Guest authors, workshops, writing competitions and more for the Birchington Literary Festival – The Isle Of Thanet News

Faye Beerling, Barbara Sturgeon, Stuart Heritage and Amber Butchart are among the festival guests

Children’s Book Day projects in Birchington have ‘morphed’ into the village’s first literary festival.

Birchington Together CIC is hosting the event which will feature a number of writers, broadcasters and journalists as well as book signings, workshops and a competition in memory of Broadstairs author Jane Wenham Jones.

Featured guests include Amber Butchart, researcher and presenter of the BBC’s A Stitch in Time and historical fashion expert on The Great British Sewing Bee; award-winning journalist, author and host of the “You’re Booked” podcast, Daisy Buchanan and writer Iris Goldsztajn.

Birchington author Faye Beerling will talk about her children’s books, including ‘RAF 100’, officially celebrating 100 years of the RAF, and former BBC broadcaster Barbara Sturgeon and Stuart Heritage, author, columnist for the Guardian and comedy writer, also make an appearance.

Geraldine Watson, who is one of the organisers, said: ‘Birchington Together was throwing ideas around and we thought so many children had missed out during the school lockdown and the integration and reading that we thought a children’s book festival would be a good idea. Then we thought about adding some adult writers and it turned into this huge event.

“We spoke to broadcasters, writers and journalists and people really wanted to get involved. I tried to keep him based in Kent, but we also have people from London, Nottingham, County Durham.

“The authors haven’t been able to really get their name out there for the past two years, so this is a good way for them to engage with their target audience.”

Photo Bill Harris

One of the authors who had been keen to get involved was Broadstairs writer, journalist and speaker Jane Wenham Jones (pictured).

Jane passed away last August and to honor her memory, the festival is holding a short story competition.

Geraldine said: “At first I contacted Jane and she was helping me, so I really wanted to bring her into the festival.”

The competition, sponsored by The Margate Bookshop, invites writers to submit stories between 750 and 1,500 words with the opening line: “The sky was as blue as her hair.”

The deadline is March 31. Find more details at

The Birchington Literary Festival will take place from April 30 to May 1 with 5 venues throughout the village, including a large marquee on Dog Acre and another in the garden of The Seaview pub. Sessions will run hourly, each lasting around 40-50 minutes, with the first being at noon and the last at 3pm.

Learn more from Birchington Together CIC on facebook Where through the website

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