WINCHESTER University has announced a top novelist as a keynote speaker at its Writers' Festival 2018.

Patrick Gale will give a talk at the event running from June 15-17, now in its 38th year.

His keynote, titled A Life in Writing, will take the form of a conversation with festival director Judith Heneghan, who is also a senior lecturer in creative writing at the university.

She said: “As well as being a best-selling contemporary novelist whose fiction is suffused with psychological truth, Patrick has strong links with Winchester: his father was governor of Winchester Prison for a time during his childhood and he attended schools in the city.

“The university awarded an honorary doctorate to Patrick in 2013 and we are delighted to welcome him back to Winchester to speak at this year’s Festival.”

Patrick's first two novels were published by Abacus on the same day in 1986, just three years after he graduated from the University of Oxford.

Since then he has published a further 13 novels, several collections of short stories, novellas and a biography of the writer Armistead Maupin.

His most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through – which is set in Winchester – the Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller Notes From an Exhibition and the Costa-nominated A Place Called Winter.

His recent TV screenplay, Man in an Orange Shirt, was commissioned as the centrepiece of the BBC's 2017 'Gay Britannia' season.

Patrick is chair of the North Cornwall Book Festival, patron of Penzance LitFest and a director of both Endelienta and the Charles Causley Trust.

The three-day University of Winchester Writers’ Festival is renowned for its programme of workshops and talks and for connecting writers on a one-to-one basis with key figures in the publishing industry, including literary agents, commissioning editors, authors and publishing experts.

Previous keynote speakers include Sebastian Faulks, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Morpurgo, Joanne Harris, Meg Rosoff, Lemn Sissay and Sir Terry Pratchett.

Attendees may book to attend one, two or all three days.

Tickets will also be available for Patrick Gale’s keynote address only, which takes place at 9am on Saturday, June 16 in the Stripe Auditorium, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road.

The full Writers’ Festival 2018 programme is to be announced in February.