After months of planning behind the scenes, the first two day, ‘live’ Clevedon Literary Festival – ‘More than Words’, is set to launch on Friday 11th June with an inspiring, entertaining selection of events which include a range of author panel discussions, storytelling, comic book masterclasses, literary discussion, theatre, poetry, live music, an art exhibition, interpretations of music into synchronised swimming displays and the chance to explore some of the beautiful work of the Clevedon creative community! There’s even an opportunity to have a go at book binding! And there’s lots for the children! If you’re wondering about why ‘More than Words’, the event organisers wanted the Festival to go beyond books to include all forms of expression and appealing to as many as possible, children and adults alike. They have most certainly achieved that!
Organiser Carol Price is optimistic for success this June and in future years to come.
“We are so looking forward to the festival happening this year, we have really enjoyed putting together a programme which will have something for everyone and we hope the local community will come together and celebrate with us. This is intended to be the first of an annual event, so we welcome ideas and support for future festivals.”
It will be a fringe style affair with events happening at different venues across the town, notably the Theatre Shop, Curzon Cinema and Arts, Clevedon Bandstand, Princes Hall in the beautiful Sunhill House, the lawns of Sunhill House, Polodango in the town centre, Entoca at Murrays of Clevedon and Books on the Hill on Hill Road. I for one am so grateful to the backers for putting on such a wonderful event.
The venues are surrounded by the most beautiful independent shops, cafes and restaurants who are all looking forward to welcoming locals and visitors on the day. Many will be displaying poems written by local children and some are offering goody bags. There is also a colouring competition for children who are invited to colour or collage scenes from their favourite books. The winner will be announced on line on 11th June and will receive a £5 book voucher from Books on the Hill. You can download the competition template here: and then email your finished design to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a photo on social media and tag @clevedonliteraryfestival.
As part of the Festival this year, there will be twelve, family friendly, literary inspired clues for children and families to find and answer. These will be scattered around The Glebe which is the patch of land on the hillside next to St Andrew’s Church. In addition to these clues taking you across The Glebe, there will also be three creatures to find! Taking place from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 12th June, this free and fun trail will be available as an opportunity to enjoy a special little part of Clevedon in a lovely natural setting!
The first event that I’m going to attend on the Saturday is the synchronised swimming which takes place at 10.00am at Clevedon Marine Lake. The ladies taking part, whose ages range from 40’s to 70’s were given the music to create a routine just a couple of weeks ago. They are a group of novice syncro swimmers but seasoned wild swimmers who quite simply love the water, so their contribution to the Festival is very impressive.
Books on the Hill is the first shop I’ll be heading to on Saturday 12th. I can’t wait to check out the dyslexia friendly books that Alistair, the owner, will be launching under his publishing venture, BOTH Press.
Alistair who is dyslexic himself is passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or have any difficulty with reading, to access the joy of good fiction. He was very aware that whilst there are great books on the market for children with dyslexia, there was nothing for adults and he decided to do something about it!
Collaborating with design work/ book layout with Chrissy Harrison, a local author and member of North Bristol Writers Group. (Twitter @NBristolWriters), Alistair has raised funds to produce eight wonderful dyslexia friendly books on cream paper rather than white; a sans-serif font, or a special dyslexic friendly one and extended spaces between paragraphs, sentences or words.
Alistair’s dream is to have a range of adult, dyslexic friendly books available in every local bookshop and library. What a difference that would make to the one in ten people in the UK who have some degree of dyslexia.
If you’d like to know more about these dyslexia friendly books, please check out my dedicated blogpost here: if you’d like to know more about Alistair and Books on the Hill, he featured as a Humans of Clevedon story which is quite inspirational, check it out here:
I’ll then be wending my way to Polodango where Paul, an artist himself will be hosting a Doris Hatt Exhibition between 10.00am and 4.00pm. The exhibition at the Museum of Somerset in 2019, “A Life in Colour: the Art of Doris Hatt” was my first introduction to Doris’ and I’m really looking forward to this second opportunity to enjoy her wonderful work. It’s been so good to see Doris enjoying the wider recognition that she so richly deserves during these last few years.
