Posts Currently viewing the category: "Berwick Literary Festival Blog"

This year’s Berwick Literary Festival (19th to 22nd October) promises to provide something for everybody! For adults there will be a wide range of stimulating and entertaining participants, including Ian McMillan, an award-winning Radio and TV Poet; a debut novelist, Polly Clark, praised by literary superstar Margaret Atwood; a Rock Guitarist, Dave Randall…(Read More)

Hello my name is Mike – I am a book festival addict! There I have finally admitted it. Please be gentle with me. Glasgow in the spring, Melrose in June, Edinburgh in August, Durham in the autumn… Being a proud Scot, the Edinburgh Book Festival is for me the jewel in the crown – 720…(Read More)

David Starkey

Last night, the Guildhall was packed out with people eager to hear from eminent historian, David Starkey. Dr Starkey was in town to deliver his talk ‘1216: The Real Magna Carta’. Since his 2015 TV series and book Magna Carta: The Truth Behind the Charter, Starkey has set out his thoughts on the document that…(Read More)

I spent the weekend blogging at the Berwick Literary Festival. I spoke to other readers, met some fascinating authors and heard some brilliant talks about being a writer. Looking back on my two-day adventure, there are some key things I will take with me and use to help me develop as a reader and…(Read More)


As any decent creative writing teacher will tell you, conflict is at the heart of storytelling, and it’s the contradictions within a character that make them believable. Mike Fraser’s talk, based on his meticulously researched study: ‘Sir Charles Trevelyan of Wallington: Northumberland’s Upper-Class Socialist MP’ (A Blue Button Publication), was the…(Read More)

Start Writing

How to start writing


Richard Yeo’s session this morning provided some essential tips for those of us who want to write but don’t know where to start. By working through four simple questions – why, when, what and how? – Richard offered a useful structure for getting your ideas on paper. Why? Richard was very clear on why anyone…(Read More)

Margaret Skea

Margaret Skea gave a brilliant talk today on writing short stories – and how short-form writers need not fear the novel. “Short stories are my first love”, Margaret pronounced at the opening of her talk. I’ve heard this a lot from various authors and it always sounds somewhat confessional, like they’re sharing a…(Read More)

LJ Ross

LJ Ross – or Louise – as we know her, was in Berwick today to talk about the importance of place in writing. She has written four novels – Holy Island, Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield and Angel – that have distinctive North East landscapes as their settings. But how does she build those landscapes into her writing, and what does…(Read More)

helen mackinven

As a book blogger, I attend quite a number of meet the author events. I’ve sat in the front row in a Waterstones basement, in the upper tier of a packed theatre and been squashed into a heaving festival tent to listen to the authors I love. But, I’ve never quite had the…(Read More)

Alistair McCleery is Director of the Scottish Centre for the Book at Napier University in Edinburgh. He knows his stuff when it comes to the book industry and joined the Berwick Literary Festival to talk about the worth of writers – on a social, cultural and financial level. Getting paid Alistair started his session by…(Read More)