Heading to Marlborough for its 2021 hybrid live/online LitFest will be established names in fiction as well as new and emerging writers. Now confirmed for 30 September – 3 October are acclaimed Irish writer, Colm Tóibín, local novelist Gill Hornby and bestselling spy thriller author, Mick Herron. Marlborough LitFest is also delighted to announce that Sarah Raven is taking over as the new lead sponsor for the festival for the next two years. The full festival programme will be announced by late August; tickets will be on sale from 2 September.
Marlborough LitFest would like to thank its departing lead sponsor, Brewin Dolphin, for its invaluable support to the festival over the last ten years but looks forward to working with sarahraven.com the Online Garden Store, which has its headquarters in Marlborough.
Genevieve Clarke, Chair of Marlborough LitFest said: “We are extremely grateful to Brewin Dolphin whose consistent support since the first LitFest in 2010 has been crucial to our success. After ten years we’re now into a new chapter and excited about developing a partnership with Sarah Raven as our lead sponsor. We really appreciate that they have stepped forward at such a challenging time for the arts sector because of Covid.”
Lou Farman, Chief Executive Officer of Sarah Raven, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Marlborough Literature Festival, particularly after such difficult times for the arts industry – and are looking forward to an exciting weekend with a packed programme of events.”
Colm Tóibín is considered to be one of Ireland’s greatest living writers – an award-winning novelist, short story writer, playwright, journalist, critic and poet, he is the author of ten novels, including The Master; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times.
His latest book The Magician (published on 23 September), is described as a sweeping novel of unrequited love and exile, war and family. Colm will be appearing on Saturday 2 October at 8pm in an online event. This talk will be livestreamed; the audience can watch it on a big screen in Marlborough Town Hall with a glass of wine, or online.
Gill Hornby is a writer and journalist, who lives locally, near Hungerford. She is married to the author Robert Harris and is the sister of author, Nick Hornby. Her latest novel, Miss Austen, sees Cassandra, Jane Austen’s sister, recalling her youth and her relationship with her brilliant yet complex sister 20 years after the author’s death, through a cache of family letters that Jane wrote to her sister during her lifetime and the majority of which were then burned by Cassandra.Gill will be appearing on Saturday 2 October at 10am at Marlborough Town Hall. This event will be open to a live audience as well as being livestreamed.
The bestselling novelist of spy thrillers, Mick Herron, has been called the heir to Len Deighton and John le Carré. His series of Slough House novels have been shortlisted for eight CWA Daggers, winning twice, and the first book in the series, Slow Horses, was picked as one of the best twenty spy novels of all time by the Daily Telegraph, while the most recent, Slough House, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
Mick will be appearing at LitFest on Saturday 2 October at 6pm in an online event. This talk will be livestreamed; the audience can watch it on a big screen in Marlborough Town Hall or online.
These authors will join the already confirmed line-up of LitFest’s 10th Golding Speaker, Elif Shafak, this year’s Big Town Read author, Rosamund Lupton, as well as the journalist and broadcaster, Sathnam Sanghera, the environmental campaigner and writer, Jonathon Porritt and contemporary novelist, Jessie Greengrass.
This year’s festival will feature a varied programme of events for all ages including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The festival aims to champion new, upcoming writers as well as established names and to also encourage a love of reading in children and young people with author talks, competitions and our ongoing community outreach programme. The full programme will be available at the end of August and tickets will go on sale on 2 September. For more information, visit www.marlboroughlitfest.org
Marlborough LitFest will comply with current government Covid-19 guidelines during its festival weekend and plans to offer a mix of live and virtual author events at Marlborough Town Hall and venues around Marlborough. Working with video creative agency, StreamWorks, the festival’s aim is to reach as wide an audience as possible so that people can either attend Covid-safe events in person or watch sessions online.