Doris (1890 – 1969) was a Somerset pioneer of British modernism. She exhibited her vibrant works over five decades, beginning in 1918 when she exhibited two paintings in London. She went on to contribute to many exhibitions including the Royal Academy, the Leicester and Redfern Galleries, Jack Bilbo’s Modern Art Gallery, and Foyles Gallery. In the 1950s and 1960s she had a series of solo shows, including Minerva Gallery, Bath, and Osiris Gallery, Oxford, and a major retrospective at RWA, Bristol, 1960. Michael Wright Fine Art, Bristol held a retrospective in 1998.
Doris’s painting style developed over time as she absorbed the major influences of 20th-century modernism, including cubism, purism, abstraction and the works of Cézanne, Picasso, Braque, Dufy and Léger. Her work includes portraiture, still lifes and landscapes.
One of the co-authors of “Doris Hatt – Revolutionary Artist” produced at the time of the exhibiton, will be available to answer questions about her life and work and you can purchase a copy of the book at the Clevedon Community Bookshop Bookshop Co-operative, Books On The Hill and Tony Malone studio. If you’d like to learn more about Doris before the day, then check out my blogpost here:
Meanwhile at 10.00am over at Murrays Entoca, you will find author Tim Ewins talking about his debut novel ‘We Are Animals’ a quirky, heart-warming tale of lost love, unlikely friendships and the certainty of fate (or lack thereof).
Tim grew up in Clevedon and now lives in Bristol with his wife, son and dog. He studied Performing Arts and English Literature at De Montefort University in Leicseter.
When he left university he divided his time between stand-up comedy and also working as a financial planner. Stand-up was his passion and he worked with comedians such as Rod Gilbert and Jason Manford at times in their careers and took part in events like the On Blackheath Festival. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to support him, so it was necessary to have a day job alongside it.
His job as a financial planner initially came from temporary work in London whilst he was looking for a job in social work, but he found he had the aptitude for it and decided to stay in the financial services industry.
A few years ago, Tim made the decision to stop touring and settle down which gave him the time to focus on his writing properly and he began work on We Are Animals.
We are Animals was published in e-book first format by Eye Lightning Books’ new digital imprint, Lightning ‘Bolts’. There’s a great interview with Tim and the Yorkshire Times here:
There are two more literary events which look excellent but both are on line. Writing For Different Ages takes place at 11.30am and although there is no cost, you do need to pre-book.
The Festival starts on Friday evening with The Ballad Seller Luke Wright performing at 7.30pm at the Theatre Shop
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.
Luke Wright is a spit and sawdust wordsmith. His poems are inventive and engaging, documenting 21st century British life with wit, humanity and panache. He performs his work with snarl and spit and he’s toured his wares around the world for 20 years.
“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
If you’d like to see more of what’s on at the Theatre Shop this Summer, check out my blogpost here:
There is also an on line event at the Curzon which starts at 8.00pm and features a specially commissioned, live-stream, podcast with Josie Long and Robin Ince of Bookshambles fame. Bookshambles is part of The Cosmic Shambles Network who create and curate podcasts, digital content, documentaries and both in person and online live events for people with curious minds; people who want to find out more about our universe through science, art, history, philosophy, music and literature; people who believe ignorance is not bliss.
Using books as a jumping off point, Josie and Robin host a different special guest each week and dive into interesting, passionate and shambolic discussions about…….well, everything and anything.
The special podcast for the Festival sees them joined by Michael Spicer whose satirical “Room Next Door” sketches have made him one of the internet’s most popular comedians, mapping a trail through our somewhat chaotic political world. Check out his website here:
Book Shambles is free to listen to on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, Acast and RSS but, like everything, there is a cost associated with producing the show. If you like what you hear and think you’d like to hear more, check them out here:
Aside from what is taking place in the venues already mentioned, there is so much happening on Saturday, I think the best way to present it to you is by venue, starting at Princes Hall……….
