Micromastery – Robert Twigger on The Art of Happiness

Why are Nobel Prize-winning scientists 22 times more likely to dabble in an art or craft than the ordinary scientist? It might have something to do with the fact that in this modern age, in which we are expected to choose one pursuit and dutifully pursue it, we too-often disregard the niggling sense that we are boxing ourselves in. After all, settling the human brain into a rut is a terrible waste of imagination. Robert Twigger asks in his new book, Micromastery, a playful, enlightening and surprising manual on how to pursue happiness and success in perfect harmony, “why stop there?

The secret to happiness doesn’t lie in stagnation, but in stimulation. Robert explains why we don’t need to limit ourselves to be fulfilled, yet specificity itself can be the very key to joy. You could be an accountant moonlighting as a pastry chef, or a pastry chef moonlighting as a cultivator of small potted plants – it doesn’t matter. Pick something that makes you happy, and give it room in your life to grow. Championing chances for creativity and the pleasure of progress through its eclectic and wonderful ideas, Micromastery encourages us to learn – and master – a new skill as often as we can. Be it cocktail-crafting, nail-painting, glass-blowing, or even just perfecting the ultimate tea-to-milk ratio, everything is good enough and there is everything to try! Let yourself live outside of your box little by little, and start small. Micro, in fact.

Micromastery is a life-changer in the most exciting way. There are no wrong answers, just your own personal stars to reach for, and happiness isn’t the finish line – it’s the entire journey.

Don’t miss your chance to attend Robert’s talk about life’s joys and positivity, while tickets are still available the information you need is below…

Wednesday 8th November / Event 15
10.00 AM
The Bull Hotel – Ballroom

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901


Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit – Boris Starling’s Tribute to Resilience

As Boris Starling‘s Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit is published, the third Invictus Games will be held in Toronto. The games may only be still in their infancy, but the impact of their meaning, the opportunity of their purpose, and their growing legacy transcends age. The games are a chance for servicemen and women to compete in a prestigious multisport competition, but to each competitor the games’ existence also symbolises a different sort of challenge. To qualify, you must have already been through hell and back, and it’s reaching your mark that signifies your first victory. The servicemen and women who compete for glory at the Invictus Games are those who have been injured, wounded, and halted in their service in ways unfathomable, and are now proving to the world that not only is recovery an option – so is excellence.

At the Invictus Games the starting line marks more than just the racetrack. It marks a whole new beginning. The unconquerable spirit and unbreakable will of competitors uplifts everyone lucky enough to watch, and Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit tells the stories of some of these heroes. Be it racing with triple amputations, or firing arrows with one’s teeth – the awesome stories of the people we see in the arena and how they came to be there will humble you.

The games are spearheaded by Prince Harry, and, only fittingly, Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit bears a foreword by him. Proving that ‘change’ never has to mean ‘end’, Boris perfectly celebrates the servicemen and women who define ‘unconquerable’.

Do not miss your chance for tickets to Boris’ incredible talk. The information you need is below:

Sunday 12th November / Event 35
3.00 PM
The Electric Palace

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

War Stories – Tales from Beyond the Front Line by Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan

War breeds conflict, destruction and division, but amidst its wreckage Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan have fostered unity. Compelled by the manmade phenomenon – the consequences of which push limits of imagination – the partners set about writing War Stories, a collection of tales, some untold until now, from people whose lives have been touched by war.

Gathering 34 individual’s accounts, Peter and Ann breathe life into unbelievable memories and give voice to forgotten events, each more fascinating, terrifying and amazing than the last; and all true. Ranging from Waterloo to the Crimea, from both World Wars to Syria; War Stories narrates moments of heroism, compassion, horror and heartbreak. Through these glimpses into incomprehensible situations, strange and stunning human actions become a degree more comprehensible. Passed like medals down through generations or even recounted firsthand – what unifies each expertly told memory is the palpable force of human spirit.

Don’t miss Peter and Ann when they come to the festival! To celebrate the launch of War Stories, the duo will be discussing the process of chronicling these tales, and the stories themselves; full of the highs and lows of human capability.


