First ever author fair set to put Yarmouth on literary map

PUBLISHED: 10:21 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 30 May 2017

David Merrifield with Lowestoft librarian Jo Wilde who are staging Yarmouth's first author fair. Photo: David Merrifield

David Merrifield with Lowestoft librarian Jo Wilde who are staging Yarmouth's first author fair. Photo: David Merrifield

David Merrifield

Despite being the inspiration for one of Dickens’ biggest blockbuster novels Great Yarmouth has had a lacklustre literary career in the years since.

But a local author is trying to spread the word about the wealth of published talent in the area by staging the town’s first ever author fair.

David Merrifield, a writer of ‘speculative fiction’ has so far signed up some nine authors from across Norfolk for the event at Christchurch in King Street on June 17.

It means book lovers can meet writers and learn about their titles as well as buy them.

Mr Merrifield said it was also an opportunity for wordsmiths to come together and discuss their experiences.

Genres being showcased span horror, sci-fi, historical fiction, mystery thrillers, as well as non-fiction travelogues and local history books.

And while some of the writers were promoting their first ever published work others had a library of titles under their belts.

Among those to have confirmed their attendance are Bob Goddard from Aylsham who writes sci-fi and adventure travel books, local history author Gareth Davies who has written about the suspension bridge disaster and 19th century entertainers and David T Procter who writes historical crime novels and children’s books.

However Mr Merrifield said he would like to see more Yarmouth writers taking part and urged those he had been unable to contact to come forward.

He said: “We have an author fair in Lowestoft, I have been to one in Norwich, and one is starting up in Beccles so Yarmouth ought to have something because it is a little lacking on the literary side.

“Hopefully it is something that will grow and will be bigger next year.”

Internationally-known author Louis de Bernieres is unable to open the fair because he is away but has donated two signed copies of his books in a show of support.

There will also be a raffle to win a summer hamper and premier tickets for two at Great Yarmouth Races as well as many other prizes.

Doors open at 10am and there will be an official opening by Yarmouth mayor Kerry Robinson Payne.

The Christchurch coffee bar will be open for most of the day with the fair closing at 5pm.

Contact Mr Merrifield on 01502 733993 or 07979 738915.

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