The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival has appointed Annie Ashworth as artistic director.
Ashworth, who founded the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival in 2008, will continue in her role as director and trustee of Stratford, whilst taking on the new position in Budleigh. Ashworth takes up the role immediately, succeeding Sarah-Jane Roberts.
Ashworth said: “The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is a fantastic event showcasing incredible talent in one of Devon’s most beautiful seaside towns. It’s a real honour to have been appointed the role of artistic director and I can’t wait to get started.
“I am incredibly impressed by the authors that have featured at Budleigh and I hope I can bring some of the authors I have programmed in the past to future festivals, as I think there are many similarities between Stratford and Budleigh. I am also hoping to introduce some new events to the programme which have worked well in Stratford, 2017 is set to be a very exciting year. I was brought up near the sea and live miles from it now, so to be working in Budleigh is an utter treat!”
Ashworth has had a varied career, working in both journalism and copywriting. As well as her involvement in the Stratford Literary Festival, she is also a published author under the name of Annie Sanders.
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival's chairman, Malcolm Elliott, said: “We’re very excited to see what Annie’s got up her sleeve for next year’s festival. Her extensive experience in running the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival will be highly valuable to the team and will hopefully bring a new range of authors that will prove popular with our ever-growing audience. Annie joins us at a very exciting time as the festival continues to go from strength to strength. Sarah-Jane has done a tremendous job over the past four years and we look forward to working with Annie to build on this success.”
The 2016 Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival line-up featured a diverse range of novelists, poets, biographers, philosophers, historians and even a mathematician.
Popular events included a talk from Marcus du Sautoy, the University of Oxford’s Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a performance from Honorary President Dame Hilary Mantel DBE. Other speakers included former Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, author Mark Haddon, poet Jackie Kay and British philosopher A C Grayling.
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