Literary quiz night will be a festival first

A FUN literary quiz night is a first in its 31 years for Wells Festival of Literature which takes place from October 27 to November 4.

Bookworms might like to test what they know – or don’t know – about the books they read at the Wells Literary Quiz specially created by Gary Wrigglesworth, author of the Book Lover’s Quiz Book.

While the festival takes place in Cedars Hall in Wells, the seasoned literary quizmaster is bringing this light-hearted and humorous event to a more traditional pub quiz venue – that of the White Hart Inn at 7.30pm on Sunday, October 29. Teams of up to six can be booked in advance from the festival box office for what is certain to be a page-turningly competitive night’s entertainment.

Tickets are now flying out for festival events, with a diverse line-up of visiting authors offering  topics ranging from politics to poetry and health to humour.

The opening weekend features such sell-out speakers as Wes Streeting, Polly Toynbee and Chris Patten, along with others including Emily Kenway on the crisis in caregiving, and Jim Down with a doctor’s stories of intensive care.

The former BBC arts editor Will Gompertz, pictured, investigates the world through the eyes of various artists from Hockney to Rembrandt, while novelist Donal Ryan will host the Book Group event with his Booker-longlisted The Queen of Dirt Island, the story of four generations of Irish women.

While all these offer plenty of food for thought, later in the week there is also food for the soul at each of three literary lunches. This year’s lunchtime speakers are Gail Simmons who takes a journey on foot into the past, rediscovering a long-forgotten road between Southampton and Canterbury; Sander van Linden, who will talk about fake news and how we can fight it; while Stephen Moss – local resident and president of the Somerset Wildlife Trust – will share his expertise on how ten birds have changed the world.

Guests will have the chance to meet the authors in advance of the talk while they enjoy a meal together in the dining hall of Cedars House.

For details of all these and a full programme of events pick up a brochure from Waterstones in Wells or at numerous venues in the area. To book tickets visit or call 01749 834483.