Redwings Horse Sanctuary will host the charity’s first ever Book Festival headlined by best-selling crime novelist Elly Griffiths. The author, who writes the popular Ruth Galloway series, will be joined by TV presenter and English Master Saddle Maker Suzie Fletcher and Joyce Dunbar, who has over 80 children’s books to her name.

The Book Festival will take place at Redwings Caldecott, Great Yarmouth on Saturday 18 May. It takes place in the charity’s Ruby celebration year and follows the publication of their special fundraising edition of Black Beauty, in partnership with the UEA. Redwings are the custodians of Anna Sewell House, where the author was born and lived in Great Yarmouth, which re-opens to the public after a winter closure in the spring.

Anna Sewell House – the birthplace of the Black Beauty author – in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

“We are so excited to be organising this event, which will bring together some incredible authors from Norfolk and beyond, whose writing celebrates animals, nature and the environment,” said Nicola Knight, Head of Communications and Campaigns at Redwings. “In our efforts to draw focus on the incredible legacy of Anna, our shared love of horses and desire to improve horse welfare, we’ve had so much support from the literature world of which we’re now, thrillingly, and thanks to the UEA, a part.

“We’re so pleased that this event takes place in our 40th anniversary year, as we look back at what we’ve already accomplished with the help of our amazing supporters, the Redwings angels, and to the future.

“We hope Redwings’ Book Festival will be the first of many!”

Redwings Maya with the chairty’s edition of Black Beauty

There will be both an adult and children’s schedule on the day including book readings, talks and Q & As; a creative writing class; children’s crafts; all day food and refreshments and the opportunity to meet the horses, ponies, donkeys and mules who live at Redwings Caldecott. The centre is home to almost 100 of the charity’s rescued residents including several of its ‘Adoption Stars’ who supporters can sponsor and receive updates on their lives.

The full list of authors confirmed so far is: Elly Griffiths (the Ruth Galloway series); Suzie Fletcher (The Sun Over the Mountains); Jenni Keer (The Secrets of Hawthorn Place and No 23 Burlington Square); Grace Olsen (The Yard: How a Horse Healed My Heart and Merlin Finds His Magic); Thomas Ruys Smith (Black Beauty and the upcoming Homely Ballads and Stories in Verse by Mary Sewell); Celia Brayfield (Writing Black Beauty: Anna Sewell and the Story of Animal Rights); Joyce Dunbar (the Mouse and Mole series); Cressida Burton (the Ravensbay School series); Sangu Mandanna (Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom); P.A Staff (Casander Darkbloom and the Threads of Power). Hosts will include Professor Thomas Ruys Smith, Dr Hilary Emmett and Dr Daisy Henwood from the UEA and Nicola Knight from Redwings.

Tickets are £10 for adults and come with a special Redwings Book Festival tote bag (children under 16 are free), and on sale here.

To find out more about Redwings’ work over the past 40 years and get involved in the events that are taking place to celebrate, click here.

Lead image of Nicola Knight from Redwings with author Suzie Fletcher (right) at Black Beauty launch

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