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A Writing Festival with a difference

Writing Festival focuses on the craft, inspiring writers to write.

A writing festival with a difference is taking place across several iconic Bournemouth town centre locations (including the beach) on Friday 21-Sunday 23 April 2023. Over 70 free and ticketed events and activities involving over 80 experienced writers and professionals, all designed to foster inspiration, networking and creativity. From creating credible characters to understanding publishing contracts, and from writing compelling dialogue to landing an agent, there is something for writers at every level from beginner to professional to hone their craft and get their work into the world.

The first Bournemouth Writing Festival is the brainchild of Dominic Wong and Ildiko SpinFisher, local authors keen to widen the scope of the traditional literary event to attract new and practising writers from all backgrounds and at all levels.

BAFTA-winning and nominated TV & film screenwriters, best-selling and award-winning authors, poets, journalists, publicists, writing coaches, editors, publishers and a media lawyer will share their advice and experiences in over 70 talks and panels.

The festival plays host to workshops for adults with additional needs and a panel to help under-represented people find their voice and tell their stories.

There are creative writing activities for children, including a workshop for teenagers and a free sculpture trail for families within Bournemouth Town Centre.

On Bournemouth Beach there will be Yoga for Writers to enable networking and to clear the mind, and “Writing on the Beach” with Richard & Judy winner Christine Aziz (with a giant washing line!) aims to find stimulus in the environment around you. A free Poetry Hunt showcases local talent whilst “genre breakfasts” will help local writers find their writing tribe.

Two literary walks will tour locations associated with famous authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson and Bill Bryson.

An Open Mic event on Saturday 22nd April throws the spotlight on 8 finalists chosen from entrants across the county, interspersed with a special drum performance and opera from local talent.

Music artist and performer Timo Peach will close the festival with an unmissable Keynote speech on Sunday evening about the future of words and how we as writers can change the world.

For children, as well as author readings and creative writing activities, author and performer Ali Sparkes will host a special charity event with an interactive reading of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. In aid of the Dorset Children’s Foundation, there will also be music from classical violinist Joan Martinez.

Even the venues will inspire inspiration - including the Print Rooms in the old Daily Echo building (where Bill Bryson worked), St Peter’s Church (where Mary Shelley is buried) and the 1930s art-deco Palace Court Theatre - recently purchased by Arts University Bournemouth.

Festival co-founder Dominic Wong said, “The festival line-up is incredibly strong and several events are already sold out. We’ve got experienced writers and those that support writers to get published to help and guide our local creative scene. If you are a complete beginner with a kernel of an idea for a book right through to someone who has already published, the programme is full of inspiration and tips to get writing.”

Festival co-founder Ildiko SpinFisher said, “We are over the moon with the response we have had from writers and professionals to be involved in our first festival. 30% of our attendees are from outside of Dorset so we look forward to welcoming writers and authors from near and far.”

The Bournemouth Writing Festival takes place on Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April 2023 in venues in Bournemouth Town Centre. Paid events start from £7. All events have a limited capacity so booking in advance is essential.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the festival website at

For press information, photos and interview requests, email Dominic at

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