Programme

Full Events List for 2019 Festival

The 2019 Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival an international flavour though anchored firmly in our village community. 

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 will be 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, there will run 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
  • 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, introduces
  • 4pm The Life of Mercedes Gleitze, first British woman to swim the English Channel, by her daughter Doloranda Pember

Panel Discussions – Bethesda Chapel

A series of multi-author discussions will run 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), Dawn Brookes, Susan Grossey, Wendy H Jones & Lynne Pardoe
  • 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 Simon Bendry (chair), Maureen Armstrong, Rosalind Minett, 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, Caroline Sanderson (chair), Jan Turk Petrie, Jenny Wang & Debbie Young

Readings & Performances – Methodist Chapel

Themed groups of readings will take 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, Bobbi Coelho, William Fairney, Mari Howard, Josephine Lay, Peter Lay, David Williams, Shirley Wright – plus entries welcome on the day!

Children’s Events – Bookworm Tent, School Playground

  • 10am Book Launch As part of the opening ceremony, we will launch of 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  and artist Caroline Mockford in the Bookworm Tent
  • 12noon & 2pm Meet the Authors Two one-hour sessions in the Bookworms Tent with storytelling, story and art workshops – with Dawn Brookes, J M Forster, Kate Frost, Anna & Debbie Gilmore, Jak Harrison, Wendy Jones, James Minter, Betty Salthouse and Trevor Stubbs,

Workshops – Hawkesbury Primary School Meeting Room 

These workshops 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 will take place from 11am until 4pm in the Methodist Schoolroom (behind the Chapel). Following the success of our first Festival Art Exhibition in the Methodist Schoolroom in 2018, we’d like to open up submissions to members of the parish, as we know there are many talented local artists, and we’d love to showcase their work here. For more information on how to submit a piece of art for the exhibition, please send a message via our general contact form.  Our exhibition curator, Chris Gooding, formerly of the Royal West of England Academy, will select the pieces for display from photographs of the artwork submitted in advance.

Artists already accepted include: Linda Alvis, Mari Howard, Nicola Kelsall, Mike Rome & T E Shepherd.

Guided Tour of the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin (time tba)

Courtesy of the Friends of St Mary’s, free transport will be provided from the Village Hall Car Park at a set time (tba) to enable festivalgoers to visit the ancient hamlet of Hawkesbury, featured in the Domesday Book, for a guided tour of the grade 1 listed church of St Mary the Virgin.

The Wonderland Bookshop Cafe (10am-5pm)

Our ever-popular Alice in Wonderland themed bookshop cafe will run 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)

Join us for the usual fun round-up of thank-yous, celebrations and our traditional closing performance of Prospero’s speech, aka Michael MacMahon – and snap up last-minute purchases from the bookshop before you go!

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