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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Princess to speak at Cumbrian Words by the Water festival

Royalty will grace the 2014 Words by the Water festival in Keswick.

HRH Princess Michael of Kent will be attending the festival in March, speaking about her historical novel The Queen of Four Kingdoms.

There will be more than 100 events in the literary line-up when the festival opens on March 7. The box office for ticket sales opens on Thursday.

The festival will launch with Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark discussing her debut novel.

More stars from the world of television and radio will be appearing throughout the 10-day festival including Sally Magnusson, Melvyn Bragg, Stuart Maconie, Count Arthur Strong, John Sweeney, Jeremy Paxman and Andy Kershaw.

The festival will also bring figures from the world of politics to Keswick with Roy Hattersley, Jonathan Aitken, Ann Widdecombe, Alan Johnson and Melissa Benn among those journeying to the Lakes.

Pat Barker will join Melvyn Bragg on the stage of the main house to reveal the mysteries of writing fiction and discuss their different approaches.

Germaine Greer will talk about the Queensland dairy farm that she took on in 2001 and how it awakened her to the impact of deforestation.

Local writers are also featuring in the 2014 festival. They include Keith Richardson, Chris Wadsworth, Julia Hickey and Stephen Matthews.

Award-winning poet and Cumbrian resident Helen Farish will judge the 11th Words by the Water Mirehouse poetry competition, and will present the winning poems during a special free event at Mirehouse on March 15.

Festival director Kay Dunbar said: “Visitors compliment the programme every year but many people are saying that this is the best line-up we’ve ever had, which is great to hear.”

Young people, aged between 17 and 25, can apply for free tickets through the Ways With Words bursary fund.

For more information about the poetry competition or the bursary scheme email admin@wayswithwords.co.uk.

Words by the Water will run from March 7-16. To see the full programme online visit wayswithwords.co.uk.

Tickets can be purchased in person from the Theatre by the Lake or by calling 017687 74411. Online bookings can also be made via www.theatrebythelake.com.

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