BSLF Education Outreach

Youngsters learn first-hand the art of award-winning writing
14 July 2016

More than 1,000 young people at schools across Exeter, East and Mid Devon have learned first-hand about award-winning writing from writer Tanya Landman.

Tanya Landman, Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2016

Author of Buffalo Soldier and Apache, Carnegie Medal winning author Tanya Landman gave a series of talks and workshops to pupils from seven schools in the first of this year’s Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival educational events.

Her time working at Bristol Zoo, often dressed as a bear, and her experiences as an actor have all helped to shape her writing, said the author of Mondays Are Murder and Flotsam and Jetsam series for younger readers.

Tanya, who visited visited St Peter’s and Maynard in Exeter (which also hosted Exeter School pupils), Queen Elizabeth’s in Crediton, King’s School in Ottery St Mary, Exmouth Community College and Sidmouth College said: “It was wonderful to do events in Devon and the students and staff at all of the schools were just lovely.”

Year Eight pupils at Queen Elizabeth’s in Crediton were impressed with the workshop. Grace Scott-McDowell said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to speak to a real author”. Fellow pupil Ed Howard added: “It was interesting to see where her inspiration came from and hear about how she started out in writing.”

Kathy Hamilton, Head of English at St Peter’s School in Exeter said: “We were delighted to have such a prestigious author in the school who engaged the children with her stories of working at Bristol Zoo and her time as an actress. We are extremely grateful to Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival for providing us with the opportunity.”

David Marston of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival education outreach team helped organise the event and said he was thrilled with the response. David said: “Sometimes it’s difficult for children to get out of school to go to our festival events so we decided to take some events to the schools.

He continued: “This is the latest in a series of school events over the past few years, where we have worked with acclaimed authors such as Philip Reeve, Daljit Nagra and Jackie Kay. Each year we have been impressed with the response from the students and continue to encourage young readers and writers to explore new work.”

Other events aimed at younger readers in the 2016 programme include a literary quiz between primary schools in East Devon, a Poetry Slam for teenagers from six different secondary schools and a Bursary scheme to encourage writers aged 16-25.

For more information or to book tickets visit Tickets can also be purchased in person or over the phone from The Tourist Information Centre: 01395 445275. Tickets go on sale on 25th July.

For updates follow the festival on Twitter @BudLitFest or like the Facebook page

18 June 2015

The second Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival Young Writers’ Bursaries.

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is delighted to be able to offer two young people the chance to take their first major steps in their literary careers.

This follows on from the success of our first writing bursary in 2015 when Exmouth Community College Post 16 student Chloe Murrell won a place on the course – which she described as “wonderful”.

For 2016, we have two places secured on the prestigious and potentially life changing Starting To Write residential course offered by the internationally renowned Arvon Foundation at their Totleigh Barton centre in North Devon. Each place is worth £750.00. It runs from September 5-10, 2016.

The Arvon Foundation is a national arts-based charity which aims to encourage creative writing.

Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time has worked as a tutor for the organisation and says: “We know you’ll have an amazing experience, we don’t know what you’re going to take away from it, but we know that in many cases it’s going to be something absolutely wonderful”.

Impressive patrons of Arvon include the poets Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy, rock musician Pete Townsend and novelist and broadcaster Salman Rushdie.

We have two bursaries on offer:

Bursary One:
Open to Post 16 students at Exmouth Community College (you don’t need to be studying English or English Literature)

Bursary Two:
Open to Post 16 student up to the age of 25 resident or studying in East Devon or Exeter.

To apply, write a letter of no more than 500 words, explaining your interest in creative writing and saying how you hope to develop it.

We would love to hear from you!

Send your letter to:

Arvon Bursary
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival
10 Links Road
Budleigh Salterton

Or email:

We need to hear from you by the end of Friday May 27, 2016

Good Luck!

For information on Arvon visit and for more information on the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival visit

Arvon Foundation, Creative Writing

Chloe Murrell (Post-16) receiving her award from Arvon Foundation for the Creative Writing course she took.

11 June 2014

A DIFFERENT world was on offer to almost 70 young people from QE Community College when they took part in a special event organised by a Devon Literature Festival.

The Year 10 and Year 12 Literature students joined pupils from five other Devon schools (St Peter’s, St James and West Exe in Exeter along with Sidmouth and Exmouth) to hear the work of award winning poet Daljit Nagra.

The event, organised by the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival in 2014 and hosted by St Peter’s School in Exeter, showcased his latest work a re-working of the epic saga – The Retold Ramayana.

Daljit has just won acclaim for his modern version of the ancient stories of Rama – whose victory over the Lord of the Underworld is celebrated in the Hindu festival of light – Diwali.

The stories tell of wild monkey battles, tender love, jealousy, stoicism and crucially, the abduction of Rama’s wife, Sita, by the evil Raavana, Lord of the Underworld. Daljit’s story telling involved colourful animations, music and sound effects making it a unique event.

Pupils from QE Community College Crediton with GCSE poet Daljit Nagra

Pupils from QE Community College Crediton with GCSE poet Daljit Nagra – another event funded by BSLF.