SALISBURY Literary Festival have announced that bestselling authors Matt Haig and Jonathan Coe will join Val McDermid as the headline acts for this year’s event.

Following Val McDermid opening the festival on Wednesday, October 17, Matt Haig will appear in Salisbury Cathedral at 7.30pm on October 20, while Jonathan Coe will be in discussion with Salisbury-author Barney Norris in the cathedral on the evening of October 21.

Matt Haig is a bestselling writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and also the award-winning author of a number of children’s titles.

In 2015, he published a memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, which described his battles dealing with depression. The book struck a chord with readers and reached number one in the bestseller charts.

Earlier this month, he published a follow-up, Notes on a Nervous Planet, which focuses on ways to cope with stress and anxiety.

Jonathan Coe’s first novel, The Accidental Woman, was published in 1987. Since then he has published a string of critically-acclaimed titles, including What a Carve Up!, The House of Sleep and The Rotters’ Club, which was turned into a BBC TV series. Among his many literary awards, he has won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Prix Médicis Étranger, the Bollinger Everyman Prize and the Samuel Johnson Prize. In Autumn 2018, he will publish Middle England, the third volume of The Rotters’ Club trilogy, which looks at how Britain has changed since the 1970s.

Festival director Tom Bromley said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Matt Haig and Jonathan Coe to join Val McDermid as the headline authors for this year’s festival. They are three of the UK’s leading writers and we feel extremely privileged to have them as part of our line-up.”

Tickets: or Sarum College Bookshop