………....with a masterclass from 10.00am to 12.00pm with comic artist extraordinaire Kev F Sutherland. This is a very special event for the little scribblers, the budding artists and the children who like to tell stories with images.
Kev created Captain Clevedon, our own local superhero in 1994 and has been writing and drawing comics for everyone from Beano to Marvel, Doctor Who to Viz, Red Dwarf to The Dandy for some years now.
He published three graphic novels, Findlay Macbeth, The Prince Of Denmark Street, and The Midsummer Night’s Dream Team in 2020. If you like your Shakespeare relocated to the 1970s, with twists to the tale, you’ll like his books.
I had the pleasure of attending one of Kev’s classes with a group of young people at Books on the Hill and they loved it!
Also in Prince’s Hall from 12.00pm to 4.00pm is popular children’s writer Ade Bowen. Ade loves creating worlds for readers to explore. His relaxed storytelling writing style mixes humour and amusing asides to create stories which are as much fun to read as an adult, as they are to listen to as a child.
“I am a children’s entertainer and a stand-up comedian, and I wanted this to very much be a part of my writing.”
Ade’s session will be based on his book ‘The Astounding Adventures of Mr Bowns’. There will be lots of wonderful activities for the children, a bit of magic, and a special discount if you buy ‘The Astounding Adventures of Mr Bowns’ book and the activity book together. Happy days! If you’d like to meet Ade before the event and learn about Mr Bowns, then check out this video clip.
Ade will be in the excellent company of Tina M Edwards an internationally published writer of poetry and flash fiction. Tina is editor of The Beach Hut, an online writing platform that encourages writing for wellbeing, particularly words that have been inspired by the coast and nature. Check out her website here:
Tina has loved reading and words in all forms from an early age (a love encouraged by her late grandfather who was also a writer and poet). She eventually began writing seriously, many moons after the year of her birth. Her poetry, flash fiction and short stories are now published in the U.K. and America.
Tina is on Facebook @tmedwardswriter and Twitter @bumbleandmoss
Will be great to have the opportunty to talk to Tina about her latest novel “The Secret of Creek Cottage” published in July 2020.
Tina’s latest novel follows the lives of two families, almost a century apart. 1916: While the Great War rages through Europe, in the small coastal village of Trunrowan, Cornwall, life for Loveday Nance could not be more different. With her husband Will away fighting, the reality of having a longed-for child of her own seems to be slipping away with each day that passes. Present-day: Kitty and Ben Gridley decide to leave their busy lives in Bristol hoping for a quieter way of life in the pretty village of Trunrowan, Cornwall. Little do they realise the impact that moving into Creek Cottage will have on them. When Kitty begins to experience strange things happening at the cottage, she is certain there is a secret harboured within its stone walls.
Chrissy Harrison, the writer who has collaborated with Alistair Sims on the publication of the dyslexia friendly books will also be in Princes Hall.
Chrissy writes supernatural thrillers and other spec genre fiction – books about monsters, magic, action and adventure, and fragile human characters trying to muddle through as best they can. They make mistakes and bad choices sometimes, and they have to learn to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and turn to their friends and loved ones for help and support.
Her debut novel, “Mime”, was released June 2020. Working on this book was an epic ten year journey for Chrissy, on learning how to be a writer. Although Mime was her first project, it has routinely been on the back burner while she worked on other projects. You can discover the published ones in the books section of her website here: and her time traveller, romance novelette “The Star Coin Prophecy” is available as a free download for subscribers here:
The final author who will be in Princes Hall is debut novelist Gillian Best. Gillian is a writer, swimmer and seaside enthusiast. Originally from Canada, she has been living in the UK for the best part of twelve years. Arriving in Falmouth to study for her Masters in Professional Writing, she later went on to receive her PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Glasgow. Gillian currently lives, works and swims in Bristol.
