03/04/2013 23:58 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Chipping Norton Literary Festival

Immerse yourself in words at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival

Chipping Norton Literary Festival takes place 18-21 April 2013 and features more than 50 author talks, discussion panels and workshops.

Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes, scientist Richard Dawkins, crime writers Val McDermid, Peter James and Mark Billingham, and former Home Secretary Jack Straw are just some of the well known names headlining this year's programme, as well as star of Strictly star Fern Britton.

It's a stellar line-up, and if you're more of a writer than a reader, the festival has something for you too.

There are two types of workshop this year: 'ChipLitBits', hour-long taster sessions which let you pack as much into your day as possible, or 'ChipLitChunks, in-depth masterclasses with more one-to-one attention.

Topics include: structuring your story, writing for television, poetry, social media, crime writing and much more.

If you fancy a walk on the wild side, then take a look at writing hot scenes - who knows, you could pen the next 50 Shades...

New for 2013 is the festival's children's programme, which kicks off on Friday 19 April with bestselling authors across the region's schools.

Throughout the weekend families can choose from the inimitable seven-foot-tall Philip 'Beardy' Ardagh, creator of The Grunts; sock-puppetry; comic book monster creation and many more free events.

"This year we decided to extend the Children's programme and we are really excited to welcome some brilliantly funny and dynamic authors to our events," says Merilyn Davies, Children's Programme Coordinator.

"We want to take the magic of books to as many children as possible and ensure that the festival is a family fun day out for all."

Encouraging children's literacy is a key objective for Chipping Norton Literary Festival, and it's why this year the festival has support from children's author John Dougherty, who joins Prue Leith, Sue Cook and Mark Billingham as a festival patron.

"Reading widely for pleasure is one of the most important indicators of a child's future success in life," John says.

"Festivals - through outreach work with schools and their dedicated children's programme - can play a huge part in helping a child to discover and secure this most important of skills".

The festival has adopted Storybook Dads as their charity partner for this year.

Based at Dartmoor prison, Storybook Dads provides prisoner-managed recording and editing facilities which enable the inmates to record bed-time stories to their children. A donation from the literary festival will help to extend these facilities into more prisons, ensuring even more families are brought together by reading.

Chipping Norton Literary Festival, sponsored by EFG Private Bank, runs from 18 - 21 April 2013.

Tickets to festival events are available online from or from 01608 642350. Follow @ChipLitFest on Twitter or find them on Facebook at

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