From the Waterstones Prize-shortlisted author comes a gorgeously spooky, gothic story, perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Frances Hardinge. Set on a poor Kentish farm surrounded by marshlands, six sisters live in fear of their father, with only their beloved grandmother to try to protect them... Age 9+
Lucy Strange is the highly acclaimed author of The Secret of Nightingale Wood, The Ghost of Gosswater and the Waterstones Prize-shortlisted Our Castle by the Sea.
Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Top foodies from around the world shared their secrets with Kent-based 12-year-old aspiring chef Alfred Moisan, collected together in his book In Conversation With... Wisdom From the World's Greatest Chefs, and which in its first week of publication outsold Mary Berry, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay! Alfred talks about his project and all things foodie with Stephen Harris from the Michelin-starred The Sportsman in Whitstable; and Faversham-based Jane Beedle (Great British Bake Off finalist in 2016) and Henry Jeffreys (The Cocktail Dictionary). With host Marnie Summerfield Smith.
A donation from ticket sales for this event will be given to FineFare, the UK's largest charity fighting hunger and tackling food waste.
Local children's author Lucy Strange meets the creators of one of the children's books of the year, Julia and the Shark, to bring to life a tale for all the family about a lighthouse and a quest to find an elusive 400-year-old Greenland shark. A celebration of our wild natural world, as well as an exploration of family relationships and mental health, join Kiran and Tom as they reveal how they set about creating the many layers of this stunning story, one that is guaranteed to stay with you long after you have finished the final page. For 9+ fans of Philip Pullman, David Almond and Frances Hardinge.
Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Andy Miller talks to AK Blakemore about her gripping debut novel The Manningtree Witches, which takes the reader into the midst of the Puritan regime and harrowing witch trials of seventeenth-century England. A brilliant work of historical fiction, it won the £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize in 2021, and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.
Part love letter to the insect world, part elegy, part rousing manifesto for a greener planet, Dave Goulson's latest book, Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse, is a call to arms for profound change – in government policy, agriculture, industry and in our own homes and gardens. Drawing on ground-breaking research and a lifetime's study, Dave Goulson talks to eco-poet and environmental journalist Julian Bishop about the decline of insect populations that has taken place in recent decades, passionately arguing that we must all learn to love, respect and care for our six-legged friends.
First published in 1914, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is Robert Tressell's witty masterpiece about class war, said by George Orwell to be 'a book everyone should read'. It has been turned into a graphic novel by author and illustrator team Sophie and Scarlett Rickard, two sisters with connections to the creative scene in Folkestone. They talk to author, scriptwriter and political activist Julie Wassmer about their amazing best-selling project.
Acknowledged as the subject’s world authority, Mark Lewisohn is a Faversham-based author who lives and breathes the Beatles and loves talking about them. He’s the writer of several acclaimed books, including The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions (1988, recently republished); The Beatles’ London (1994, 2008); and Tune In (2013) – winner of the inaugural Penderyn Prize and the first in an ambitious and comprehensive three-volume history, The Beatles: All These Years. He will be talking to local journalist Christine Rayner.
Artist Tom de Freston has long had an obsession with Gericault's painting, and the troubling story behind its creation, a 19th-century tragedy in which 150 people were drowned on a raft lost in a stormy sea. In Wreck – a work that combines personal memoir with art history – he combines the story of the raft with his own experience of making an artwork with Ali, a Syrian writer blinded by a bombing, in the process asking questions about how we might translate violence, fear and trauma into art. He is in conversation with Andy Miller.
A compelling story of family history weaving in scandals, broken marriages and political machinations to enthralling effect. Canterbury-based author Lyn Innes paints an extraordinary portrait of a royal family's fall from power between 1840 and 1940. A family story that exposes the complex prejudices regarding class and race, work and family, religion and gender, at the heart of recent British and Indian history. Hosted by author and journalist Sarah Lonsdale.