Sunday 5th November / Event 4
5.30 PM
The Electric Palace


To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

The Music Shop: Rachel Joyce’s Story of Harmonies and Second Chances

Rachel Joyce, the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, spins a new story of community, tenderness, and spirit in her fourth novel; The Music Shop.

With a cast of characters as recognisable as they are truthfully complicated, The Music Shop plays a tune of hope in the face of change, and of companionship in the face of isolation. Frank, the music shop owner, has a gift for selecting music that will soothe, encourage, comfort or cheer his clients when they need it the most; and when Ilse in her pea-green coat faints in front of his shop one day, their lives are drawn together.

As the idiosyncratic members of the community band together to protect their haven from encroaching property developers, Frank and Ilse find that they need to save themselves too, and face change and transformation on their own terms. Warmed with musical wisdom, and made brilliant by intricate human connection, The Music Shop is a tangible experience; making the everyday extraordinary. Or… simply demonstrating that it already is.

Rachel Joyce will be discussing her sparkling novel at this year’s festival. Treat yourself to something truly special that has the whole country singing along, while tickets are still available.


Thursday 9th November / Event 23
4.30 PM
The Bull Hotel – Ballroom


To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Windblown – A Dark and Stormy Memoir by Tamsin Treverton Jones

Thirty years ago the British Isles were struck without warning by a storm the likes of which were last documented in 1703 by Daniel Defoe. Trees were rent from the earth, buildings crumbled, and eighteen lives were lost in this gale that took the country by surprise. It ravaged all in its path in a way not seen since war held the landscape – and, Thirty years on, Tamsin Treverton Jones invokes the memory of this monumental night in 1987.

After discovering an old photograph of a sculpture her father designed, made from the patchwork of fallen trees from Kew Gardens, Tamsin set about creating a lyrical memoir to the landscape created by destruction and the stories left windswept in its wake. Windblown weaves Tamsin’s own memories of fishermen, refugees, sculptors and lighthouse keepers with the past, present, and future of the storm and its legacy.

The land has forever changed, but could it be for the better? A beautiful and exhilarating example of Nature Writing, Tamsin’s Windblown is set to release this year, and you can find her at an enchanting illustrated talk in conversation with James Crowden.

To explore the soul of the land we live on and what it means to survive both in hardship and memory, book tickets while they are still available.


Friday 10th November / Event 27
2.30 PM
The Town Hall


To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

The BridLit Explorer • Chapter 3: The Sanctuary

Opened on August’s Bank Holiday Monday in 1997, this year marks the 20 year anniversary of The Sanctuary bookshop’s landmark presence in Lyme Regis.


The Sanctuary is another independent bookshop with a twist. This is an emporium of curios that takes residence in an 18-roomed building that once was a hotel. Incidentally, having now expanded into a B&B for book lovers, it once again takes residents.

When visiting, I find twixt the shelves and various ornaments Bob Speer, co-owner with his wife Mariko, and ask him about the branching out from sole bookselling to the supplying of vintage trumpets, gadgets and oil paintings that hang from nooks and hooks like angels in a chapel. Bob explains that his approach to the encroaching growth of online bookselling is simple yet ambitious; to out-provide. As I explore I find that it’s evident throughout the multi-storeyed shop. Be it a huge lava lamp you’re looking for or a Venetian mask, The Sanctuary bookshop is determined to supply whatever you could dream up.

Guiding me from the converted cellar that bursts at its seams with antique National Geographic editions to the upstairs guest area where the walls appear to favour books over bricks, Bob tells me that the unique accommodation earned applause from Lonely Planet as #1 for cost – calling it “ridiculously good value” and “a B&B for bibliophiles”. I don’t argue, as I endeavour to note the spines of the 5,000 books all at once. At less than £30 per night, any budding writer in need of a retreat would find themselves almost startlingly at home here.

If you’re local or an adventurer searching for caves of wonders, be sure to stop by. The Sanctuary doesn’t have a quirk, it is a quirk itself. A wonderful, revered quirk, and one that I hope continues to thrive.


