Literary festival helps to broaden writers’ horizons

Wymondham Words Festival is launched in the town. John wood, Edward Parnell, George Szirtes, Moniza

Wymondham Words Festival is launched in the town. John wood, Edward Parnell, George Szirtes, Moniza Alvi Picture by: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A town's literary festival has come to a close, with organisers hailing its ability to bring some of the most renowned wordsmiths to rural Norfolk.

The Wymondham Words Festival has previously been very much a South Norfolk affair, giving writers from Wymondham and the surrounding area a chance to showcase their work and draw inspiration from their nearest literary neighbours.

But as the event entered its fifth year in 2014, co-director Moniza Alvi explained: 'As local writers we need to get to hear from each other but it is also important that we get to hear people from further afield. It helps with broadening the spectrum.'

As such highlights of this year's festival included acclaimed author Pascale Petit launching her most recent collection of sparkling poetry Fauverie and performing with poets Joanna Guthrie, Richard Lambert and Laura Scott.

'I was thrilled to be invited to read at Wymondham Words – I've heard fantastic things about this festival and Wymondham,' Ms Petit said.

That was followed by Meike Ziervogel - who read from her acclaimed debut novel Magda, featuring the life of Magda Geobbels, thw wife of Hitler's propaganda minister. - as well as reading from and talking about her new novel Clara's Daughter, a drama about the place of the elderly in family life published this month.

On Friday, Wendy French and Jane Kirwan spoke about their personal account of the health service by talking about their book Born in the NHS. The event ended with Robert Lloyd-Parry's one-man performance of M R James' A Warning to the Curious and Lost Hearts.

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Mr Parry, who appeared in BBC2's 2013 documentary Ghost Writer, terrifies audiences up and down the country with his performances of the author's works.

'It is great to have these things on your doorstep,' Mrs Alvi added.

'It helps that sense of community - we had the Wymondham Music Festival earlier this year and now we are adding to that.

'The idea is to make Wymondham a strong cultural centre. We enjoy welcoming people Wymondham and think it is such a lively town.'

Are you organising a community event in South Norfolk? Contact EDP community editor Andrew Papworth on 01379 651153 or email