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Devon: the Ways with Words literary festival comes to a close at Dartington Hall: novelist Alan Sillitoe talks about his life and work; Sun 3, 2pm, pounds 5.50; Penguin Modern Poets Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell read their work; Sun 3, 5pm, pounds 4.50. 01803 867311.

Aberdeen: Meet the Writer: novelist Janice Galloway reads at the Arts Centre, 33 King St; Tue 5, 7.30pm, free. 01224 635208.

London: Sir David Attenborough chairs a lecture by Stephen Jay Gould on Charles Darwin in the Central Hall, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, SW7; Wed 6, 7.30pm, pounds 15. All proceeds will go towards the upkeep of Charles Darwin's home and laboratory, Down House in Kent. 0171 938 8748

Jackie Kay leads a weekend poetry-writing course for women: Women's Book Club, 45 Poland St, W1; Sat 9 to Sun 10, 9.30am-5.30pm (Sat), 10.30am- 4.30pm (Sun), pounds 85. 0171 437 1019

Manchester: novelist Michael Bracewell talks to Melanie McGrath about her new book Motel Nirvana: Waterstone's, 91 Deansgate; Wed 6, 7pm, pounds 2. 0161 832 1992

Swansea: novelists Bernice Rubens and Beryl Bainbridge read and discuss their work at Ty Llen, Somerset Pl; Thur 7, 7.30pm, pounds 4/pounds 3. 01792 652211

Edinburgh: Iain Banks reads his new thriller Whit at James Thin, 57 George St; Fri 8, 6.30pm, free. 0131 225 4495