Tickets Now Live! Join The First Clevedon Literary Festival 11th & 12th June 2021

We are proud to announce that the Clevedon Literary Festival 2021 programme is now on sale.

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In 2020 a team from around Clevedon, had started to plan a literary festival for the town. By January, they had a programme of over 20 venues, guests lined up for June and an arts grant approved. As everyone cancelled and postponed their events around the world, so did they.  Fortunately, lots of the events could be able transferred into what became,  ‘Festival in the Clouds’ -a digital taster of some of the events while we all stayed at home.
For 2021, the team at Clevedon Literary Festival HQ have worked tirelessly to create a two day event that covers everything to do with written, spoken and sung word. With a theme of “More Than Words”, this year’s festival will include interpretations of music into synchronised swimming displays, live music, author panel discussions, comic book masterclasses and demonstrations from book binders.

Alistair Sims of Books On The Hill will also be launching his dyslexia friendly collection of books under his publishing venture, BOTH Press. With help from local writer Chrissey Harrison, he has raised a significant amount of money to produce 8 books  on cream paper, using Verdana font, with spacing that is easier for people with dyslexia to read. He told us,

One of the most satisfying thing of being a bookseller is helping children finding books they want, especially so when they were scared of reading due to their dyslexia. Since we started the project, Books on the Hill have had many adults customers with dyslexia come in shop asking for something accessible  to read. Now we can help!”

With the support of local businesses, the Festival hopes to draw locals and visitors to Clevedon to enjoy the bookshops, cafes, open parks and community spaces available. They are also collaborating with Plastic Free Clevedon to reduce their waste as much as possible, promoting digital communication rather than paper, and printing only what is needed to spread the word about their events. 

With a diverse, inclusive and contemporary programme of events, hosted by some of the biggest literary names in the South West, this is an event not to be missed! Click the links below to purchase or reserve your tickets to Clevedon’s first Literary Festival.

Click Here for the Full Programme.

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The Ballad Seller – Luke Wright

Friday 11th June 2021

7:30PM  Theatre Shop 

Tickets £15

Back in Georgian times we got our news from poetry. Before papers, broadcasts or the internet, ballad sellers would hawk their doggerel on street corners for a penny. Scandalous affairs, grisly crimes, and colourful characters were brought to life in rhyming verse long before the first tabloid was printed.

Now Luke Wright has rewritten the very best of these stories for the modern ear: take a trip through the Drury Lane gin shops with the Boxing Baroness; filch oysters by the dozen with Dando, the celebrated gormandiser; and escape the Bull Ring with Jemmy the Rockman. Expect scandal, excess, and beautiful flawed humanity.

“His performances rumble with rage, passion and humour. They are also peppered with brilliantly smart observations. You will leave his show brimming with energy, heart pounding and brain whirring.” Guardian 

Book Shambles with Robin Ince & Josie Long 


Friday 11th June 

7pm Online Live Stream  


Tickets £5

It began with Robin Ince’s Show and Tell, then it became Josie and Robin’s Utter Shambles, and now it is Book Shambles with Robin and Josie. But rest assured, everything is as shambolic as it ever was. Books will be our springboard into our ludicrous and always passionate conversations into literature, science, philosophy, comedy, politics and, well, everything and anything. This special podcast for More Than Words Literary Festival is going out live for your listening pleasure. Robin and Josie will be joined by Michael Spicer who’s satirical “Room Next Door” sketches have made him one of the internet’s most popular comedians, mapping a trail through the somewhat chaotic political world that you may have noticed has been chugging along quietly in the background in the last few years.

If you aren’t able to view the podcast on the day this recording will be available for two weeks after the broadcast.


Tim Ewins

Saturday 12th June 

10am Murray’s Entoca

Free Entry 

In the stunning surrounding’s of Murray’s Entoca on Hill Road, join Tim Ewins for a morning of literary discussion.

Tim has enjoyed an eight-year stand-up career alongside his accidental career in finance.

He has previously written for DNA Mumbai, had two short stories highly commended and published in Michael Terence Short Story Anthologies, and enjoyed a very brief acting stint (he’s in that film Bronson, somewhere in the background).

We Are Animals is his first novel which features a menagerie of creatures, each with its own story to tell. We Are Animals is a quirky, heart-warming tale of lost love, unlikely friendships and the certainty of fate (or lack thereof).


