Think of a whole list of cool things. Dinosaurs and fossils? Check. Beaches. Check. Charming small towns. Check. Big name thinkers like Richard Dawkins. Check. Activities, talks, shops, workshops? Check. Stuff for adults, stuff for kids. Check. The beauty and pleasantness of East Devon. Check. And of course, a literary festival. Check check check. You want it all, you want the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival – happening this year between 15 and 19 September.

Of course, yours truly has plenty to enjoy… as do other adults interested in writing or reading. But the festival seems to hit the sweet spot when it comes to instilling a lifelong love of reading in young people – with all kinds of fun activities.

While my books – on the main – are not written for young adults or children – I am an advocate for youth literacy. When a young person loves to read – it changes their game entirely. It changes everything for them. Readers are thinkers. Readers have options. Readers know stuff. Readers can do stuff. Readers have choices. Readers are empowered. The difference between the inevitable tragic outcomes I was merely awaiting and a life well loved and lived, were books. I believe – without any naive idealism – that all a young person with challenges needs to turn everything around is exposure to sufficient quantities of ideas.

One of the best ideas is to have a lot of books around in your house. Your kids pick up on it. Another great idea, is to take the family down to the Jurassic Coast for some good, wholesome activities that will yield thousands of pages worth of lifelong adventures.