Penzance Literary Festival became a registered charity in July 2016. Our public record is available to view at the Charity Commission website.

We are currently seeking two trustees for 2022. Find out more…

Our trustees

Paul Hunter



Having worked for 35 years in the building materials industry in a variety of senior operational and commercial roles, I was able to take early retirement 2 years ago. This allowed a move to Penzance where I have had links for over 25 years.

I am a Trustee Director for a large £3bn pension scheme representing 35k members for the last 5 years and chair the Defined Contributions committee.

As a lifelong devotee of the arts in all forms, I am pleased to have the opportunity to promote the Penzance Litfest and ensure its future success. I also help with other organisations such as the Penlee Gallery, Morrab Library and the Arts Society West Cornwall.

Robin Knight



Prior to my retirement from 40+ years as a Biomedical Scientist I was the National Head of the NHS Blood & Transplant Red Cell Immunohaematology Reference Services, with responsibility for a budget of £10 million, a staff of 230 working in ten different laboratories across England.

During my career I played an active role in three professional bodies that included organising national and international scientific meetings. I have published 24 peer reviewed scientific papers and co-authored and edited five text books, two of which were published by the World Health Organisation.

Since my retirement from the NHS I continued for a further five years to act as a Scientific Consultant to the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service and still act as an advisor to a community development organisation working on the Kachin-China border in northern Myanmar. I am now devoting more time to local activities as a volunteer for two environmental groups, trying to write more creatively and for the Penzance Litfest.

Linda Camidge

Linda Camidge


After an invigorating and enjoyable working life as a schoolteacher, including 27 years as Head of English at Mullion School, Linda retired from paid work in 2014. Since then she has become a writer and performer. Linda, who has a PhD in 15th century cultural history, contributed a chapter to the recent Penwith Local History Group book Women of West Cornwall and writes frequently for the group’s website, as well as working towards the publication of a series of books about the history of Penzance. She forms half of Camidge and Stringer, which has written and staged a number of productions locally and may be found at  An active member of the local folk music community, Linda is secretary of both Penwith Local History Group and the community band Raffidy Dumitz, and volunteers regularly at the Morrab Library (where she offers weekly tours), Oxfam shop and Acorn Arts Centre.

John Pestle

A trainer and employment relations person by trade now operating on a freelance basis. I have lots of experience of working for different types of festivals in various capacities and have been part of the organising team of the Penzance Literary Festival for around five years. I am also a local community radio presenter and community correspondent mainly concentrating on social and cultural issues.

Rachel Viney

Rachel Viney

Rachel’s first full-time job was as Publicity Manager for an independent London publishing house. Stints at the BBC and in commercial radio were followed by a move into TV as a policy executive at the Independent Television Commission (ITC). Rachel went on to study for an MA in European Cultural Policy and Arts Management at Warwick University and work for herself as an independent media consultant – something she still does today. She’s also been a partner in a publishing business, producing publications for international photojournalists. Rachel has written widely on media and cultural topics, and is the author of two books about broadcasting.

Lin Rogers

As a child I wanted to: be like Hayley Mills; be a writer; live by the sea. I gave up on Hollywood a long time ago, although my family sometimes claim that I’m a bit of a drama queen. I’ve been lucky enough to be paid for crafting words and obviously have a novel that is ‘work-in-progress’. Moving to Cornwall five years ago means that the beach hut is now a reality.

My first proper job, working for a small publishing house in Fleet Street, gave me a taste for print production and my first writing opportunities. From there I moved to the corporate marketing world of Unilever and KPMG, and for a decade honed my skills in both these areas. I was then part of a management buy-out and a founding director in 1990 of a design and communications business that evolved over the years with clients as diverse as Aviva, Cushman & Wakefield, Diageo, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Oxford Oratory, Natural History Museum and Save Our Seas Foundation. I sold the business in 2012 and set up my own corporate copywriting company, continuing to work with clients in the UK and Europe. I have been a trustee of St Ives in December, a not-for-profit organisation for five years.

David Taylor

Before retiring to Cornwall to write books and run an award-winning independent television production company, I spent most of my career as a print, television and radio journalist. Writing for the Guardian, reporting for Panorama, presenting World in Action, fronting documentary series for BBC2, producing several series of Great Railway Journeys and heading BBC Features would rank among my better moments. I also found time to play cricket for Durham and to be an ITV football commentator. In my early days I was the Treasurer of the National Union of Students and Secretary of World University Service.

Renate Augstein

Renate Augstein was born 4thDecember 1950 in Köln. Following her legal examinations in Köln, she became Desk Officer at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Bonn, in 1981. For about 10 years she was responsible for policies to protect women against gender based violence. 2000 she began her managerial role as Deputy Director-General “Gender Equality” at the ministry in Berlin, being responsible inter alia for the implementation of gender mainstreaming within the federal government, the implementation of the EU equality directives into German law and chairing the federal work groups “Trafficking in Women” and “Domestic Violence”. 2012 – 2015 she was Director-General “Gender Equality”, thus being also responsible for the management of the directorate´s staff (70 employees). She has issued various publications on juridical and political issues including the development of an E-Master-course on violence against women. Since 2015 she is retired and lives in Penzance, Cornwall.

Phil Wisdom

Phil has been a journalist on local newspapers for most of his career, punctuated with mercifully short periods working in public relations. Since moving to Cornwall in 1999 he has been a sub-editor for the Western Morning News and the Plymouth Herald, and now works on the Cornish Guardian, for which he also writes a weekly column, the Cornishman and the West Briton, while freelancing as a copywriter, editor and proofreader. He has written comedy sketches for radio and TV, written for the Times Education Supplement and now, thanks to the ever-present threat of redundancy which has accompanied the decline in newspaper readership, is in the process of self-publishing his first book – a young adult novel about submarine warfare in the Western Approaches in 1916 inspired by an incident during the boyhood of Cornwall’s oldest man – with a view to becoming a proper writer one day.