BOOK lovers are in for a treat later this month with the return of Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival.

The village's fourth celebration of the joy of reading will take place on Saturday, April 21.

The day-long programme, packed with bookish events and activities for adults and children, is set to take place at Hawkesbury Primary School.

From 10am until 5.30pm, there will be a series of talks and readings on a wide range of subjects, each by a panel of authors, many of them from the village itself, or surrounding area. Attendance is free, and no prior booking is required.

Festival founder and village author Debbie Young said: "Our Festival is genuinely available to all, and not dependent on the purchase of expensive tickets.

"I'd rather visitors saved their money to spend on signed copies of our authors' books, and enjoy our Alice-in-Wonderland-themed cafe, complete with home-made soups and cakes on bookish themes."

This year's festival will be officially opened by Caroline Sanderson, a Gloucestershire author who is also non-fiction editor of The Bookseller magazine.

Talks include Crime Writing - from Cosy to Chilling; Preserving Words; Six Ways to be a Writer; The Legacies of the First World War; Writing for Children, and Writing Your Passion.

The readings series will be based on the following themes: contemporary fiction, historical fiction, poetry, short stories and mystery/crime/thrillers, with the final session being a Poetry Please! event, to which the audience are invited to bring their favourite poem to share.

Two writing workshops - Mindful Writing and Writing Poetry - are open to adults and teens, and the children's Bookworm Tent will give younger visitors the opportunity to meet half a dozen children's authors and enjoy book-related activities all day long.

New for this year's event is the addition of a festival art exhibition, to be held in the Methodist Hall in Back Street from 11am until 4pm, featuring artwork by festival authors. This new event is being sponsored by the Hawkesbury Writers, a village group responsible for the Monument to Hawkesbury trilogy of social history books.

A full list of authors and other guest speakers is available on the festival website,, and includes a number of local authors Lucienne Boyce, author of The Bristol Suffragettes; John Holland, director of Stroud Short Stories event; novelist Ali Bacon; children's author Betty Salthouse; historian Simon Bendry; non-fiction author William Fairney; and Festival founder Debbie Young, whose Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series is set in a village inspired by Hawkesbury Upton.

For more information visit