Gillian was chosen by CBC Books as one of 17 Writers to Watch in 2017. She was shortlisted for Wasafiri’s New Writing Prize (2015), long-listed for the WriteIdea Short Story Prize (2014), was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition (short story, 2013), and won the Bronwen Wallace Award for Short Fiction (2003).
The Last Wave chronicles the life of Martha Roberts and her obsession with swimming the English Channel, which culminates in nine successful (and one failed) 34-kilometre swims across the body of water to France. Unfortunately, Martha’s affinity for the Channel trumps all other aspects of her life, including her marriage to the temperamental John and being a mother to their children, Harriet and Iain.
Local artist/curator and poet Eloise Dunwell is in Princes Hall at the same time 12.00pm to 4.00pm presenting a “Poetry Apothecary” – a combination of artist books, bookmarks, prints, bespoke home-made scents to delight the senses, and collage materials for DIY journaling.
Eloise is a hugely talented, interesting character. She studied for her undergraduate degree in Fine Art followed by an MA in Curating at the University of the West of England in Bristol. She’s been involved in a whole range of exciting projects and exhibitions across a wide range of arts – film, photography, painting, poetry, inkwork, art through the use of “found” materials and objects, journaling and probably a lot more that I haven’t yet discovered. Check out Eloise’s website here: and see for yourself. Eloise is on Instagram @lulibirdart
Also in Prince’s Hall are the bookbinders from Clevedon Community Bookshop Cooperative. This very talented team repair books in the bindery, undertaking commissions for customers and restoring books that are worth saving, ready for sale in the shop. Members of the team, who belong to the Society of Bookbinders, will help you to learn the art of bookbinding. You will acquire valuable practical skills and be involved in a fascinating craft. It requires good manual dexterity, close attention to detail and patience.
This is an activity that I have experience of having supported two work experience students from Clevedon School at the bookshop. We spent a day at the bindery, they loved it, I loved it and we still have the notebooks we made. Cannot recommend it enough!
They will be joined by The Clevedon Community Press, run by the Bookshop Co-operative’s Publishing Press Team, a small independent press set up to help towards fulfilling the aim of enhancing the literary and literacy profile of Clevedon and the surriounding area.
The team process proposals they receive from authors from the initial enquiry through to approval of the final manuscript and the production of the book.
To date, they have published Writing on the Lake: an anthology of poetry and prose; Clevedon Cuttings: history, houses and a couple of characters by Jane Lilly; Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool, a fully illustrated history written by John Birkinshaw of Portishead Pool Community Trust; In the Footsteps of Poets Peter Gibbs; Farms, Folk and Famous People: Histories of Clevedon Jane Lilly with a memoir by Derek B. Lilly
Some of our local creatives will also be there, at time of writing I know of Hilary “Mudlarking” Martin who, inspired by coastal living uses driftwood and washed up wonders to create the most beautiful cottages, lighthouses and boats. If you want to check out her work before the event she’s on Instagram @hilary3998 and FB https://www.facebook.com/hilarymudlark3
The Cake Engineer Tuoyo (Tu-or-your) who is a Clevedon based baker with a passion for baking and a love of sugar modelling. Tuoyo has a degree in Electronic Engineering and an Engineering Masters and these are the skillset, which she taps into when she designs her cakes; they are also the inspiration behind her business name. Tuoyo creates top quality, delicious, bespoke cakes for any occasion. Her buttercream is legendary! Tuoyo is also on Instagram @thecakeengineerclevedon and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheCakeEngineerClevedon
Sophie Moran is a resin artist who creates the most beautiful art inspired by nature, often using real flowers and seeds. She creates jewellery, coasters, keyrings, bowls, trinket dishes and candle holders. Check out some of the lovely items she produces on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sophiemoran44
Another very interesting creative at Prince’s Hall is the very talented Alex Bridger of Baked with Style Alex works from home and makes beautiful, bold, polymer clay jewellery in all kinds of lovely shapes and sizes but all very quirky and jazzy. I particularly love her geometric shaped earrings. Alex started this venture off as a bit of an experiment but got such a positive reaction from friends and family she decided to turn it into a business.
