About Us…

Sidmouth Literary Festival (Sun, Sea and Books) was established in 2015.

The festival was the brainchild of Wayne Winstone, owner of Winstone's Books, Di BowermanJane Corry and many others. The first festival featured well known authors  such as Terry Waite and Helen Lederer visiting Sidmouth to take part in lectures, seminars and workshops. Book lovers wanted more and in 2016 we extended the programme to offer guidance on writing, as well as a range of authors talking about their work.

We have been growing year on and year out, with the support of our local community, and we are pleased with the success of our previous festivals.

The Sidmouth Literary Festival is back again for the fifth year! Our 2019 line-up features a range of literary speakers covering a variety of topics embodying the spirit of East Devon. Headlining this year is the acclaimed Ann Cleeves, whose books have always been popular amongst local residents. Her novels have been adapted into the popular television series Vera and Shetland.

Tim Pears revisits Sidmouth as his West Country Trilogy draws to a conclusion with The Redeemed. His knowledge of Devon shines through these novels, and we cannot wait to hear him talk about the local inspirations behind this series.

International bestselling author Lesley Pearse and thriller writer Ruth Ware is joined by Sidmouth’s own literary star, Jane Corry, to talk about the crossover between thriller and family drama that drives both of their writing.

For readers of non-fiction, we have bestselling historian Giles Milton and craftsman Alex Woodcock. Giles’ new book, D-Day: The Soldiers' Story, is particularly timely as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings on 6 th June. Alex will be talking about his work and wanderings across the South West. We’re thrilled to hear him discuss his time as resident stonemason at Exeter Cathedral at an especially timely moment for thinking about the conservation of great buildings such as Notre Dame.

If you haven’t yet bought a ticket for our How to Get Published event, then be sure to do so soon, as this popular event is likely to sell out.

We would like to thank Sidmouth Town Council and the Keith Owen Fund for support this year and to express our gratitude to the volunteers whose hard work makes this event possible once again.

If you would like to join us in future years, please do get in touch.

Events are £8, An Evening with Ann Cleeves is £10, and a day pass to all events on Saturday and the Tim Pears event on Sunday evening will be £35.

All events can be booked through here or in our partner shop, Winstone’s Independent Bookshop, at 10 High Street, Sidmouth. Feel free to phone for any help or further information on 01395 579969.