Wales’ literary stars will gather this weekend (21 and 22 October) for the fourth Gŵyl Lyfrau Aberaeron Book Festival.
The free bilingual event at Aberaeron Memorial Hall includes a rolling programme of author readings, book launches, discussion panels and a book fair.
The 2023 National Eisteddfod Prose Medal winner Meleri Wyn James will make the opening address, Teifi Valley Coroner author Alis Hawkins leads an English language Crime Cymru panel with Louise Mumford and Sarah Ward, and there is Welsh language crime writing from Alun Davies and Myfanwy Alexander.
Pobol y Cwm scriptwriter Geraint Lewis presents a world premiere of a new short drama, Rhywbeth yn y Dŵr/Something in the Water, to be read in English on Saturday and Welsh on Sunday.
Wales Book of the Year author Caryl Lewis brings her latest insights, Crow Face Doll Face writer Carly Holmes joins a panel from Welsh women’s press Honno, Delyth Badder discusses ghosts in Welsh folklore on a Writing Spirit panel and Kiran Sidhu joins a Nature of Nature Writing panel with John Gilbey and Jasmine Donahaye.
The Garden City Movement and the life of Ebenezer Howard is explored by Francis Knight, Cardis author Dylan Iowerth will be quizzed on his characters by Welsh learners’ book club Clwb Darllan Dyffryn Arth, Fishguard artist Christine Kinsey shares memories of Chapter Arts and a pattering of poets includes Mari Ellis Dunning, Karen Gemma Brewer, Dave Urwin and Kathy Miles.
Joint organiser Niki Brewer, of Aberaeron’s independent bookshop Gwisgo Bookworm, said: “The ethos of the festival is to celebrate and promote the writing, writers and publishers of west Wales, in both the Welsh and English languages.
“There is such a wealth of talent here. We have around 35 authors involved and thanks to their generous help, entry to the festival is entirely free.”
For aspiring and developing writers there are writing workshops run by leading authors covering fiction, memoir, poetry and writing in Welsh, plus a series of one to one meet the publisher sessions for those with a book idea or seeking to work in publishing.
Places can be booked via the festival page on the Gwisgo Bookworm website or in the shop on Alban Square.
“This year’s festival kicks off on Thursday with a poetry and music night at the Black Lion Hotel,” says Niki.
“Headliners include Samantha Wynne Rhydderch, Robert Minhinnick, Daniel Laws and Jackie Biggs but there will also be open mic slots for anyone who fancies giving us a turn. Spaces are limited so contact the shop to book your spot.”