Exeter Literary Festival 15th - 18th November

This weekend it's Exeter Literary Festival, beginning with the launch by Teresa Driscoll at Waterstones on Thursday 15th, up to the Wrap party at the Barnfield Theatre on Sunday 18th.

Exeter Writers are up to their ears in it, starting with our 
Write Hub event on Friday 16th, and
West Quarter Pop-Up Stories on Saturday 17th. 

Then Sunday 18th is packed with events at the Barnfield Theatre:

Postcard Stories with Cathie Hartigan at 11.30am,
The Business of Writing with Elizabeth Ducie at 12.30pm,
Writing from Legend with Su Bristow at 2.45pm,
How to get Published with Sophie Duffy, Margaret James and Cathie Hartigan at 3.45pm

and finally, our 
Banned Books Quiz, with Prohibition Cocktails 
in the Theatre Bar at 9pm.

There are many other events too, as well as book stalls featuring local authors in the foyer all day, so do stop by to say hello!

Many of the events are free, whilst others are ticketed for a small fee. Check out the programme; There's something for everybody!

Banned Books and Prohibition Cocktails!

Join Exeter Writers for the final event of the ExeLitFest, on Sunday 18th November at 9pm.

After a full day of events at the Barnfield Theatre, join us for the wrap party to celebrate the breadth and variety of writing showcased over the weekend.

Get into the prohibition spirit (20's dress optional), and take part in our banned books quiz!

The £10 ticket gives you entry to the wrap party, the quiz and a special ExeLitFest cocktail (with or without alcohol), or a pint of Speak Easy, the festival's featured ale.


The Crown and the Coffin: Betsy and Lilibet


London, 1926. Two baby girls are born just hours and miles apart. One you know as the Queen of England, but what of the other girl – the daughter of an undertaker named in her honour? Betsy Sunshine grows up surrounded by death in war-torn London, watching her community grieve for their loved ones whilst dealing with her own teenage troubles… namely her promiscuous sister Margie. As Betsy grows older we see how the country changes through her eyes, and along the way we discover the birth of a secret that threatens to tear her family apart.
Sophie Duffy's fourth novel with Legend Press was published last month. ‘Betsy and Lilibet’ (Sophie tells us), has been a long time coming. 

'The first idea came to me about five years ago when I was browsing at a vintage fair in the grounds of Killerton House in Devon. I came across a local candle maker who uses vintage jelly moulds and china. I bought a Coronation Mug filled with her homemade scented natural soy candles. And when I read from her business card that her surname was Sunshine, I asked if I could possibly borrow that name some time in the future and she kindly said yes. It also turned out that our daughters went to the same school. The stars aligned that day.
'I didn’t know then that I would be writing a novel about two Elizabeths but as the Queen approached ninety years of age, I felt drawn towards her story. And I wondered about another girl who might’ve been born on that same day, with the same name, and the path that she might’ve taken.'

'Betsy Sunshine is born into a family of undertakers, Sunshine & Sons. But there are no sons, just a troublesome younger sister, and that is how Betsy becomes the head of the family business, dutifully serving her community just as her namesake serves her country. Over the course of ninety years – oh, the births, marriages, deaths, war, terrorists and, of course, the coronation – the two Elizabeths will meet three times. And at the heart of the novel lies a secret that Betsy has kept in the shadows since 1947. As she approaches her ninetieth birthday, it is time that this secret is aired in the sunshine.

'I’m really proud of ‘Betsy and Lilibet’, delighted that it is finally in the bookshops, and hope you get the chance to read it.'


Told with wit and warmth, this is a gritty, truly British, saga; from war time childhood fortitude though to a lifetime of love, loss and laughter. Dive in and enjoy! Paul McVeigh

A charming and funny look at family, loyalty and love during the Queen’s reign. I think Her Majesty would approve. Cathy Bramley

So atmospheric you can almost smell the Brylcreem… Laurie Graham

Clever and charming, I loved this look at the complications of family life. Katie Fforde

Welcome to The Write Hub!

Did you know that Exeter has its own Literary Festival this year?

We'll be posting more on that soon, but first we would like to invite you to our free networking event on the afternoon of Friday 16th November.

If you're a reader, who'd like to meet local authors, or if you're a writer at any stage of your writing journey, please come and join us for an afternoon of tea, cake, writerly chat and a bit of fun!

For more information on the Exeter Literary Festival, and to see the full programme of events, go to www.exelitfest.com