Which famous authors are taking part in this year’s virtual Felixstowe Book Festival?

Meg Reid, director of Felixstowe Book Festival. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Meg Reid, director of Felixstowe Book Festival. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Felixstowe Book Festival has become a fixture in the county’s cultural calendar. This year they are starting things off online as festival director Meg Reid explains

Meg Reid, director of Felixstowe Book Festival. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Meg Reid, director of Felixstowe Book Festival. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Felixstowe Book Festival has swiftly grown into one of the key cultural events of the year for book lovers in Suffolk.

It has a well deserved reputation for promoting local authors and has a love of and deep knowledge of contemporary crime fiction.

Founded in 2013 by local resident Meg Reid, the festival is now not only a regular part of the town’s cultural life but the county’s.

This year’s event is still ten weeks away and Meg still hasn’t given up hope that some elements of the festival can go ahead in the real world but, at the same time recognising that they have to prepare for the distinct possibility of everything becoming an e-book affair online.

Iain Dale who will be answering questions online from readers as part of a virtual Felixstowe Book F

Iain Dale who will be answering questions online from readers as part of a virtual Felixstowe Book Festival Photo Steve Ullathorne - Credit: Archant


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Nevertheless, organisers are finding innovative ways to keep interest going until a final decision can be made about whether the festival can go ahead.

“The Felixstowe Book Festival is following government Coronavirus guidelines and the safety of all is our main concern,” said Meg Reid, the festival director. ”We are hopeful that things will have improved by the end of June but will review the situation again on April 27.”

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Meanwhile the Festival is organising question and answer sessions with some of the authors who are booked to come to Felixstowe on the June 26-28th. They include Iain Dale, Henry Hemming, Paul French, Liz Trenow, and Kit Yates. Book lovers can send their questions to Felixstowe Book Festival Facebook page and, after they have been collated, each author will answer in a short film. These will be shown on the festival website and social media.

First is Iain Dale, who is taking questions on ‘public discourse and the state of politics today’, followed by Paul French who will be taking your questions on all things ‘China’. To leave a question, visit the Festival Facebook page and look for the post pinned at the top of the page.

Paul French one of the guests at the Felixstowe Book Festival Photo:Sue Anne Tay

Paul French one of the guests at the Felixstowe Book Festival Photo:Sue Anne Tay - Credit: Archant

The monthly Felixstowe Book Festival book club, that usually meets in the Cuppa Café in Felixstowe to discuss the books to be featured in this year’s festival, is continuing with a Facebook Live session hosted by Ruth Dugdale and Liz Rastrick.

“The boat trip with Terry Waite, down the River Orwell on Orwell Lady is now on October 11 instead of May 17,” said Meg. “Please keep an eye on our website for any developments and for more interesting content, for example one of our team, Imogen, is posting blogs with suggestions of books to read. Take care of yourselves, your family and those around you during the uncertain times we face in the coming weeks and we all hope that things will return to normal as soon as possible.”

The Felixstowe Book Festival is scheduled to be held on June 26-28 at the Orwell Hotel and other venues around the town. The Children’s Book Festival is held on the same weekend at Felixstowe Library.

Full details of the Felixstowe Book Festival can be found on their website

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