British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman and comedian Seann Walsh are among the big names appearing at this year’s Wimbledon Bookfest.

The nine day event kicks off on October 2 with a talk from ‘Birdsong’ author and literary superstar Sebastian Faulks, paving the way for a broad scope of events for adults and children.

Bookfest was co-founded by Fiona Razvi in 2006 after she became inspired by rural literature festivals running across the UK with the goal of promoting writing, reading and literature in Merton.

Ms Razvi said: "We wanted to recreate that feeling of community, we can really achieve community cohesion through the arts."

In its 9th year, the event has grown from 1,000 visitors to more than 15,000, half of whom are schoolchildren.

Mrs Razvi added: "Bookfest is about inspiring young people and getting them engaged in reading and language."

This year’s the event has developed a youth panel with six Merton schools invite to actively contribute in organising activities.

Seventeen sixth form students from King’s College, Ricards Lodge, Rutlish, Ursuline High and Wimbledon High joined the Bookfest team to develop ideas for this years events.

Most of the events centre around story-telling, and big names have been booked that are already proving a sell-out.

Shulman, editor of British Vogue, will be talking about her life in fashion, but also discussing her love of fiction with best-selling novelist Penny Vincenzi at Cannizaro House on October 8.

Other events include a conversation with Captain Corelli's Mandolin author Louis de Bernieres during the closing gala night, who wrote the famous novel while living in Earlsfield.

Taking advantage of Rugby World Cup fever former England player and BBC pundit Brian Moore will host a panel that includes legendary Aussie player Michael Lynagh and England Women’s captain Katy McLean, who led her team to World Cup victory in 2014.

Bookfest turned over £200,000 last year, with all money raised being reinvested into the festival and its education work with Merton schools.

The fruit of such investment is being showcased today at the Wimbledon Odeon, where three secondary Merton schools are screening a selection of short films produced by their pupils.

Wimbledon Bookfest will run from October 2 to 11, and all bookings and information on events can be found at