Dylan’s Invisible Friends – Wild Words 

Saturday 12th June

2:00PM The Theatre Shop 

Tickets £8

Dylan was in search of something, but he didn’t know what…  so he listened to the sea and before he knew it he had found a new invisible friend!

Join Wild Words in their latest family show that fuses the artistry of Dylan Thomas with echoes of Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Cohen, atmospheric Jazz and sea shanties, through the musicianship of Tim Hill (reeds), Martin Solomon (strings) alongside storyteller/ storywriter Michael Loader (horns).

Well-honed melodies, spontaneous mayhem, crazy characters and overtones of hoover drones all abound in a profound message about finding what you like doing and making your own special friend. 


Open Mic Night 

Saturday 12th June

6PM – 8PM The Theatre Shop 

Tickets £5 + complimentary drink 

Sit back and relax at our poetry open-mic. Let our local poets entertain and amuse you with a rich variety of engaging, wonderful words.  



Comic Book Masterclass With Kev Sutherland 

10am-12noon Princes Hall

Tickets £5

For the little scribblers, the budding artists and the kids who like to tell stories with images, this years Clevedon Literary Festival is hosting a masterclass by creator of Captain Clevedon, Kev Sutherland

Kev F Sutherland has been writing and drawing comics, from his studio in Clevedon, for nearly 30 years, working for everyone from Beano to Marvel Studios comics.
Way back in 1994 Kev created Captain Clevedon, our own local superhero and now appears in schools and art centres teaching his popular Comic Art Masterclasses.

Julian Hight – Writer 

11am-11:45am Sunhill Gardens 

Tickets £5

Julian Hight is a designer, photographer and musician. In his self-published book “World Tree Story”, Julian goes worldwide, collecting stories about important trees all over the world.

Just what were Britain’s forests, how did they develop and what remains of them? Attempting to answer these questions, Britain’s Ancient Forest presents an alternative scenario to the common held view that Britain was blanketed in dense woodland – and that a patchwork mosaic existed – not only thick woods, but open grazed wood-pasture, grass, heath, marsh and plain.

From the wildwood, through working woodlands and royal forests, enclosed deer parks and landscaped manorial estates to modern plantation forestry and rewilding, Britain’s Ancient Forest is the little told tale of an evolving landscape shaped by its wildlife, people and their relationship with trees – many of which survive as living links to Britain’s rich and ancient history.


Chris Sperring MBE – “Rewilding – a persepctive in a time of climate change”

12-12:30pm Sunhill Gardens 

Tickets Free (Pre-Booking required)

Chris Sperring is a professional wildlife Conservationist working for Hawk and Owl Trust, he also presents and broadcasts on TV and Radio. Lectures on a wide range of subjects. Is a wildlife Photographer, writes articles for magazines and newspapers. In his spare time he studies and conserves even more Wildlife, writes music as a guitarist for the environment/wildlife rock band Raptor. And always enjoys a good debate!


Writing 4 Dyslexia – Author Panel 

2pm-3pm Sunhill Gardens 

Tickets £5

Tickets are available for purchase on the day.

1 in 10 people have some form of dyslexia. Pip Jones and Alistair Sims will be discussing writing for dyslexia, both child and adult alike.

Books are available at:

Pip Jones spent her childhood gobbling up books and dreaming about being an author. At nineteen, she began a career in journalism, and in 2014, she published her first book.   Pip is most often found either writing, staring at the contents of the fridge, or herding her two children. She lives in London.
Pip will be discussing writing for children with dyslexia.

Alistair Sims  grew up in Clevedon, then went off to North Wales to achieve a PhD in history and archaeology before returning to start an independent bookshop with his family. He has run Books On The Hill for seven years and has and continues to be an advocate of literacy with children and adults, especially for those with dyslexia, which he too deals with every day. Recently Alistair has completed a successful Kickstarter(crowd funder) to publish dyslexic friendly books for adults, which will be launched at the literary festival.


Fantasy Fringe – Author Panel

3:30pm-4:30pm Sunhill Gardens 

Tickets £5 

Tickets available on the day.

Juliet E. McKenna is an award winning British fantasy author. Loving history, myth and other worlds since she first learned to read, she has written fifteen epic fantasy novels, from The Thief’s Gamble which began The Tales of Einarinn in 1999, to Defiant Peaks concluding The Hadrumal Crisis trilogy. Recently she had written Green man series, starting with Green Man’s Heir. She writes diverse shorter fiction, ranging from stories for themed anthologies such as Alien Artifacts and Fight Like A Girl through a handful of tales for Doctor Who, Torchwood and Warhammer 40k. Under the pen name J.M Alvery she has also written three crime novels set in ancient Greece.