Broadcaster Dominic King talks to Julie Wassmer about how her Whitstable Pearl mystery novels became a television drama – and the process of going from page to screen.
Julie is the author of eight crime novels, with Murder at Mount Ephraim coming out in 2022. She has worked on several TV series, including ITV’s London’s Burning and the popular BBC soap Eastenders, which she wrote for almost 20 years.
Geoff Sandiford's latest musical presentation celebrates the history of Faversham Creek from Roman times through to the more recent demise of the famous Raft Race.
The live acoustic band – Dominic Abrams, Al Clark, Geoff Sandiford, Helen North and Dominic Sandiford – guides you through the story with original songs set against a backdrop of exquisite period photographs.
A donation from ticket sales for this event will be given to the Faversham Community Boat Build, Cinque Ports Rowing.
Playing on the double meaning of cruising – sailing on the water and searching for sexual encounters – this workshop will introduce you to the possibilities of 'nature writing' as cruising and invite you to inhabit the environments you live in through this practice. Based on the idea of a journey without a goal or destination, you will be asked to follow your desire and cruise the non-human aspects of Faversham's creek, including weather, landscape, architecture, animals and plants (and the human, if you so desire).
Open to all levels, genres and inclinations.
Run by Declan Wiffen, lecturer in critical theory and contemporary literature at University of Kent.
Voice is the most important element of any memoir. You need it to link your stories, to engage your audience and to make your memoir feel like you. But how do you do that? In this workshop, Marnie Summerfield Smith, founder of yourmemoir.co.uk, will help you discover your voice so you can lace your memoir with authenticity and emotion. This workshop is suitable for beginners and those already writing.
Local writers read from their recent work, talk about the craft of writing and the process of self-publishing. This is a free event with a retiring collection and complimentary glass of wine. All welcome – please register for a free ticket. Event runs 5–7pm
Including readings by:
Journalist Tim Marshall examines ten regions that are set to shape global politics and power – if you want to understand what’s happening in the world, look at a map. His previous global bestseller Prisoners of Geography showed how every nation’s choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Since then, the geography hasn’t changed, but the world has. Find out why the earth’s atmosphere is the world’s next battleground; why the fight for the Pacific is just beginning; and why Europe’s next refugee crisis is critical, and closer than we think. Chaired by former BBC journalist Mike Sanders.
Folk songwriter Beans on Toast has written his second book! Foolhardy Folk Tales will follow in the footsteps of his warmly received debut outing, 2018’s Drunk Folk Stories, as the singer shares 10 more capers from a life less ordinary. A mix of memoirs, mischief and moral tales from a modern-day folk legend, the new book finds Beans venturing back into the past to 'try and throw up some fun stories, lessons learned, or bridges burned'. He talks to urban philosopher Simon Cole. Followed by a 45-minute set of new tunes and old favourites.
Born in war-torn Afghanistan, Waheed Arian's memoir recounts how he was smuggled to the UK at age 15 with just 100 dollars in his pocket. He found a job in a shop, but had bigger ambitions – he was accepted to read medicine at Cambridge University, Imperial College and Harvard, and went on to become a doctor in the NHS, currently in A&E on the Covid frontline. He is in conversation with Faversham-based Marg Mayne, former CEO of Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and former director at the British Council.
One of the most important poets of his generation, Raymond Antrobus is our headline poet to kick off the Bookie Slam as it hits the road and returns to Faversham Literary Festival! Host: Connor Sansby.
Raymond Antrobus is an award-winning poet whose writing confronts his deafness, place and memory, miscommunication, sound and silence, and conflicting racial and cultural identities, shifting between England, South Africa, Jamaica, and the American South.
Followed by 10 poets battling it out to be crowned the Bookie Champ and get their shot at the Kentish Poetry Championship Belt.