And Great Aunt Jayne (Jayne Bale) who only recently started writing childrens’ books. Jayne wanted to make sure that each book has an important message to children, but also included bright colourful illustrations. She has to date published two Ladybird Loses Her Spots & Lara’s Birthday Party.
There will also be a number of local authors in the beautiful grounds of Sunhill Gardens, the first one being……
………… Julian Hight who will present a talk on his book, “Britain’s Ancient Forest – Legacy and Lore” from 11.00am to 11.45am
Julian trained as a graphic designer and musician but his interest in trees started at a young age as he was lucky enough to grow up next to woodland which had a profound effect on him.
Between 2007 and 2011 he travelled Britain photographing and gathering history and legend of Britain’s ancient trees for his first book for National Trust; Britain’s Tree Story.
Julian then travelled extensively to capture 100 magnificent trees in 39 countries for his second book; World Tree Story, a lavishly illustrated 256 page hardback book documenting 100 magnificent trees in 39 countries. A celebration of the world’s oldest, largest and most famous trees (and sometimes not so famous), detailing their story, while also telling the human tale.
Julian’s latest book Britain’s Ancient Forest is packed with photographs old and new, complemented by specially written forest music recorded through the seasons. It tells the 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. The book starts in Scotland’s ancient Caledonian woods with its granny pines and finishes at the oldest oak in Cornwall. Listen to Julian talking about it briefly below.
Tickets can be pre-booked here: or you can purchase them on the day.
Chris Sperring MBE – “Rewilding – a perspective in a time of climate change” follows on from 12.00pm to 12.45pm.
Chris Sperring is a Conservation Officer working for Hawk and Owl Trust, a national charity, who create and manage nesting, roosting and feeding habits for owls and birds of prey. They also carry out a lot of practical research to further understand their conservation and behaviour. Learn more about them here:
Chris also presents and broadcasts on television and radio and lectures on a wide range of subjects. He is an avid wildlife photographer and writes articles for magazines and newspapers. In his spare time he studies and conserves even more wildlife and writes music as a guitarist for the environment/wildlife rock band Raptor. He also enjoys a good debate! Check out this video of Chris in action with The Somerset Barn Owl Project Ringing, part of the Somerset Community Barn Owl Project run between Hawk and Owl Trust and Somerset Wildlife Trust. It’s gorgeous.
Although this event is free, tickets do have to be pre=booked which you can do here:
Between 2.00pm and 3:00pm there is a Writing 4 Dyslexia – Author Panel hosted by Pip Jones and Alistair Sims.
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 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. As I mentioned previously this weekend sees the launch of Alistair’s dyslexia friendly books for adults. You can book for this event here:
Another exciting author panel, Fantasy Fringe, follows on in Sunhill Gardens from 3.30pm to 4.30pm with Juliet E. McKenna, Anna Smith Spark and John Llewellyn Probert
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
Anna Smith Spark lives in London and loves grimdark, epic fantasy and historical military fiction. Anna has a BA in Classics, an MA in history and a PhD in English Literature. She has previously been published in the Fortean Times and the poetry website http://www.greatworks.org.uk.
Anna’s favourite authors and key influences are R. Scott Bakker, Steve Erikson, M. John Harrison, Ursula Le Guin, Mary Stewart and Mary Renault. She spent several years as an obsessive D&D player. She can often be spotted at Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions wearing very unusual shoes!
Anne is the author of the critically acclaimed, multi-award shortlisted Empires of Dust, grimdark fantasy series The Court of Broken Knives, The Tower of Living and Dying and The House of Sacrifice 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.
Tickets are £5 and you can pre-book here here:
There are two more literary events which look excellent but both are on line. Writing For Different Ages takes place at 11.30am and although there is no cost, you do need to pre-book.
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. Emma is on the left.
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. Claire is on the right.
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. Stephanie is on the left.
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.
The second, Everything About Being A Writer starts at 1.00pm
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 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.
Imogen, 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.
