Sidmouth Literary Festival

Every year Sidmouth welcomes bibliophiles from all over the country to the town’s literature festival, a celebration of all things bookish with workshops, talks and of course, the chance to buy bestsellers and obscure titles alike. The festival has taken place every summer since 2015 after being founded by Wayne Winstone, owner of Winstone’s Books (of which there is a branch in the town), Di Bowerman, Jane Corey and many others who are both fans of books and work in the industry. 

Devon, and by extension, Sidmouth, has long inspired authors and poets with its beautiful scenery and fascinating history, making this region the best for hosting Literary Festivals. The world’s most famous crime writer, Agatha Christie is from the county and J R R Tolkein who has wowed generations with his Lord of the Rings books had a holiday home in Sidmouth, at which he wrote some of the story’s best loved passages. If that wasn’t enough of an indication of the region’s credentials, the Regency feel of the town is almost like stepping into a Jane Austen novel – perfect for a weekend talking about books!  

Sun, Sea, Books 

Sidmouth Literary Festival – Sun, Sea, Books is the must visit event for anyone who loves reading, writing or generally being creative. Each year, the festival brings big names in publishing to Sidmouth for two days of fascinating discussion.  

Taking place at venues all over the town including some of the grand Regency hotels, local churches, theatres and other iconic venues, you’re never too far away from a bookish activity when visiting Sidmouth in June. Previous attendees of the festival have included authors such as Adele Parks, Bryony Gordon and Terry Waite, with workshops and activities ranging from how to get published to where to find inspiration and motivation to write your own bestseller. The 2019 line-up included Sidmouth’s own author Jane Corry who was joined by Lesley Pearse, the multi best selling author and Ruth Ware.  

Activities that won’t break the bank 

While there are some aspects of the festival that carry a charge many of the events and workshops are free to attend – you can find out more about the most recent news and details about prices on the festival’s official website: 

Tickets for Sidmouth Literary Festival events are also available from Winstone’s book shop on Sidmouth High Street or online here, Sidmouth’s Tourist Information Centre on Ham Lane and Sidmouth Library which is on Blackmore Drive.  

For more information,  email or visit one of the above.  

Never too many books 

If you are a big fan of books, Sidmouth’s Literary Festival is the place to be this summer, but it isn’t the only bookish event you can enjoy. Nearby Budleigh Salterton also has an annual literature festival which has been running for over ten years. The Festival is supported by author Hilary Mantel who is the Honorary President and regularly appears at the festival to speak on panels and run workshops.  

Find out more information here