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The Independent Culture
If you haven't sampled the delights of Southwold in Suffolk yet, the perfect opportunity is this year's specially extended Ways With Words Sole Bay Literature Festival, which runs from 3 - 6 June.

For years, writers, artists and musicians have sought inspiration on this windswept coast. Over the course of this long weekend, Southwold, with its shingly strand and brightly coloured beach-huts, its lighthouse, quaint houses and unique atmosphere, forms the backdrop to a stimulating and enjoyable series of talks, featuring such eminent names as Malcolm Bradbury, Barbara Trapido, John Mortimer and Kate Adie.

The festival is sponsored by the Independent on Sunday, and by Adnams, whose characterful hotels and excellent beers undoubtedly help the festival go with an added swing.

Half-board accommodation for three nights in one of the Adnams Hotels, including four-course dinner and full English breakfast, plus entry to all literary events, costs from pounds 219 per person. Tickets are also available for individual events.

For the full programme, phone Ways With Words on 01803 867373 or e- mail:


Thursday 3 June

Esther Freud recently had the strange experience of seeing her childhood made into a film, with Kate Winslet playing her mother. Esther talks about family life and fiction. 5pm, pounds 6.50

John Mortimer discusses his new novel, The Sound of Trumpets, a comic look at New Labour. 6.15pm, pounds 6.50

Friday 4 June

Barbara Trapido and James Long talk about their different approaches to fiction.

10am, pounds 6.50

Kate Adie tells us about her dramatic working life.

5pm, pounds 6.50

Saturday 5 June

Malcolm Bradbury talks about his work as a scriptwriter on Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC and A Touch of Frost.

11.15am, pounds 6.50

Andrew Davies, celebrated for his racy TV literary adaptations, talks about his work on Vanity Fair, Pride and Prejudice and many others. 3.30pm, pounds 6.50

Julia Blackburn reads from her novel about a medieval pilgrimage, to musical accompaniment.

5pm, pounds 6.50