Welcome message from Festival President, Dame Hilary Mantel

Dame Hilary Mantel

Dame Hilary Mantel

Once again it is my privilege to welcome readers and writers to our very special festival – special not just because of our glorious seaside setting, but also because of the ambition and reach of our programme.

We are a small town, but we have big ideas, and our audiences expect the best. Our festival committee works all year round to deliver it, and our untiring volunteers ensure a smooth and pleasant experience for our visitors. We are grateful to them and, as always, to our generous sponsors – we could not operate without them.

Our programme is a big team effort, and we are proud of what we can provide by way of controversy and cakes, sea breezes and laughter, coastal walks and keen debate.

Please relax and enjoy all our festival and our town has to offer.

With good wishes

Dame Hilary Mantel, DBE