Marlborough LitFest returns for its 13th year in 2022 from 29 September – 2 October. Over 40 events will take place over the festival weekend, with a mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s authors, literary events/workshops, outreach events and LitFest’s annual Big Town Read. The line-up includes 2022 Golding Speaker, Ali Smith, as well as Kamila Shamsie, Patrick Gale, Pam Ayres, Clover Stroud, Max Hastings, Benedict Allen and children’s author Jacqueline Wilson. Priority booking for Friends of LitFest opens on 4 July; general booking opens on 14 July. For more information click here.
- Hannah Lowe, reading poetry from her 2021 Costa Award-winning book, The Kids, in Marlborough College’s Memorial Hall.
- The annual Hiscox Debut Authors slot will champion the emerging writing talent of Ayanna Lloyd Banwo and Bobby Palmer.
- Local archaeologist and author, Mike Pitts, talking about his latest book, How to Build Stonehenge.
- Prize-winning author of books on landscape, place, literature and history, Adam Nicolson, on his new book, Life Between the Tides.
- Local Wiltshire vicar, Revd Colin Heber-Percy, in conversation with the Bishop of Ramsbury, Andrew Rumsey, about the role of the parish church during the pandemic and their recent books, Tales of a Country Parish and In English Grounds: A Pastoral Journal, respectively.
- Scottish Bengali author Abir Mukherjee makes a welcome return to LitFest to discuss his latest historical crime fiction book, The Shadows of Men.
- This year’s Translation Duel will feature German-language experts Shaun Whiteside and Ruth Martin discussing a tale from the Brothers Grimm, chaired by Daniel Hahn.
- Author and journalist, Anita Sethi and travel writer, Simon Parker, discuss their travelling experiences in Britain in 2019/20 (Anita walked the Pennine Way; Simon completed a 3,500-mile bike ride around Britain) in their books, I Belong Here and Riding Out, respectively.
- Louise Willder has been writing the ‘blurbs’ on the back of books for Penguin for 25 years and, 5,000 of them later, she’s broken free and written a whole book: Blurb Your Enthusiasm: An A-Z of Literary Persuasion.
- Memoir writing workshop with bestselling author and creative writing teacher Cathy Rentzenbrink.
- The annual Collectable Books Roadshow with local rare book expert Chris Gange at Katharine House Gallery.
- Poetry in the Pub returns to The Green Dragon pub with the popular open mic poetry event for poets of any age, chaired by Alex Hickman. This year’s theme is ‘The Environment’ – submit your poems in advance to email@example.com and these will be read first.
- LitFest is proud to offer free events with children’s authors to invited local schools. Maz Evans, author of the Vi Spy and the Who Let the Gods Out series, will be entertaining Year 5 and 6 pupils from Pewsey and surrounding villages, whilst Catherine Johnson, author of historical novel Freedom and true story Race to the Frozen North, will be inspiring Year 5 and 6 pupils from the Marlborough area.
- This year’s Big School Read for local secondary school children, hosted at St John’s Academy in Marlborough, is Simon James Green, one of the UK’s leading writers of LGBTQ+ teen fiction. Green’s books include Gay Club!, Sleepover Takeover and You’re the One That I Want.
- Back for 2022: sixth formers from St John’s Academy will hold a literary-themed debate at Marlborough Town Hall – this year’s subject is love and jealousy in literature.
- Under-5s will be treated to an hour of fun with award-winning author and illustrator, Morag Hood, at The White Horse Bookshop, with interactive storytelling and live drawing.
- Award-winning children’s author, Tracey Corderoy, will be chatting about The Story Shop: Blast Off!, to 5-8 year-olds at this year’s LitFest, promising a space game and some interactive drawing too.
Marlborough LitFest Chair, Genevieve Clarke, said: “We’re thrilled to be back with a full and varied programme of live events. We’ve enjoyed putting it together and hope there’s plenty for regular festival goers and those coming along for the first time. We look forward to seeing you!”
Festival brochures will be available at The White Horse Bookshop, Marlborough, or to view online click here. Priority booking for Friends of LitFest opens on 4 July; general booking opens on 14 July.
LitFest would like to thank its sponsors for 2022: lead sponsor Sarah Raven, main event sponsor Hiscox Insurance, and event sponsors William Golding Limited, Robert Hiscox, Adam Matthew Digital, St Francis School, Marlborough College, Marlborough.news and Hamilton Trust, as well as patron Sir Simon Russell Beale, and partners Katharine House Gallery, Haine & Smith Opticians, The White Horse Bookshop and Wiltshire Life for their continued support for the festival.