The Theatre Shop is hosting two more events on the Saturday, the first at 2.00pm is Dylan’s Invisible Friend Wild Words suitable for 5+
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.
The second is a Poetry Open Mic night from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. All you have to do is sit back and relax and let our local poets entertain and amuse you with a rich variety of engaging, wonderful words.
It’s not too late to get involved, so If you would like to take part as a performer, please email email@example.com with name, address and telephone number. Priority will be given to local poets.
Which brings us to the newly formed Clevedon Community Bandstand @Bandstands4LiveMusic, (FB) an organisation set up by two friends Maureen Ni Fiann and Cinzia Apreda to bring vibrant multi-cultural music to our lovely Victorian Bandstand.
Maureen and Cinzia have organised a wonderful programme of music from 12.00pm to 8.00pm, which is preceded by a Chandra Yoga session from 10.30am to 11.30am, run by Jo, a Clevedon based environmental campaigner and yoga teacher.
Jo believes yoga is about creating space, reconnecting & finding balance. Jo started teaching by the Marine Lake in Clevedon last summer and has carried on teaching via zoom during the pandemic. She loves to teach outside, in nature and by the sea to create an opportunity for people to step away from their screens and take some time for themselves. Her classes are open to everyone – just bring yourself, a mat and prepare to unwind.
If you’d like to find out more about Jo and her sessions, check her out on Facebook here:
To book onto the class on June 12th – places are limited (max 8 people) please contact Jo directly on firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space.
The first group to appear are the wonderful Rock Project who are on from 12.00pm to 12.45pm.
The Rock Project is a rock music school for 7-11 and 12-18 year olds teaching them guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals. The sessions run for two hours every week including an hour of professional tuition along with an hour of group jamming and performance to put together what they have learnt in their lesson. At the end of every year, a rock concert is held to give the students the opportunity to play in front of their friends and family. The Rock Project can provide instruments at no extra cost and in North Somerset there are sessions running in Nailsea, Clevedon, Portishead and Ashton. If you’d like to explore this further, check out the video below or just phone Andy Collins on 07824 995219 or message him here: Check out the video clip below to fnd out a little bit more.
Jerry Turner one of Clevedon’s best known musicians, takes to the stage at 1.00pm. Jerry is guitarist and co songwriter with the Clevedon based band The Model Folk. In the last couple of years, Jerry has also been involved playing bass for a new band called Conspiracy of Chaplains and has returned to writing more for solo performances; he has also started recording an album of new material written during the last year
Jerry started at the Fleece and Firkin in 1993, moved to London for University in 1998 and quickly fell in to an open mic scene. During his four years in London, Jerry wrote with other people for the first time, recorded in a proper studio and played quite a few gigs. He returned to Clevedon in 2001 discovered there was a folk night at The Royal Oak that had been going for a few years and decided to join in. In 2003 began a decade long involvement with a band formed in the Oak inventively titled The Oakies.
In 2011 Jerry started a small folk based band with violinist Liz Tedbury. After many shows, a name change or two, a line-up change or two, The Model Folk came in to being. The Model Folk have carved a name for themselves in the folk festival world, becoming regulars at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival in Dorset and gathering a following from all around the Wiltshire and Somerset area. To date they have released one E.P. and two albums, All of which can be ordered from the band’s website here:
Jerry is also on Facebook @saucernaught and Twitter @Jerryturner262 He will be playing his solo set at the Festival. Here’s a taster to whet your appetite.
From 2.00pm to 2.45pm you will be able to enjoy the powerful, haunting melodies of Rosalind Moreno-Parra complimented by Rob Vasey on guitar and Carola Hengstenberg on violin.
Rosalind is an English-born Spanish singer whose mother is from Madrid. With her band, she brings a passionate fusion of Ladino, Latino, Tango and Spanish folk through both original songs and covers from Hispanic singers around the world.
Rosalind is also one of the UK’s most experienced Voiceover artists. With a background in acting and television production, she has over fifteen years professional Voiceover experience. She has voiced everything from documentaries and links for: BBC Earth & Wildvision; BBC Natural History Unit; Children’s programmes for Granada/CBBC/Hope Orchard Animation and been the voice of hundreds of National advertising campaigns.
