Full Events List for 2019 Festival

The 2019 Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival had an international flavour though anchored firmly in our village community.  Click the link to download a printable pdf of the programme.

2019 Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival Programme

And here’s a downloadable map showing you were we held the events.

Opening Ceremony (10am)

photo of Brad Borkan in Shackleton's boat

Brad Borkan, co-author of “When Your Life Depends On It”, will declare the Festival officially open

The Festival was opened at 10am by Festival Founder Debbie Young, with the help of:

  • special guest Brad Borkan, author and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, who will be giving the first lecture at 11am
  • Festival poet Shirley Wright and the children of Hawkesbury Primary School who will be launching their new poetry book

The Village Hall Lectures

From 11am until 4pm, in the Hawkesbury Village Hall, we ran a series of free illustrated guest lectures by the following speakers:

cover of When Your Life Depends On It

“A remarkable book” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes

  • 11am Lessons We Can Learn from the Early Antarctic Explorers (11am) – Brad Borkan
  • 12noon Why New Zealand’s Greatest Author Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) is Still So Important Today – Dr Gerri Kimber with Janet Wilson
  • 1pm Five Things You Almost Certainly Didn’t Know About the Spanish Civil War – the inspiration for his Jack Telford thriller series – David Ebsworth
  • 2pm Voicing Dementia, Sharing Empathy through stories and film – Rod Griffiths & Lois Parker
  • 3pm Make More Noise, a selection of short films from the BFI National Archive including historic newsreels and feminist comedy, introduced by Lucienne Boyce, author of The Bristol Suffragettes
  • 4pm The Life of Mercedes Gleitze, first British woman to swim the English Channel, by her daughter Doloranda Pember, in conversation with Lucienne Boyce and Sallie Anderson

Panel Discussions – Bethesda Chapel

A series of multi-author discussions ran in the Bethesda Chapel from 12noon until 4pm, on topics including:

  • 12noon Novels inspired by the authors’ day-jobs 
    (accountancy, nursing, armed forces – and the prevention of money-laundering!)
    with A A Abbott (chair), Hugh Arthur, Susan Grossey, & Wendy H Jones
  • 1pm Novels inspired by other arts
    (dance, music, painting & photography)
    with Ali Bacon (chair), Jean Burnett, David Penny & Thomas Shepherd
  • 2pm Novels reflecting the impact of World War II on civilians (2pm)
    (in England and Germany)
    with Rosalind Minett (chair), Maureen Armstrong, Gillian Morton & Richard Vaughan-Davies
  • 3pm Beware of the ghost(writers) – and other publishing secrets (3pm)
    (including running a small press, publishing your own work, and defining the nation’s use of language)
    with John Lynch (chair), Rachel Amphlett, Katharine E Smith & Edmund Weiner
  • 4pm Around the world in 8ish novels
    (a lightning world tour starting and finishing at Hawkesbury Upton!)
    with Hugh Arthur, Anita Davison, Glynn Holloway, Edward James, Nima Lee,  Marg Roberts, Caroline Sanderson (chair), Jan Turk Petrie, & Debbie Young

Readings & Performances – Methodist Chapel

Themed groups of readings took place all day in the Methodist Chapel from 11am until 4pm

  • 11am Best of British (Chair – Barry Faulkner)
    with Ali Bacon, Lucienne Boyce, JJ Franklin, Melanie Golding, Nicola Kelsall, Alice Jolly & Jo Ullah
  • 12noon Non-fiction (Chair – Caroline Sanderson)
    with Brad Borkan, William Fairney, Alice Jolly, Michael MacMahon, Mark Peckett & Jann Tracy
  • 1pm Short Stories (Chair – John Holland)
    Seven complete short stories will be read by their authors, Kate O’Grady, Nastasya Parker, Mark Rutterford, Chloe Turner, Steve Wheeler & Katie Witcombe
  • 3pm Poetry Slam (Chair – Dan Holloway)
    with Linda Alvis, Chris Burleigh, Jason Conway, Bobbie Coelho, William Fairney, Josephine Lay, Peter Lay, Gef Lucena, David Williams, Shirley Wright – plus entries welcome on the day!

Children’s Events – Hawkesbury Primary School

  • 10am Book Launch As part of the opening ceremony, we llaunched  Hawkesbury Primary School’s new book of poetry, written by the children, and published in collaboration with the Hawkesbury Literature Festival.
  • 11am Art Workshop with popular children’s author and artist Linda Alvis in the Bookworm Tent
  • 12noon & 2pm Meet the Authors Two one-hour sessions in the Bookworms Tent with storytelling, story and art workshops – with Linda Alvis, J M Forster, Kate Frost, Anna & Debbie Gilmore, Jak Harrison, Angela James, Wendy Jones, Betty Salthouse and Trevor Stubbs

Workshops – Hawkesbury Primary School Meeting Room 

These workshops ran for adults (teens also welcome).

  • 11am How to Write for Magazines with Ellie Stevenson
  • 12noon Free Writing with Jo Ullah
  • 1pm Writing Poetry with Shirley Wright
  • 2pm Pastel Drawing with Linda Alvis
  • 3pm How to Live a Happier Life (with a little help from Aikido) – with Mark Peckett

Art Exhibition – Methodist Schoolroom

The Art Exhibition took place from 11am until 4pm in the Methodist Schoolroom (behind the Chapel).

Artists  included Linda Alvis, Patricia Bell, Jason Conway, Chris Gooding, Jenny Harris, Nicola Kelsall, Peter Kerby, Penny Lacy, Phil Ringland, Mike Rome & T E Shepherd, Ellie Stevenson, Holly Stone, and Wendy Weaver.

The exhibition was curated by Chris Gooding, formerly of the Royal West of England Academy.

Guided Tour of the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin (2pm)

Visitors had the chance to travel back in ime to the age of the Domesday Book! Free transport was provided from The Plain (the green around the War Memorial) to the ancient hamlet of Hawkesbury, just down the hill from Hawkesbury Upton, where members of the Friends of St Mary took them on a guided tour of our beautiful grade 1 listed parish church of St Mary the Virgin and its picturesque setting.

The Wonderland Bookshop Cafe (10am-5pm)

Our ever-popular Alice in Wonderland themed bookshop cafe ran all day in Hawkesbury Primary School’s hall, serving selling soups, cakes and drinks with a literary twist and books by festival authors.

Closing Ceremony (5pm)

Our traditional closing ceremony included Prospero’s speech, beautifully delivered by Michael MacMahon – a lovely way to end a brilliant day!