Anna Smith Spark  is the author of the critically acclaimed, multi-award shortlisted Empires of Dust grimdark epic fantasy series The Court of Broken Knives, The Tower of Living and Dying and The House of Sacrifice (HarperVoyager UK / Orbit US) described as ‘game of literary thrones’ by the UK Sunday Times and ‘like early Moorcock and Le Guin’ by the UK Daily Mail.

John Llewellyn Probert was the winner of the 2013 British Fantasy Award for best novella with Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine. He won the Dracula Society’s Children of the Night Award for his first book, The Faculty of Terror, in 2006. Since then he has published fifteen volumes of horror fiction, including six short story collections. His non-fiction publications include a book on his favourite film, Theatre of Blood (Electric Dreamhouse) and he regularly writes about new movie releases at his online review site, House of Mortal Cinema. He lives in a gothic mansion in deepest Somerset with his wife, the author Thana Niveau. He doesn’t sleep much because there’s just too much scary fun to be had.


Everything About Being A Writer 

Saturday 12th June 1pm

Tickets Free (Pre-booking required)

Watch online at

Gareth L. Powell, A  critically acclaimed author, and Imogen Cooper,  a  world class editor  team up to discuss everything about being a writer. From the beginning  process of ideas, writing, editorial and to finding that agent or publisher.

Gareth L. Powell is an award-winning British science fiction author. He is best known for his Embers of War and Ack-Ack Macaque trilogies, but he has also written numerous short stories, novellas, and even turned his hand to screenwriting and comic scripts. Recently, Stampede Ventures and wiip have partnered to adapt his Embers of War novels for television, and he will act as Co-Executive Producer for the series.
His books have twice won the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award for Best Novel and have been finalists for the Locus, British Fantasy, and Seiun awards.

Books available at

Imogen Cooper, previously Editorial Director at Chicken House Publishing, started the Golden Egg Academy at her kitchen table in 2014 whilst working for Chicken House MD Barry Cunningham, the first publisher of Harry Potter. In 2015 Golden Egg became her main focus and since then she has helped over 70 children’s writers gain agents and/or publishing contracts.


Writing For Different Ages 

Saturday 12th June 11:30am

Tickets Free (pre-booking required)

Watch online at

Books available at

Five amazing and awards winning children authors, will be discussing their books , their inspiration and what is like writing for different ages.

Emma Carroll was a secondary school English teacher for many years. Secrets of a Sun King is Emma’s eighth novel; she has also written the highly-acclaimed Frost Hollow Hall, The Girl Who Walked on Air, In Darkling Wood, The Snow Sister, Strange Star and Letters from the Lighthouse. ‘The Somerset Tsunami’ was selected by indie booksellers as their ‘Book of the Month’, and was ‘The Times Children’s Book of the Week.

Claire Barker  was the Winner of the North Somerset teachers books awards ‘read aloud’ category 2019, as well as other awards. She graduated from Bath Spa University with a degree in English Literature and History. She studied illustration for a further two years and worked as a teaching assistant for several more. Claire used to live on narrowboats but now lives with her family on a small, untidy farm in deepest, darkest Devon. When she’s not busy writing or illustrating she spends her days wrestling sheep, battling through nettle patches and triumphantly catching rogue chickens.

Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, but now lives in Wales with her husband and two sons, surrounded by mountains, castles and coffee shops. She writes fun MG fantasy adventures and has published six so far, most recently the Dragon with a Chocolate Heart trilogy. She also writes wildly romantic adult historical fantasies, most recently the Harwood Spellbook series. She has had over forty short stories for adults and teens published in various magazines and anthologies.

Pip Jones spent her childhood gobbling up books and dreaming about being an author. At nineteen, she began a career in journalism, and in 2014, she published her first book. Pip is most often found either writing, staring at the contents of the fridge, or herding her two children. She lives in London.

Anthony John McGowan is an English author of books for children, teenagers and adults. He is the winner of the 2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal for Lark.
In addition to his 2020 win, he has been twice longlisted (for The Knife That Killed Me in 2008 and Brock in 2014) and once shortlisted (for Rook in 2018) for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and is the winner of the 2006 Booktrust Teenage Prize for Henry Tumour.

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