We are excited to announce the new date for Literally Shepton - Friday 12 to Sunday 14 November.
We will now be busy at Lit Fest HQ contacting the wonderful contributors to our original planned line up - we'll be back with a full events listing shortly. Thanks Tim and Julia

Friday 9th July - postponed
7.30pm (Doors from 7pm)  @ The Art Bank

The show features a professional MC, 8-10 up and coming comedians , a headline act from the cream of the UK Comedy Circuit and the audience choose the winner 

Entry is free with voluntary contributions  book your tickets here

Saturday 10th July- Postponed

The HooDoos

8pm (onstage at 9pm) @ The Art Bank

The HooDoos play an eclectic mix of swampy blues, folk, jazz, bluegrass, pop and funk wrapped up with gorgeous goose-bumping vocal harmonies. This bunch of local music talent has become a bit of a favourite in Somerset and are definitely a band not to miss…!

Entry is free but book your tickets here

Atticus Green - History of Tarot

5.30 - 7.00pm @ The Art Bank

Atticus is a highly experienced tarot reader, with 20 years’ experience, having read at many psychic fairs and as a private reader. His ethical and approachable style to the tarot sets him apart and brings it into the 21st century.

The Tarot has been around since the 11th Century; their ancient symbols and wisdom shrouded in mystery, folklore and myth. 

He will teach you the history of Tarot, dispel the myths and show you how to read and use this incredible tool for personal growth and creative development. By the end, you will have the confidence and ability to read Tarot for yourself.

Entry is free but book your tickets here

Mike Butler author of "Sounding the Century: Bill Leader & co volume 1"

4.30-5.15pm @The Art Bank

Sounding the Century is based on ten years of interviews with Bill Leader and the musicians he has worked alongside. Oral testimony from players on the side-lines constitutes hidden history, and secrets, surprises and wit spill forth; something jaw-dropping happens once every four pages. Such a long life and such consistently excellent work over a prolonged span make for a very big book. 

Then again, all the musicians had fascinating tales to tell. Forays into family history, folklore, music analysis and audio technology, as required, further ratcheted up the word count. Consequently, one book has grown into a ten volume series. 

If the author has a wish, it would be to remove the stigma attached to left-wing socialist and other political radicals. They are the people who make folk music what it is today, and Bill Leader is foremost amongst them.

The event is free but book your tickets here

Steve Day - Adventures in Dementia

3-4pm @The Art Bank

Adventures in Dementia is Day’s hour-long tribute to his 82 year old dad, Roy.

Steve’s memories are necessarily bitter-sweet, but the show can be taken as showing two fingers to dementia, defying the disease’s definition of his father to replacing it with his own – a three dimensional portrait of a real man, warts and all, but loved and loving.

Entry is free but book your tickets here 

Jen Gale - Sustainable(ish) Living in Sixty Minutes

12.30 - 1.30pm @ The Art Bank

Jen, author of the Sustainable(ish) Living Guide and The Sustainable(ish) Guide to Green Parenting. A whistle stop and accessible tour around 6 key areas where we as individuals can make a big difference, with suggestions for actions to take, with an emphasis on imperfect action and making a start. 

No preaching, no judgement, no expectations of “eco-perfection”

Entry is free but book your tickets here

Polly Hall - author of The Taxidermist's Lover

12.30-1pm @ Shepton Community Bookshop

Described as “[A] shudder-inducing debut.” ~ The New York Times, The Taxidermist’s Lover is Polly Hall’s first gothic horror novel set on the atmospheric Somerset Levels. It follows the fate of Scarlett and her lover Henry, a taxidermist, over one year, leading to what Booklist describe as a “near-perfect horror ending”!

Polly Hall is a passionate supporter of Arts & Culture, a member of The Author’s Guild, host of podcast ‘Procrastination Station’ and Director of Shepton’s SMart-Culture CiC.
Meet her at Shepton Community Bookshop to purchase your signed copy of The Taxidermist’s Lover.
You can find out more on

Insta @Polly_Hall_Writer
Twitter @PollyHallWriter

Entry is free but book your tickets here

Stellar Scribes - Authors Nikki Copleston, Jan Ellis, Sonya Price

11-12.15pm@The Art Bank
More about Stellar Scribes

A trio of local authors whose writing covers a range of genres from crime to literary fiction and romantic comedy. Join them as they reveal their sometimes surprising journeys from solitary scribbling to publication. Chat with the writers and pick up some summer reading. 

Nikki Copleston has published three crime novels set in Wiltshire and featuring Detective Inspector Jeff Lincoln. The fourth Lincoln novel, The Promise of Salvation, should be available later this year. One of her short stories, How to Conduct an Infatuation, won the Wells Literary Festival Short Story Competition in 2019, and she’s written local history articles about Salisbury. /twitter: @nikkicopleston /facebook: Nikki Copleston author / Instagram: nikkicopleston  

Jan Ellis began writing fiction by accident in 2013. Until then, she had led a blameless life as a publisher, editor and historian of early modern Spain. She fell into fiction when a publisher approached her to write a history book then made the mistake of mentioning women’s fiction, which sounded much more fun.

