The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival have announced their new President, Cathy Rentzenbrink. Rentzenbrink, author of How to Feel Better, Dear Reader and The Last Act of Love, will take over the role this September. She will succeed the late Dame Hilary Mantel, who passed away in September 2022. 

Festival chair, Sue Briggs, said: “Not only is Cathy a superb writer, she is highly respected in the book industry and will, I am sure, continue to fly the flag for the festival – something Hilary did with such enthusiasm.”

Rentzenbrink added: “It is a joy and privilege to be the new president of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival. Along with many writers, I have always loved going there because it is a beautiful town, the team are welcoming and friendly, and the audiences are delightful and appreciative.

“I never met Hilary Mantel, but I am hardly ever not thinking about her or rereading her or looking at her words I have on the wall next to my desk, or using her influence on me to cheer up my writing students who despair of finding a good mentor. ‘Don’t forget,’ I say, ‘your best writing mentor might never know you exist’. I am keen to tell them that this is the magic of literature, that if you feel words were written for you then they were, that a book is a portal between writer and reader, that you the reader are extremely welcome to see yourself in the pages. So, it is a huge honour to succeed Hilary as president and I will give my all to support the festival to continue to do its excellent work as a beacon of bookish delight for both writers and readers.”

This year’s festival will take place between 20th - 24th September. 

Founded in 2008 by the late Susan Ward, the yearly festival attracts critically acclaimed authors, poets, and playwrights to our corner of Devon. Catering to all ages, including subsidised tickets for young people and an array of free events & activities, the festival is not one to be missed.

2023’s festival will include an event for Debut authors in honour of Dame Hilary Mantel and her legacy. This year’s full-line is yet to be announced. 

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