Author behind new BBC drama Apple Tree Yard among big name guests at Deepings Literary Festival

Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard
Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard

A host of big names will be speaking at the first Deepings Literary Festival in April including the author behind new BBC drama Apple Tree Yard and former MP Gyles Brandreth.

The three day festival, which is being supported by South Kesteven District Council, will run from April 28 to 30.

Louise Doughty, the author of best selling novel Apple Tree Yard, will be giving a conversation and creative workshop on Friday, April 28, at Deepings Library and such is her popularity it is already a sell-out.

Her novel has been adapted into a four-part psychological thriller starring actors Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin which launched on BBC1 on Sunday to critical acclaim.

Festival organiser and district councillor Judy Stevens said the author illustrates the quality of their first ever literary event.

She said: “It’s clearly a coup for us and I am delighted that the BBC series will really open people’s eyes to the calibre of speakers at our festival.

“It’s a big lift for everyone right from the outset.

“It is our first literary festival, and, of course, there are many others across the country, but we have some really good names. We sincerely hope that we can do this again in two years’ time.”

Those people booked into Louise Doughty’s writing workshop will all receive a signed copy of one of her works.

She has written eight novels, one work of non fiction, and five radio plays, plus has been a judge for the Man Booker prize and the Costa Novel Award.

One of the highlights of the festival will be a black tie gala dinner on Saturday, April 29, hosted by writer, broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth. Tickets booked before the end of February will benefit from an early bird price of £40, instead of £45.

Coun Stevens said another highlight would be a visit by previous Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, who will be one of a range of authors visiting local primary schools and the Deepings School on the first day of the festival.

Other speakers will include acclaimed British novelist and historian Alison Weir, who will be speaking at St Guthlac’s Church on the Saturday, about Fotheringhay and the fall of Mary Queen of Scots; and women’s author Erica James, who will be hosting a lunch at Lilli’s Tearoom, also on the Saturday. Crime writer Alison Bruce will be at the Iron Horse Ranch on the Friday and the Travelling Talesman will be giving a family friendly show on the Saturday at the Priory Church in Deeping St James.

Coun Stevens said that celebrating all the library had achieved was at the forefront of her mind when coming up with the idea for a literary festival. Next week, the library marks its first birthday as a community library after a three-year fight by campaigners to keep it open. It is now the busiest community library in Lincolnshire.

But she said that the whole of the Deepings was involved and there would be something for all bookworms – young and old.

She added: “The Deepings is really a very vibrant community and the literary festival will showcase that. We felt that with the library campaign, a literary festival would be something people would appreciate - and that’s definitely coming across in ticket sales. There really is something for everyone.”

To book tickets for events visit www.deepingsliteraryfestival.co.uk. Tickets are also on sale at the box office at Stamford Arts Centre.