Welsh Talent and Debut Authors Take Centre Stage at Penarth Literary Festival

The Penarth Literary Festival returns this weekend with nine days of talks, signings, workshops and seminars guaranteed to delight book lovers of all ages. The Festival is organised by independent bookshop Griffin Books and events will take place in venues across Penarth from Saturday 15 to Sunday 23 June.

This year’s festival has a distinctly Welsh flavour, with themes of Welsh identity and culture running through the programme. Champion of Welsh music and BBC Radio 6 Music presenter HUW STEPHENS will be talking to fellow broadcaster and his former BBC Radio 1 co-host BETHAN ELFYN about his new book Wales: 100 Records.

Art historian CERI THOMAS and independent curator DAVID MOORE will be in conversation with renowned art lecturer STELLA GRACE LYONS about key figures in Welsh art. And rising literary stars JOSHUA JONES (shortlisted for 2024 Dylan Thomas Prize), ELIZABETH O’CONNOR (named in The Guardian’s 10 new novelists to watch this year list) and ALEX MCCARTHY (shortlisted for 2024 Wales Book of the Year) will be discussing the importance of place in their debut publications, their ties to Wales and the significance of literary awards in the festival’s first Fiction Showcase.

Penarth resident STEPHANIE MATTHEWS will launch her new book at the festival. The Drummond Affair, which is co-authored by Stephanie and writer Daniel Smith, investigates the brutal murder of senior British government advisor Sir Jack Drummond and his family in Provence, 1952.

Personal history and life experiences are at the forefront of non-fiction events with acclaimed novelist CLARE MACKINTOSH and with former BBC correspondent and podcaster RORY CELLAN-JONES. Real life turns fiction as ISABELLE SCHULER introduces her impressive historical debut, Lady MacBethad, which reimagines the life of Gruoch – the Scottish queen who inspired one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters.

Events for children and young people will take place in The Makerspace in Penarth Library. There is a waiting list for the sold-out workshops with Children’s Laureate Wales ALEX WHARTON and novelist SARAH TODD TAYLOR. However, tickets are still available for the free Storytime session with KAEL TUDOR, who will be introducing his hilarious new book One Goose, Two Moose.

Digital marketing expert HANNAH ISTED will deliver a practical seminar designed to help small business owners grow their online audience and their business. And the festival will close in suitably poetic style with the popular Poetry Showcase, this year hosted by poet and novelist KATHERINE STANSFIELD and featuring CLARE E. POTTER, TAZ RAHMAN and RHIAN ELIZABETH

Griffin Books owner, Mel Griffin, said: “The Penarth Literary Festival coincides with Independent Bookshop Week, which is celebrated across the UK, so it’s always a special time for us as a shop. Offering a platform for emerging writers and talent from Wales alongside household names is something we feel passionately about so we’re especially excited about year’s programme. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces at our events and hopefully welcoming new people to the town too who are discovering the festival for the first time.” 

To find out more about individual events and to book tickets, visit: www.griffinbooksevents.co.uk – or speak to a member of staff in store: Griffin Books, 9A Windsor Road, Penarth.