Spotlight on Charles Fuge: Illustrating for Children • BridLit Kids

Charles Fuge has illustrated nearly fifty picture books! He started his journey at Camberwell School of Art, and won the Macmillan Prize and the Mother Goose Award for his illustrations in 1988. Since then, he has produced beautiful and well-loved books such as “Sometimes I like to Curl Up in a Ball“, and “I Know a Rhino“. He is a nature lover, splitting free time between growing organic food and chairing a local recycling charity, and themes of wildlife are often seen in his art.

Juggling delightful creatures and their colourful adventures, Charles’ illustrations are a treat. Reviewed as “adorable”, “funny”, and cited by J F Bailey as having “directly strengthened our family relationships” due to the discussions they prompt, these illustrations prove that pictures can be just as expressive as words. Favouring mischievous animals, Charles is an expert at bringing characters to life on paper.

You can catch him at the BridLit Kids event on Saturday the 12th of November during the workshop for children of age 8 and up! There he will join several other fantastic guests in sharing his tips, knowledge, and experience and he will be guiding participants in creating their own illustrations.

Limited spaces remaining! A day that promises to be wonderfully fun.

Saturday 12th November / Event 22
Time: 12pm-1pm
Tickets: £5 (pencil and sketchbook included)
Location: The Lyric Theatre

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901



The BridLit Explorer • Chapter 2: Libreria

Welcome back, readers! The BridLit Explorer brings you a second chapter. This instalment is set in London, so reach for your Oyster cards…

* * *

London’s Brick Lane has long been known as a place for mavericks. In the average mainstream bookshop there are often a select few authors you expect to be confronted with on arrival. Aphra Behn isn’t one of them. I am greeted by a book of hers at eye level as I step through the threshold of Libreria, which leaves me impressed and sorely wishing that I had known about this shop while at university. By exercising scrutiny I find that the neighbouring novels are of no alphabetical relevance to Behn, and from this I know I can believe the chatter that led me here. Somebody tipped me off about a new bookshop in Shoreditch, known strikingly for organising its books by interest.

No alphabet, no chronological ordering, and no displays prepped for flashes in pans. Instead, the keepers of this shop have perfectly strung rings of shelves together with genre, theme and topic alone. Searching like this, one could theoretically find George Orwell’s Animal Farm next to a book detailing proper care for your goats. As a reader, this is the kind of assistance in exploration I have longed for.

After asking Belinda Zhawi, a writer who works at the desk of the shop, I learn that the flow of genre starts transitioning horizontally, in the manner that one reads text on a page. She tells me that the lay of the shop (from the undulating stacks to the mirror wall at the back) is “like Borges’ Library of Babel, infinite.” Everything here works at subverting the rigidity of standard bookshops, right down to how customers choose their reading material.

It feels refreshing and doubtlessly well calculated. If you are near, or need to travel like myself, it is worth stopping by Libreria. You will not leave empty handed.


Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited – Philip Eade’s Revealing Biography

Described as ‘the greatest novelist of my generation’ by Graham Greene but thought to have been possessed by the devil by the likes of Hilaire Belloc, early twentieth-century author Evelyn Waugh can perhaps only be agreeably called unforgettable.

Having tasked himself with the biography of someone so controversial and complicated, Philip Eade presents Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited. Philip has researched and chronicled story after story, secret after secret. By accessing Waugh family archives and unearthing primary sources, he offers a new perspective of someone known by history as notoriously undefinable. The Financial Times writes that ‘Eade shows just how hard-won his effortless brilliance really was’, and The Wall Street Journal commends the book with the promise that ‘Mr Eade does not fail to entertain’. Dancing between the characters on and off paper that were instrumental to Waugh’s life, Philip leaves no stone unturned in his quest to straighten out the cacophony of rumours that surround such an impressive figure.

Truly fascinating, do not miss out on this intricate, admiring exposé.

Thursday 10th November
Time: 11.00 am
Tickets: £10
Location: The Bull Hotel

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901