Berwick Literary Festival Blog

This book will change your life…

By Jackie Kaines / 28th August 2017

Books really do have the power to change lives and influence the reader in both subtle and startling ways. They also help us set down markers in time: what were you reading thirty-one years ago? Thirty-one years ago, I was engrossed in Olivia Manning’s The Balkan and Levant Trilogies, collectively known as The Fortunes of…

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Our 2017 Festival – Something for Everybody!

By Mike Fraser / 6th August 2017

This year’s Berwick Literary Festival (19th to 22nd October) promises to provide something for everybody! For adults there will be a wide range of stimulating and entertaining participants, including Ian McMillan, an award-winning Radio and TV Poet; a debut novelist, Polly Clark, praised by literary superstar Margaret Atwood; a Rock Guitarist, Dave Randall, who is…

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I am a Literary Festival Addict!

By Mike Fraser / 29th July 2017

Hello my name is Mike – I am a book festival addict! There I have finally admitted it. Please be gentle with me. Glasgow in the spring, Melrose in June, Edinburgh in August, Durham in the autumn… Being a proud Scot, the Edinburgh Book Festival is for me the jewel in the crown – 720…

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David Starkey

David Starkey: 800 years ago we were more mature

By Dawn Tindle / 23rd October 2016

Last night, the Guildhall was packed out with people eager to hear from eminent historian, David Starkey. Dr Starkey was in town to deliver his talk ‘1216: The Real Magna Carta’. Since his 2015 TV series and book Magna Carta: The Truth Behind the Charter, Starkey has set out his thoughts on the document that sealed the…

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10 things I learned at Berwick Literary Festival

By Dawn Tindle / 23rd October 2016

I spent the weekend blogging at the Berwick Literary Festival. I spoke to other readers, met some fascinating authors and heard some brilliant talks about being a writer. Looking back on my two-day adventure, there are some key things I will take with me and use to help me develop as a reader and writer.…

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power

A life of privilege, power, politics and passion

By Jackie Kaines / 22nd October 2016

As any decent creative writing teacher will tell you, conflict is at the heart of storytelling, and it’s the contradictions within a character that make them believable. Mike Fraser’s talk, based on his meticulously researched study: ‘Sir Charles Trevelyan of Wallington: Northumberland’s Upper-Class Socialist MP’ (A Blue Button Publication), was the story of a man…

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Start Writing

How to start writing

By Dawn Tindle / 22nd October 2016

Richard Yeo’s session this morning provided some essential tips for those of us who want to write but don’t know where to start. By working through four simple questions – why, when, what and how? – Richard offered a useful structure for getting your ideas on paper. Why? Richard was very clear on why anyone…

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Margaret Skea

Margaret Skea: 3,000 words was my comfort zone

By Dawn Tindle / 22nd October 2016

Margaret Skea gave a brilliant talk today on writing short stories – and how short-form writers need not fear the novel. “Short stories are my first love”, Margaret pronounced at the opening of her talk. I’ve heard this a lot from various authors and it always sounds somewhat confessional, like they’re sharing a dark secret.…

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LJ Ross

Writing tips from LJ Ross

By Dawn Tindle / 22nd October 2016

LJ Ross – or Louise – as we know her, was in Berwick today to talk about the importance of place in writing. She has written four novels – Holy Island, Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield and Angel – that have distinctive North East landscapes as their settings. But how does she build those landscapes into her writing, and what does…

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helen mackinven

Jelly babies from Helen MacKinven

By Dawn Tindle / 21st October 2016

As a book blogger, I attend quite a number of meet the author events. I’ve sat in the front row in a Waterstones basement, in the upper tier of a packed theatre and been squashed into a heaving festival tent to listen to the authors I love. But, I’ve never quite had the experience I…

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