Weldon tops line-up of Marlborough LitFest’s writing giants

This Is Wiltshire: Fay Weldon has been named as this year's Golding Speaker Fay Weldon has been named as this year's Golding Speaker

Celebrated author and playwright Fay Weldon heads an illustrious list of writers on the programme for this year’s Marlborough LitFest.

The programme for the festival, to be held over the weekend of September 27 to 29, was released on Monday.

Ms Weldon, who started out as an advertising copywriter and was responsible for the Egg Marketing Board’s “go to work on an egg” campaign in the 1960s, will be discussing her latest novel, Long Live the King, the second in her Love and Inheritance trilogy.

She is this year’s Golding Speaker, named in honour of local author William Golding.

Awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to literature, Ms Weldon has been writing fiction for 50 years, producing 34 novels, numerous TV dramas (including the pilot episode of Upstairs Down-stairs), several radio plays, five stage plays and five collections of short stories.

She currently teaches creative writing at Brunel University. Ms Weldon will be opening the LitFest at 7.30pm on Friday, September 27 at the town hall.

Another renowned writer who is coming this year is Claire Tomalin, one of the UK’s most respected literary biographers, whose work includes books on Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys and Thomas Hardy.

Her most recent book, Charles Dickens – A Life, vividly portrays the energy, complexity and contradictions of the 19th-century novelist, as well as historical detail of the time he was writing. Ms Tomalin was literary editor of the New Statesman and The Sunday Times and is married to novelist and playwright Michael Frayn, who appeared at the LitFest last year. She will be appearing at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 28 at the town hall in Marlborough.

Organisers are also delighted to welcome Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate, who has won many awards, including the Whitbread Prize. Ms Duffy will be closing the LitFest at 7.30pm on Sunday, September 29 at Marlborough College.

Catalogues and tickets are available from www.poundarts.org.uk, the LitFest website www.marlboroughlitfest.org or from the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough. The LitFest Café will be open all weekend in the town hall.

Founder patron Mavis Cheek said: “The LitFest puts the very best of writing first.

“We are thrilled with this year’s attendees and look forward to another successful year.”

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