Two writers talk about experiencing sudden, life-threatening illness and how it led to their daring to live differently after their recovery. Harriet Mercer's Gargoyles interweaves personal experience with insightful cultural commentary; in The Cure for Sleep, Tanya Shadrick vows to stop sleepwalking through life, to take more risks, like the characters in the fairy tales she loved as a small girl. Host Francesca Baker.
Join award-winning author and illustrator Rob Biddulph in this fun-packed session for all the family. Rob helped everyone get through lockdown with his brilliant #DrawwithRob videos and now you can join in live with one of his famous draw alongs! Fizzing with fun and creativity, find out all about Rob's journey from budding artist to award-winning picture book creator, Guinness World Record holder, and now middle grade author of Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City. Don't forget to bring your pads and pencils!
Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times; adults need to purchase a ticket for the event.
Two exciting new debut authors to watch. Host Steven Gale talks to Peruvian-British writer Karina Lickorish Quinn and Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, a writer from Trinidad & Tobago, selected as one of the Observer's 10 Best Debut Novelists of 2022. Karina is the new face of magical realism, her haunting debut a must for fans of Isabel Allende and Kazuo Ishiguro. Ayanna writes about a mother and daughter in an old house on a hill, where the city meets the rainforest – a mythic love story set in Trinidad, in which two unforgettable outsiders are brought together by their connection with the dead.
An elegantly written portrait of a mental health crisis that is both triggered (partly) and healed by trying to care for a patch of land. After moving to a countryside smallholding in Kent, Rebecca Schiller finds her family’s new life is far from simple. Overwhelmed by what she has taken on and reeling from the turmoil in the wider world, her mind begins to unravel, and so she turns to her two acres, and to the women of this land’s past, searching for answers and hope. With host Tanya Shadrick.
Rebecca Schiller is a journalist and author of Your No Guilt Pregnancy Plan and Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter. She is co-founder and trustee of the human rights charity Birthrights and a regular contributor to The Guardian.
William Shaw talks to best-selling crime fiction writer Mark Billingham about his new thriller, Rabbit Hole. Mark Billingham started his career 20 years ago as the new young voice in crime fiction. He brought a fresh, edgy and terrifying twist to the genre and Tom Thorne was every bit as quirky and different a character as his creator. The intervening two decades have seen Billingham grow from a young maverick, pushing the boundaries and challenging the assumptions of crime writing, supporting new writers and confronting his own social conscience through his work. The crime novel can (in the words of Billingham himself) ‘shine a light into some of the darker corners of society’ – and the commentary writers like him give to contemporary political and social issues has an important role to play in today’s tumultuous world.
Mark’s writing career spans 20 years and his books have sold over 6 million copies. He has had 20 Sunday Times bestsellers (every one of his titles) and has spent over 120 weeks in the top ten.
A mix of memoir and narrative non-fiction, White Spines is a book about Nicholas Royle’s passion for Picador’s fiction and non-fiction publishing from the 1970s to the end of the 1990s. He talks to author Lee Rourke about how his 'Confessions of a Book Collector' explores the bookshops and charity shops, the books themselves, and the way a unique collection grew and became a literary obsession. Expect a love song to books, writers and writing.
Ballet dancer. Front man in an almost famous band. Judge on The Great Pottery Throwdown. How did all that happen? As Keith says... by accident mostly. 'Sifting through half-forgotten memories, trying to pick out the golden nuggets from the stuff that is definitely dross has been a curious, and at times hilarious, sometimes sad, but definitely enlightening process. So here it is – my pottery life with some very loud music and some pretty good dancing. And a lot of throwing, fettling and firing. Oh… and a good dose of anxiety.'
Host: Marnie Summerfield Smith.
William Shaw’s taut thrilller 'The Trawlerman', set in the brooding shadows of Dungeness, and Maggie Gee’s literary eco-fiction set in 2030s Ramsgate – the authors talk about Kent as the setting for their work and how they each confront its social divisions and growing social unrest set against the backdrop of the brooding waters of the Kent coastline.
