Best-selling author Raynor Winn headlines Weston Lit Fest

Raynor Winn, million-copy international best-seller and prize-winning author of three Sunday Times bestsellers -‘The Salt Path’, ‘The Wild Silence’ and ‘Landlines’ – is to headline the Weston Lit Festival, taking place in the seaside town this Autumn (5 – 8 October).

Presented by Super Culture and produced in partnership with Weston-super-Mare Town Council and The Write Box, the Lit Fest, programmed around the theme ‘Words on the Edge: Bookish adventures across land, sea and identity’, features a host of nationally-renowned names alongside acclaimed local authors and poets. 

Fiona Matthews, creative director at Super Culture, said: “Weston Lit Fest bursts onto the landscape with a fresh programme of story-related events and activities that includes walks, rowing boats and literary encounters with swimming and the British seaside. 

“Land and sea permeate Raynor Winn’s phenomenal books of thriving against the odds on the British coast path and we are delighted to welcome her to Weston to talk about her latest best-seller ‘Landlines’. 

“Whether you are interested in fiction, non-fiction, poetry or illustration, or you are looking for food for thought and perhaps a platform for your own creative voice, the Festival line-up offers plenty to surprise and inspire you.” 

Commenting as a member of Weston-super-Mare Town Council, Cllr Catherine Gibbons said: “Our coastal landscape provides the perfect backdrop for the Lit Fest, which not only celebrates local landmarks and community but also takes you on a literary journey far and wide. Offering something for all ages, the event promises to be a real page-turner!”

The four day event is packed with experiences for everyone, including talks, readings, book signings, family workshops, poetry and performance – from free drop-in sessions to ticketed, pay-what-you-decide events at venues throughout the town.

For more programme details and to book tickets, visit

There is also the chance to see the current ‘Myths & Monsters’ exhibition at Weston Museum, featuring over 70 original artworks from some of our best loved children’s stories, by 17 celebrated children’s book illustrators including Axel Scheffler (‘The Gruffalo’) 


Sunday’s Festival finale takes place at the Grand Pier, where you can join a brilliant line-up of best-selling authors – including Raynor Winn, Madeleine Bunting and Jenny Landreth – in conversation throughout the day. 

Raynor Winn, whose novel ‘The Salt Path’ has spent ninety weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten since its publication, will be interviewed by Dr Lesel Dawson, Associate Professor in Literature and Culture at the University of Bristol.

They’ll be focusing on Raynor’s latest best-seller, ‘Landlines’ which unforgettably maps a remarkable and healing walking journey of 1000 miles from north-west Scotland to Cornwall.

In ‘Why Women Swim’, Ella Foote, editor of ‘Outdoor Swimmer’ magazine, is in conversation with fellow writer-swimmers Freya Bromley, Jenny Landreth and Catherine Joy White. The event is a must-see for the rising tide of outdoor swimmers in the country, with the Grand Pier’s unparalleled sea views and its close proximity to Weston’s Marine Lake making it the perfect location for a post-event swim.

Freya Bromley’s ‘The Tidal Year’ based on the loss she felt following her brother’s death is a true story about the healing power of wild swimming; Jenny Landreth’s ‘SWELL: A Waterbiography’, winner of the Sunday Times Sport Book of the Year in 2017, is a funny and bold account of how women fought their way into the water and Catherine Joy White’s film ‘Fifty-Four Days’ follows the journey of a girl who starts swimming in the wake of losing her father to suicide. Reviews of Catherine’s recent publication ‘The Thread of Gold – a celebration of Black Womanhood’ further endorse her “extraordinary writing” and she was recently named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list. 

Drawing the festival to an ozone-fuelled close, acclaimed author and former associate editor on The Guardian, Madeleine Bunting takes the audience on a vivid journey around England’s great seaside resorts in ‘The Seaside: England’s Love Affair’. She will be in conversation with Tamsin Badcoe, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bristol. 

Other highlights include:

  • A launch event at Super Wonder Shrine with town poets crying out their wares on the High Street.
  • A celebration of National Poetry Day on the opening evening of the Festival featuring multi-award winning Guyanese writer, Maggie Harris.
  • Poetry slam with guest poet Saili Katebe.
  • Crime on the Edge, with local author Brian Price.
  • Writing and illustration workshop for children with playwright Adam Fuller and award-winning, Weston-based illustrator Paula Bowles.
  • Story making workshop and walk in Grove Park for 5 – 7 year olds led by Somerset author Emma Bettridge and her dog Nell.
  • ‘A Hero Like Me’ reading and book signing for young people with author and Black Lives Matter campaigner Jen Reid.
  • Cult authors Noreen Masud (‘A Flat Place’) and Richard Milward (‘Man Eating Typewriter’) in conversation, exploring notions of landscape, queer and mental health issues. 
  • Chapter One creative writing group book launch.
  • The Reader, shared community reading group at Front Room.
  • LGBT Forum radical book stall.
  • Immersive theatrical experience ‘I am Bird’ by Marie Klimis at Weston Central Library, that puts the audience in charge of a haunting journey across borders.

Across the weekend, Festival goers can also take to a rowing boat on Weston Marine Lake and lap up a compelling range of stories as part of artist Luke Jerram’s installation ‘Crossings’.

To find out more about Weston Lit Fest and the full season of events, visit our Lit Fest What’s On page and follow @superculturewsm for the latest updates.