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LITERARY FESTIVAL LINES UP A FRIGHT NIGHT

HORROR BY CANDLELIGHT  

Llandeilo, Wales, Friday April 26

THE well-established Llandeilo Literary Festival in Wales has announced a trip to the dark side this year with a fright night of readings and discussion by writers in the field of supernatural fiction.

Leading authors in the genre Carly Holmes and Sally Spedding will join writer and Horla editor Matthew G. Rees at a candle-lit event to be chaired by Nick Brunger, storyteller and magician.

Interest

Growing public interest in both popular and literary fiction in the realms of horror and the supernatural has led organisers to stage the event.

Wales has a remarkable heritage in the genre, with notable contributions from figures as diverse as Ann of Swansea, Arthur Machen, Rhys Davies, Glyn Jones, Roald Dahl and the American writer Jeannette Marks, to name but a few.

As part of their discussion, those present – who all live in Wales – will try to put their fingers on why Wales has this tradition.

Llandeilo is often described as one of the most picturesque towns in Wales. Attractions include old castles situated nearby, historic buildings and specialist shops. The festival will be held at local venues from Thursday April 25 to Sunday April 28, with the horror-themed event taking place on Friday April 26 (8 pm).

Carly Holmes (interviewed elsewhere on Horla) has received acclaim with the recent publication of her fiction collection Figurehead  (Tartarus Press) (reviewed within our pages) 

She describes her work as ‘literary strange’ fiction.

Among a number of honours and plaudits, one of her stories has just been selected for inclusion in the annual compendium of outstanding horror fiction compiled by legendary New York editor Ellen Datlow.

Having a home locally means that prolific and critically acclaimed writer Sally Spedding will no doubt be known to many attendees. 

An interview with this terrifically interesting writer (and painter) can be found here in the pages of Horla

(Cont. next column)

She has won awards in three literary forms: poetry, novels and short fiction. In the genre of horror, she is the author of the prize-winning Cold Remains and the help book How To Write a Chiller Thriller, as well as writing a number of mystery novels.

Matthew G. Rees recently received a PhD in Creative Writing from Swansea University.

As a journalist he covered a number of major inquiries and reported on the West case. 

His fiction has been published by the likes of The Short Story, Belle Ombre, The Lonely Crowd, Three Impostors and Oddville Press. He is the editor of Horla.

Keyhole, a collection of supernatural short stories by him with a backdrop of Wales and its borders, is being published by Three Impostors Press.

Matthew G. Rees will be signing advance copies on the evening.

Magic

Nick Brunger is a former producer and presenter for the BBC. 

He is a magician, storyteller and the author of Creepy Carmarthen (Gomer), an account of the dark and stormy past of the old Welsh county town, around which he conducts walking tours of its most notorious locations.

(At midday on Saturday April 27 he’ll lead a ‘Weird and Wonderful History Tour’ of Llandeilo.)

The quartet hope their evening – at Horeb Chapel, Llandeilo, Friday April 26 at 8 pm – will prove an interesting, entertaining and possibly chilling one. 

Horla editor Matthew G. Rees said: ‘Like everyone, I’m thrilled to have been invited. Llandeilo strikes me as a wonderful venue for this event.’

For further information and tickets: llandeilolitfest.org/calendar 

Dinefwr Castle. Photo: Nigel Davies