William Shaw's 'The Birdwatcher', set in Kent and Northern Ireland, was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and hailed as 'a contender for thriller of the year' in The Sun.
Maggie Gee's many published works include 'Blood', 'Virginia Woolf in Manhattan' and 'The Ice People'. In 2012 she was awarded an OBE for services to literature.
Join the bestselling author of Chocolat as she talks to Steven Gale about her latest book A Narrow Door, the final in a trio of psychological novels set in a grammar school, in which the reader is led into a dark world of emotional complexity and betrayal, and nothing is what it seems.
Joanne has written many much-loved novels, plus novellas, short stories, game scripts, the libretti for two short operas, several screenplays, a musical and three cookbooks. Also a wonderful guide for would-be writers, Ten Things about Writing. Her books are published in over 50 countries and have won many awards. She has been a judge for the Whitbread Prize, the Orange Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, the Betty Trask Award, the Prima Donna Prize and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science.
Dave Haslam, a DJ who played nearly 500 times at the legendary Haçienda in Manchester, talks about his ‘Art Decades’ limited edition series of small format books, the subjects including Sylvia Plath, vinyl collecting, Courtney Love, artist Keith Haring – and his latest about acid house, urban politics and the end of the 1960s. He talks to author Lee Rourke.
Dave Haslam has since DJ’d worldwide, from Berlin to Detroit, Paris to Peru – and written five full-length books, including his autobiography Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor (acclaimed by Gilles Peterson as 'the best book of 2018'), and Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues.
Psychoanalyst Anouchka Grose is passionately concerned about the effect of climate crisis on our mental health and has written a book that tackles the growing phenomenon of eco-anxiety. It is a manifesto for action, connection and hope, showing how to harness anxiety for positive action. A member of Writers Rebel (Extinction Rebellion), she talks with Maggie Butt, a member of Poets for the Planet – a group inspired by protests around the world and who believe that the poetry community has an important role to play in calling on a range of voices, experiences and passions to respond to this crucial moment of challenge.
Free event, booking required
Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish is a poet whose live readings are not to be missed. Expect strong language and adult content ribbon-wrapped in carefully and caringly sculpted poetry as Hollie reads from and chats about her much anticipated new collection: Slug… and other things i’ve been told to hate.
'One of the best poets we have” – Matt Haig
'Like Pam Ayres on acid' – Lemn Sissay
'I like some poetry but not really yours'– Hollie’s daughter
Time travel, magic, witches... and happy families! Join Kent authors Mark Stay and FMA Dixon as they exchange ideas, antics and themes that run through their fiction written for teens and young adults... and for all the family!
Mark Stay lives in Herne Bay and is co-presenter of the Bestseller Experiment podcast. He is the author of the Crow Folk series, Robot Overlords, Back to Reality and The End of Magic. FMA Dixon works at University of Kent, and can be found with surprising regularity in London, Paris and New York, assuming you know where to look... and when.
Free event, booking required.
Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Iain Sinclair talks to Andy Miller about his travels through Peru in the footsteps of our ancestors, guided by – and in reaction to – an ill-fated colonial expedition led by his great-grandfather, Arthur Sinclair. He shares stories about bounty hunters, missionaries, today's ecotourists, the family history of a displaced Scottish highlander and the brutal reality of a major land grab – revealing how the historic thirst for gold and the establishment of sprawling coffee plantations have left terrible wounds on virgin territory.
Iain Sinclair is an award-winning author and filmmaker, among his best known publications The Last London, Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and Downriver.
Two celebrated fiction writers who explore how our lives are shaped by the communities we're born into. In Lairies – a sensitive, brutal, brilliant read – disaffected youths in small-town Britain; in Keeping the House, inner-city estates, Turkish-Cypriot cabbage growers and drug runners. Both offer a fresh, funny take on the darker sides of British culture, community and belonging. With host Gary Budden, author and independent publisher at Influx Press.
