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Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Adele biographer among authors taking part in 2021 Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature

A man who has written best-selling biographies of stars including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber is one of the guest speakers at this year's Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature.

Author and journalist Chas Newkey-Burden will be spilling celebrity secrets and giving advice on how not to get sued during his talk on Thursday February 11.

His appearance will come at one of five open events as the festival, which is taking place online for the first time, returns for a 12th year.

Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature (44046847)
Bishop's Stortford College Festival of Literature (44046847)

Bringing together acclaimed authors, illustrators and poets to inspire both children and adults to read for pleasure, the festival runs from Tuesday February 2 to Friday February 12.

Available to watch live or on catch-up, it also includes a schools programme aimed at pupils aged 4 to 18.

Newkey-Burden features in the final open event of the festival. As well as penning biographies of some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, he is a widely published journalist. He writes about running for the Daily Telegraph, animal liberation for The Guardian and football for Four Four Two. He is also the ghostwriter of numerous books and articles for the rich and famous.

Chas Newkey-Burden (43957853)
Chas Newkey-Burden (43957853)

The open events begin on Friday February 5 when world poetry slam champion Harry Baker takes to the online stage.

He published his debut anthology, The Sunshine Kid, in December 2014. The subsequent show of the same name was voted Best Spoken Word Show of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015.

Now a fully-fledged maths graduate and full-time poet/adventurer, his work has been shared on TED.com and viewed millions of times worldwide, as well as being translated into 21 languages.

On Saturday February 6, join Lemn Sissay as he talks about his life as a poet, playwright, artist, performer and broadcaster.

Lemn Sissay (43957862)
Lemn Sissay (43957862)

He has read on stage throughout the world, from the Library of Congress in America and the University of Addis Ababa to Singapore, Greenland and Wigan library.

Sissay was the first poet commissioned to write for the London 2012 Olympics and wrote the official poem for the FA Cup. He will be enthralling viewers as he discusses his childhood, Britishness, the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home.

Award-winning crime writer Chris Whitaker will have festival-goers on the edge of their sofas when he talks about his latest book on Tuesday February 9.

Chris Whitaker (44035164)
Chris Whitaker (44035164)

The Sawbridgeworth-based novelist, who is well known to festival audiences, is a former winner of the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award.

Tall Oaks and All The Wicked Girls were published to widespread critical acclaim and his latest work, We Begin at the End, has been hailed as a masterpiece and was Waterstones' Book of the Month in August 2020.

Crime fans won't want to miss out on hearing Chris talk about his blistering story of murder, revenge and retribution set under the Californian sunshine.

Wednesday February 10 is the date to catch novelist Claire Fuller talking about her fourth book, Unsettled Ground, which is due to hit the shelves later this month.

Claire Fuller (43957855)
Claire Fuller (43957855)

The mother of two, who lives in Winchester with her husband and their cat Alan, won the Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction with Our Endless Numbered Days in 2015.

Having not started writing until the age of 40, she has also penned Swimming Lessons and Bitter Orange.

All of the open events cost £10 for a household ticket. As well as the live stream and pre-recordings of each session, viewers will have the ability to ask questions of the speakers live.

Go to www.festivalofliterature.co.uk to find out more and to book tickets.

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