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Literary festival line-up 'best for quality, diversity'

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THIS year's line-up for the Guernsey Literary Festival is 'as good as we have ever had', according to organisers, with a number of this week's events already sold out.

The festival was due to get under way last night with award winners from the Guernsey International Poetry Competition putting on a showcase at Elizabeth College.

A five-day programme of events comes to an end on Sunday and festival director Claire Allen said they were excited by the response so far.

'We are trying to appeal to everyone, both in the community and in schools. We are trying to reach out to all ages and make it as inclusive as possible.'

Festival founder Catriona Stares said she was also delighted with the programme the festival team had put together.

'As well as having big-name authors, we also have musicians and sportsmen and we want it to appeal to everyone,' she said. 'Somebody said to me that this is the best line-up we have had for quality and perhaps also for diversity.'

Part of increasing that diversity is appealing more to teenagers – and Mrs Allen admitted they had not always managed that in the past.

'We want teenagers to take that leap and I feel we have authors who can bridge that gap,' she said.

These include Ella Berthoud, a bibliotherapist, and other authors geared at younger people.

'Ella prescribes books based on what your interests are and helping to tease that out of people,' she said.

The full schedule is available at www.guernseyliteraryfestival.com, where tickets can also be bought.

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