HAMPSHIRE Writers' Society opens its fourth season with a ambitious programme of talks presented by leading authors.

The society will be addressed by Lady Antonia Fraser, former diplomat and author Sherard Cowper-Coles, foreign correspondent Luke Harding, novelists Judith Allnatt and Catherine King, literary agents Lorella Belli and Judith Murdoch and Shakespearean authority, Professor Stanley Wells.

For an annual membership of £30, writers and readers are welcomed to join this creative society, designed for all writers, published and unpublished.

The launch meeting is on Tuesday, September 9, 7pm for 7.30pm at the West Downs Campus of the University of Winchester.

Guest speaker is Santa Montefiore, author of the The Beekeeper's Daughter, who will present an evening of wonderful stories about her novels and what inspired them.

Daniel Clay, author of the contemporary novel, Broken which has since been produced as a prize-winning film, will adjudicate the writing competition.

Entrants are invited to send the first page of a novel, any genre, no more than 300 words.

Special guest on September 9 will be poet, Dr Joan McGavin, who will open the programme with a description of the Winchester Poetry Festival from September 12-14.