday, October 29.

Already confirmed as part of the line-up is best-selling author Louis de Bernières - secured through Waterstones - most famous for his novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which was made into a film starring Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz.

As well as the chance to be inspired by a variety of writers, the plan is people will be able to try their hand at the craft of writing through competitions and workshops and a book swap is also being considered.

Bury has a reputation for celebrating the arts, with the Bury St Edmunds Festival and Bury Fringe Festival both firmly established in the town’s annual calendar of cultural events.

Julia Wakelam, who is part of the organising committee, said: “We celebrate music and drama and we felt it was time to celebrate poetry and stories; stories are what link us all and books.

“Even in this day of television and smart phones people still read books. It brings you to a whole world you wouldn’t otherwise visit. Somebody said it’s through fiction you learn about history. It’s where the truth is told.”

Mark Ereira, who is a member of a couple of book clubs, said book group members had been discussing how “fantastic” it would be to have a literature festival to bring like-minded people together.

Mr Ereira, a former county councillor for Bury’s Tower division, said: “I helped them to go forward and set up as a community interest company and get Arts Council funding.”

He has also provided some of his remaining councillor locality budget to the project.

Susan Wilde, co-owner of Oakes Barn pub and also on the organising committee, said there was so much enthusiasm for the festival. “There’s definitely an awful lot of talent in Bury and an awful lot of people that appreciate talent.”

QuirkHouse Theatre Company are also involved and the town’s business group Ourburystedmunds is supporting the event.

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