WITH authors, poets, bloggers and young writers on show for the past two week’s, Ilminster’s latest literary festival has been declared ‘the most successful yet’.

There were 23 different events across nine days with a number selling out in advance, including MP Alan Johnson and BBC news correspondent Kate Adie.

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Linda Vijeh, one of the festival’s trustees, said: “When selecting speakers, we aim to find a balance of interests to attract as broad a cross-section of audiences as possible, whilst also ensuring that the wide array of venues within the area are able to benefit from the increased foot fall.

“If this year’s festival is anything to go by, with a total of 23 different events spread over 9 days, then this has been the most successful yet.”

She added that organisers have ‘learnt from our mistakes’.

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Cllr Vijeh added: “What has been considered the real highlight this year, has been the runaway success of the children’s poetry competition, with many local schools participating, and a total of 523 entries overall.

“The finals, held at Greenfylde School, were deemed to be of the highest standard so far.

“Likewise, the enormous number of entries for the children’s writing competition was seriously impressive.

“If through such events as the Literary Festival we are able to engage with, and encourage, youngsters to discover the joys of our rich language then its future will be secure.”

“Our Chairman for this year, Deryk Outram, and all of those whose valuable support has helped to make it such a success, having barely drawn breath are already planning for next year’s event.

“As always, we are keen for any willing volunteers to become involved, and are always on the lookout for potential speakers.”

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