Book festival hailed a number one success

: First prize winners with Alan Baker, Stephen Lloyd, Mayor Janet Coles and Book Fest Director Brigitte Sumner SUS-140306-101216001

: First prize winners with Alan Baker, Stephen Lloyd, Mayor Janet Coles and Book Fest Director Brigitte Sumner SUS-140306-101216001

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The third Eastbourne Book Fest saw a steady flow of book lovers and writers from all walks of life enjoying the various events around the town last weekend.

The Book Fest, a three day series of events, was opened by Stephen Lloyd, patron of the festival and sponsor of the MP’s cup for best children’s writing.

Among the events taking place was poetry reading by Julius Smit at the Dickens Tea Cottage and reading for children at Tennis in the Park in Gildredge Park.

Local crime writer Paul Howard, Professor Nicholas Royle and historian Ian Porter provided interesting and well visited talks at Tome Bookshop.

Local authors also had the opportunity to read at Little Chelsea Antiques Emporium and Eucalyptus and Paprika Tea House.

In addition, there were workshops on self publishing, book cover design, book making and fast fiction writing at the Towner Gallery.

The competition that is part of the annual Book Fest on the theme New and Different was attended by new mayor Janet Coles and patron of the Book Fest Stephen Lloyd.

First prize winners were Peter Wathen, Heather Flood, Rohan van Twest, Jill Church, James Thorne and John Hone.

The winner of the MP’s cup for children’s writing 2014 was nine-year-old Melissa Caddy of Pevensey and Westham School, with a highly commended runner up’s prize for four-year old Scarlet Macfarlane. Winning stories were read out by professional actor Alan Baker.

Eastbourne Book Fest started in 2012 when organisers held a one day event in Saffrons Sports under the title Eastbourne Writes to encourage and include the town in reading and writing and book illustration activities.

The event was attended by 50 people including poets, writers, artists and grew in popularity. Plans are already underway for 2015.