Jan writes stories set in small towns in Devon and the South of France. At their core, her books are about family, friendship and the humour inherent in everyday life. When a traditional publisher bought the rights to her ebooks, they commissioned her to write a mystery that became The Bookshop Detective. Having tried her hand at romantic comedy and traditional mystery, she quite fancies having a go at killing someone off in the next book. /Twitter: JanEllis_Writer /Facebook: Jan Ellis Writer

Sonja Price’s first novel The Giants Look Down was longlisted for the Mslexia First Novel Competition and made her a finalist for the Joan Hessayon Award. She loves to write about unfamiliar settings and this book is no exception. It tells the story of a young girl growing up in the 1960s in the Vale of Kashmir, who faces the chagrin of her mother and the patriarchal community of Kashmir when she decides to become a doctor just like her father.

Sonja’s short stories have appeared in various anthologies including  Stories For Homes, The Shelter Anthology of Short Stories and In these Tangles, Beauty Lies, a collection of stories in aid of the Beanstalk Trust for children with reading difficulties. /Twitter: @PriceSonja /Facebook: Sonja Price Author

Entry is free but book your tickets here

Clive Pearson - The Second World War in 100 Facts

12-12.30pm @ Shepton Community Bookshop

Clive Pearson was until recently a History lecturer at Gloucestershire College in Cheltenham. He has specialised in World War Two and his book is entitled ‘The Second World War in 100 Facts’. The author takes us on a quick march through the battlegrounds of the world’s deadliest conflict and examines the defining moments of the war and its international aftermath. The book reminds us about the less familiar aspects of the war in Russia and the Far East and the cruel suffering and loss of life there. It is estimated that 27 million Russian people perished in a bitter war of mutual annihilation while in the whole conflict perhaps 50 million died. It was also, of course, a racial war with both Nazi Germany and Japan determined to impose themselves as racial superiors over their conquered peoples. In Europe this extended into genocidal policies leading to the deaths of six million Jews.

Ultimately, the deciding factor in the war was production. America alone dwarfed the output of the enemy powers. She was able to fight a war on two fronts as well as provide armaments, food and other necessities to all the Allied powers including Russia. Germany was surprisingly inefficient and lagged well behind.

The war gave rise to world leaders both iconic and infamous, instigated the break-up of empires and set the stage for the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union. The book also includes some lesser known facts that you may never heard of such as a Russian reindeer that did a tour of duty on a British submarine and a bear that fought alongside a Polish unit in Italy!

Entry is free but book your tickets here:

Sunday 11th July- Postponed

SMart (Shepton Mallet Arts and Culture) launch party

7-9pm @The Art Bank

A launch and networking event for SMart – the organisation for artists and practitioners in Shepton Mallet and surrounding area.

Are you an artist, writer, musician, drama or theatre practitioner, creative arts facilitator, radio/podcast producer, graffiti artist, a ceramics teacher, bookbinder, potter, sculptor, musician, a community arts group leader?

Are you based in Shepton Mallet and surrounding area? Come and be part of SMart – the organisation for arts and culture.

Our intention is to create a supportive hub where you can connect with other practitioners in the area.

Entry is free but book your ticket here

Claire Williamson & supporting poets

4.15pm -5.15pm @ The Art Bank

Claire Williamson’s latest poetry collection Visiting the Minotaur (Seren, 2018),  was a National Poetry Day recommendation for book groups.  Claire mentors writers of all kinds and supports people with therapeutic writing and creative coaching in groups & 1-1. She’s studying for a doctorate at Cardiff University on the theme of grief. Claire lives on the English/Welsh border, with her two daughters and a borderline border-collie.

Entry is free but book your tickets here

The Bard of Shepton

2.30pm - 4pm @ The Art Bank

A shortlisted number of plays (10 minute 2 person play or monologue) from the Playwriting competition will be performed by local actors. The new Bard of Shepton will be crowned, decided by audience voting. The winning playwright will receive the special Bard of Shepton trophy and coveted title for 1 year.

Entry is free but book your tickets here

The Tale of the Charming Rat

1.30 -2.00pm @The Art Bank- Performance 2

Performance 2 of A Tall Tales Theatre Company and Wassail Theatre co-produced 25 minute pantomime for audiences of all ages – featuring makaton signing and high levels of access provision. Expect a Somerset -inspired retelling of the classic Cinderella story, following the adventures of her beloved rat when he is transformed into a human coachman for just one night.

Entry is free but book your tickets here

Short Story Writing Competition - awards

12.45 -1.30pm@ The Art Bank
magical book

The winners of the festival short story competition will be announced and prizes will be awarded.

12.00-12.30pm @ The Art Bank - Performance 1

A Tall Tales Theatre Company and Wassail Theatre co-produced 25 minute pantomime for audiences of all ages – featuring makaton signing and high levels of access provision. Expect a Somerset -inspired retelling of the classic Cinderella story, following the adventures of her beloved rat when he is transformed into a human coachman for just one night.

Entry is free but book your tickets here

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