First Freshwater Book Fair

The inaugural Freshwater Book Fair, celebrating the rich literary tradition of West Wight’s largest village, is to take place on the first full weekend in September.

The event will include live readings, a book sale, a publishing workshop for both established and aspiring authors, and a themed film night. The book fair will be hosted by Freshwater Parish Council, which has taken over the freehold of the village’s library from the Isle of Wight Council.

Authors connected with Freshwater include Alfred Tennyson, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, William Allingham, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf and Lynne Truss. The earliest known Freshwater author is Robert Hooke, who published Micrographia in 1665. West Wight is home to many authors and aspiring writers today, who frequently cite the area as an inspiration for their work, or simply as a great place to live and write.

The event will include the showing the film, the Bookshop, starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy; the launch of a new Write Club for authors at Freshwater Library, and a book sale at Freshwater Memorial Hall There will also be author readings at Freshwater Coffee House by children’s author, Kieran Larwood, and author and illustrator, Jules Marriner. Felicity Fair Thompson and guests will present their work for adult readers.

Parish Councillor, Daniel James, said: “If the first Freshwater Book Fair proves popular with local residents, Island authors and the book trade, it could become an annual event. Our aim is to provide a low-cost, accessible event that promotes both local writers and our amazing public library, offering something for people of all ages.”