Hounds of Lounge take to the stage between 3.00pm and 4.00pm
In 2002, with their band ILYA, Joanna, Nick signed to Virgin Records and Chrysalis Publishing. Their debut album They Died For Beauty was released to massive critical acclaim. Ilya songs have been used worldwide in advertising campaigns with Revlon and Casheral and in film and TV. Joanna and Nick have since made 8 albums all available through their bandcamp here: and their website here: They also release songs monthly through Patreon which you can check out here:
A video, starring Martin Freeman, was made for their flagship song Bellissimo.
For the Clevedon Literary Festival, it will be their favourite cover songs that range from the 1930’s, through to the present day, that Joanna and Nick will be performing. From Peggy Lee to Led Zeppelin and Howling Wolf to Kylie Minogue … you can expect a very eclectic and distinctive twist on the classics!
Performing between 4.15pm and 5.00pm are Rosie & the Tricycle
Rosie & the Tricycle are an up and coming Glastonbury band in their mid-twenties. First showing their chops at the King Arthur grow room, they have gained a small but devoted audience. Drummer, Sean Norgrove; bassist, James Spender; guitarist, Joe Mills, and singer Rosie Whitten have spent the last year preparing new songs for a Summer run of gigs around the South West. Their single ‘Jack Of All Trades’ is available on Spotify and their follow up ‘Black and White’ is in demo-form on Facebook. Also to play the Abbey Extravaganza this year, the Tricycle’s unique fusion of singer-songwriter, soul, flamenco and rock is moving forward.
Followed by the Surfing Djangos from 5.15pm to 5.35pm. Whilst I’ve at least heard of the other musicians and had the pleasure of seeing some of them, I have never actually heard of this group so I’m really looking forward to this. They describe themselves as ‘………a ramshackle collection of musicians who practise on the shore of the estuary, sometimes getting their feet wet. Come and shake your stuff to the raucous tones of this uplifting band.’
Plucks Fizz follow on from 5.50pm to 6.40pm
Hailing from the Land of Bluegrass Make Believe, somewhere between Clevedon and Bath, Spike, Robbie, Beryl and Faye bring you sweet three part harmonies, driving banjo and some proper rip-roaring solos. Traditional Bluegrass without the racy costume changes, Plucks Fizz is a newly formed quartet of high calibre professional musicians with over 100 years of international gigging between them. Banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle are expertly played by Leon Hunt, Andy Nowak, Camilla Johns and Clare Mactaggart respectively; this dynamic ensemble is not to be missed.
And last but by no means least from 7.00pm to 8.00pm, the wonderful Batch Gueye amazing musician, prize winning dancer and vocal chanting master extraordinaire.
Batch is a Bristol-based Senegalese singer who performs in the Senegalese language Wolof. Don’t think for one minute that this will be a barrier to your enjoyment because I promise you it won’t be; he has the most beautiful, magical, soulful voice.
Batch is a West African Griot (pronounced gree-oh) from an ancient lineage and a traditional singer of the Baye Fall, a sect that is most easily identifiable by their dreadlocked hair, bright patchwork clothes, spiritual amulets, and well-known tenet of hard work
The Griot are oral historians, who for many generations have been entertaining and educating people, spreading news and informing people of current affairs. Like rappers, they also make up songs as they go to share current events, gossip, political commentary and satire.
Batch’s songs are about life experiences: about travel, immigration, places he has lived in and people he met and is grateful to. His songs also talk about feelings such as love and jealousy combined with life wisdom, teaching you to be good to yourself and respect those around you to listen, to trust and to have faith in life.
And that brings me to the end of this blogpost about what promises to be a fabulous Clevedon Literary Festival, hopefully the first of many to come.
If you’d like a copy of the beautiful map and trail, which features in the banner of this post and was produced by the very talented Emily Charlotte Moran for Discover Clevedon you can download it here: