CREATIVITY was flowing through Bournemouth town centre as the inaugural Bournemouth Writing Festival began.

The festival, which runs from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23, aims to bring together the writing community in Bournemouth and beyond, while helping local businesses.

Festival co-founder, Dominic Wong, said the reception for the festival had been “amazing”.

Bournemouth Echo: Talk at the Bournemouth Writing Festival.

“The feedback we've had has just been so incredibly positive, not just from the speakers and the people involved, but also the attendees that have come,” he said.

Luke English, a media lawyer, delivered a talk on publishing contracts, and he said the festival was “great”.

“It’s been wonderful to bring authors, publishers, poets, scriptwriters, altogether in one place,” he said.

“It’s brilliant to get everyone together.”

Bournemouth Echo: Audience at a talk at the Bournemouth Writing Festival.

Self-published author Matt Shaw agreed, saying every event he had seen seemed to be well attended.

“It’s happening all around Bournemouth, everywhere you go there’s signs for it, and everywhere just looks to be really busy,” he said.

Matt led a talk on the ins and outs of self-publishing. Luke, Matt and Dominic said the festival would help to bring writers together, as they said writing was “a lonely business”.

Bournemouth Echo: Talk at the Palace Court Theatre.

“Sometimes it’s worth sitting down with other authors and saying, gosh, this is hard. Even just I want a cup of tea with another author because I’m going stir crazy,” Luke said.

“That’s what’s great about this event, it’s not been done before in Bournemouth, and it’s going to bring a lot of creative people together.”

A volunteer at the festival, Jane Skellett, runs the Hengistbury Head Writers group. She said the festival was the “cherry on the icing” for the growth of writing groups in the area.

“I think this festival is going to be so successful and so important,” she said.

“I think the thing is to let people know that if you're a writer, whatever age you are, you need to find your tribe because you won't fit with every writing group that's going on. You need to kind of try things out.”

Bournemouth Echo: Genre breakfast at the Bournemouth Writing Festival.

There were events for all ages and interests, with more events planned for Sunday. This includes an interactive reading of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by children’s author Ali Sparkes, with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra violinist Joan Martinez.

Another volunteer said she got involved after she saw it advertised on social media.

“I am happy to be a part of it,” she said. “This event is amazing.”

Dominic said after the fantastic reception, they would be looking to organising more events in future years.

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Writing Festival.

He said he hopes the festival will help to boost the local economy, by organising events around the town, in partnership with Arts University Bournemouth and the Bournemouth Town Centre BID.

“This isn't just a three-day event, this is an event which will hopefully foster networking, foster collaboration, foster community,” Dominic said.

“This isn't a festival about bringing in big names, big famous authors. That's not what this is about. This is about the craft of writing.”