Primal Scream singer-songwriter Bobby Gillespie's memoir, published thirty years after the release of the band's masterpiece, Screamadelica, cuts a righteous path through a decade lost to Thatcherism and saved by acid house. He talks to author and Manchester Haçienda DJ Dave Haslam about being born into a working-class Glaswegian family in the summer of 1961, and how his destiny was sealed with the arrival of the Sex Pistols and punk rock – an iconoclastic vision of class rebellion that led to him becoming an artist initially in the Jesus and Mary Chain then in Primal Scream, one of the most innovative British bands of the 1990s.
From one of our most admired writers, Cyril & Sybil is a beautifully illustrated story of a dynamic artistic partnership between the wars. Jenny Uglow talks to Steven Gale about the story of Sybil Andews and Cyril Power, two artists who both became famous for their dynamic, modernist linocuts, set amid a world of futurists, surrealists, pioneering abstraction and the looming shadows of war.
Jenny Uglow lives in Canterbury. Her books include prize-winning biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell and William Hogarth.
Two brilliant works of debut fiction from two darkly funny writers. Kylie Whitehead's Absorbed is both a body-horror story and Rooneyesque intimate, often very funny examination of female friendship and modern relationships, exploring how we think others see us and how we want to be seen. Alison Rumfitt's Tell Me I'm Worthless connects haunted houses and right-wing politics, a work of trans fiction that confronts both supernatural and real-world horrors. Hosted by Declan Wiffen.
Dr John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’ and he became one of the most prolific artists of the Punk years. His 2019 autobiography, named after his most famous poem I Wanna Be Yours (Macmillan) goes into fascinating detail about his early life in Manchester leading up to punk superstardom, drug addiction and then the massive comeback as major poet that he enjoys today. He is in conversation with Johnny Green, former road-manager of The Clash.
His 1980s poetry collection 10 Years in An Open Necked Shirt, featuring the lyrics to classic tracks from his albums and more, is one of the UKs biggest-selling poetry collections of all time. His 2018 poetry collection The Luckiest Guy Alive features 30 new poems plus favourites 'I've Fallen In Love With My Wife' and 'Get Back on Drugs you Fat F*ck'. Today he performs purely as a stand-up solo poet. His unique poetry show has been touring worldwide for over 15 years.
A comedy chat show hosted by award-winning comedian, author and accidental relationship guru Rosie Wilby, in which she and special guest Anouchka Grose look back at their best and worst romantic breakup stories.
Anouchka Grose is an author, psychoanalyst, journalist, musician, artist... and when it comes to the horrors of romance, from the first flirtatious text message, to the divorce courts via swooning, stalking and sweating, she is something of a connoisseur... the author of No More Silly Love Songs: A Realist's Guide to Romance, Hysteria Today, and Notes on Psychoanalysis: From Anxiety to Zoolander.
Rosie Wilby’s The Breakup Monologues was published in 2021 and is based on her award-winning podcast. An award-winning comedian, journalist, broadcaster and speaker, her first book Is Monogamy Dead? was shortlisted for the Diva Literary Awards 2017. Her trilogy of solo shows investigating love and relationships began with The Science of Sex, which has been performed all over the UK, in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Berlin, and ended with The Conscious Uncoupling, which toured to venues including London's Southbank Centre and was shortlisted for Funny Women Best Show.
Best-selling novelist Patrick Gale talks to Steven Gale (no relation!) about his latest novel, Mother's Boy, based around the known facts of the boyhood and youth of the great Cornish poet, Charles Causley. A man who is among yet apart from his fellows, his life is spent hiding in plain sight. But it is equally the story of the dauntless mother who will continue to shield him long after the dangers of war are past.
Patrick Gale is author of the Emmy award-winning BBC drama, Man in an Orange Shirt and of novels including The Whole Day Through, the Richard and Judy bestsellers Notes From An Exhibition and A Perfectly Good Man, the Costa nominated A Place Called Winter and his fourth Sunday Times bestseller, Take Nothing With You.