There’s a stunning line-up for this year’s ChipLitFest including a happy return for founder turned best-selling author Clare Mackintosh.
Other big name novelists include Ian Rankin and Joanna Trollope, while TV favourites Nadiya Hussain, Tony Robinson and Nicolas Crane, and radio broadcasters Rev Richard Coles and Jenni Murray will talk about their recent books.
And continuing the eclectic mix, Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell will be visiting and Bryony Gordon, whose Mad Girl is currently topping the best-seller charts.
This year’s festival runs from April 27-30 and in a special preview event at Chippy Theatre, comedy genius Armando Iannucci will be selecting his Desert Island books on April 6, interviewed by BBC arts editor Will Gompertz.
Festival director Jenny Dee said: “We’re expecting several sell-outs. It’s fantastic that these popular and familiar writers want to keep coming to our festival.
“But there are also loads of other events for people of all ages throughout the town, including hands-on events for bloggers, writers and cartoonists.
“We also have our first screenwriter, Sarah Phelps, who’s made our Christmas in recent years with her Agatha Christie adaptations for TV.”
The children’s programme features award-winning authors such as Tamsyn Murray and David Solomons and covers the age range from toddlers to teens.
Jenny added: “There’s a lively programme of events in the town but we also take authors out to local schools, and the festival enables us to do important outreach work with small groups of disadvantaged youngsters in special schools, which is particularly rewarding.”
The festival also has a reputation for introducing new authors Joanna Cannon made her debut last year at the regular New Voices session. Her book The Trouble with Goats and Sheep has been riding high in the charts for months.
It was not so long ago Clare Mackintosh went from former Thames Valley Police officer and festival founder to new author with psychological thriller I Let You Go.
It turned into a runaway global smash hit and catapulted her onto the A-list of crime writers.
Her second novel I See You was released last year and that will be the focus of her talk when she returns to familiar turf.
For more on the line-up, go to: www.chiplitfest.com