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Fairford's literary festival has a new look

Everything about Fairford Festival Book Fest is new - even the name, as it was formerly known as the Fairford Festival of Fiction.

For 2023, there are more top authors than ever before - nine authors in total!

Two children's authors and illustrators, Jo Empson and Steve Antony, will be reading stories and holding creative workshops for children on Friday, June 9 - not in Fairford Library as in previous years - but in the Literary Marquee at Fairford Cricket Club.

Then, on Saturday, June 10, at 9.45am, in the Literary Marquee, the young Reading Ambassadors from Fairford Primary School will open the main Book Fest that will feature seven more exciting authors scheduled to appear throughout the day until 6.30pm.

Book lovers will be able to buy all-day tickets to pop in and out whenever they want to hear Anne de Courcy, Sandra Howard and Michael McCarthy talk about their books, their careers as authors, ask them questions and then buy their books and get them personally signed.

Also included in the all-day ticket is Paul Martin, TV presenter of the new Channel 5 The Great Auction Showdown, author and antiques expert, who will be bringing some 'props' along for the audience to see, feel and discuss.

Following on from last year's successful interview with Clover Stroud (The Red of My Blood), three of the authors will be interviewed this year. Emma Reeves will be interviewed by Isla Beadnell - a Year 10 media student from Farmor's School and will answer questions about her adaptation of well-known books for screen and stage including the latest CBBC series The Beaker Girls.

Jessica Fellowes, the niece of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, is an expert on Downton Abbey herself, has written books about Downton as well as a series of books under The Mitford Murders title. She will be interviewed on stage and will also be encouraging the audience to ask her questions.

Finally, comedian and travel writer Dom Joly will be interviewed about his books by Steve Knibbs, the BBC TV Points West Gloucestershire reporter.

Also new for this year is a well-stocked book shop! Provided and run by Fairford's online book store, the PBShop, this is a smaller marquee right next door to the large literary marquee and will have many of the books written by the Book Fest authors available to buy at discounted prices and get them signed by the authors.

The book shop is open all day to non-ticket holders and ticket holders, who will be able to buy a book either before or after they have seen their favourite author on stage.

The only thing that hasn't changed is that this literary event, sponsored once more by DCO Systems Limited, is a brilliant opportunity for book lovers to see, hear and meet the authors.

Both Friday and Saturday events are being held in the Literary Marquee in the grounds of Fairford Cricket Club, Park Street, Fairford GL7 4JJ.

Tickets are now on sale for both days - Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10 - from 7a Coffee Shop, Fairford Primary School or online at Eventbrite (search for Fairford Festival Book Fest).

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