AN INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed author has been announced as the keynote speaker for a Winchester writing festival. Joanne Harris MBE, author of 14 novels including Chocolat, will deliver the speech at this year’s University of Winchester Writers’ Festival from June 20-22.

Now in its 34th year, the three-day event aims to nurture new and established creative writers from around the UK and overseas, by giving access to authors and the opportunity to connect with literary agents.

Festival director, and programme leader for MA Writing for Children course at the university, Judith Heneghan, said it is anticipated to be an intense experience.

“Joanne Harris is an exciting and innovative novelist who defies easy categorisation,” she said.

The event includes one-day courses, short talks and workshops, around 800 one-on-one appointments with literary agents and features more than 60 speakers. To see the full programme or book a place, go to