Provisional Events List for 2022 Festival

Following the cancellation of the 2020  and 2021 Festivals due to coronavirus, we plan to run the programme intended for 2020 in 2022, subject to the speakers’ availability. The provisional programme below gives you an idea of the flavour and breadth of a typical HULF.

We hope the 2022 Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival will be the biggest and best yet, with something to appeal to every kind of reader – including those people who hadn’t yet considered themselves readers!

Click here to download a printable pdf of the provisional programme for the next HULF

This map to help you find your way around the village was drawn by official HULF  illustrator Thomas Shepherd, whose exquisite line drawings of the best of British bookshops will be included in the Festival art exhibition.  We’ll  have printed postcards of the map available on the day to help you find your way round. If you’d like to see more of Thomas’s illustrations – and even commission your own – visit his website at


The Festival will be opened in the Village Hall at 10am by Festival Founder Debbie Young, with a lightning preview of the day’s programme and a shout-out for all the books being launched for the first time at HULF this year. All events start on the hour, every hour, and last 50 minutes, to allow 10 minutes for festival-goers to change venues, with the sole exception of the first session for young readers, which starts at 10.30am.

MAIN FESTIVAL (11am-5.30pm)
(Director: Debbie Young)


11am London Crime: the History of the Geezers, Gangs and Heists from 1930s to the Present DayBarry Faulkner

Captain Scott’s Legacy for 21st Century Climate Change Research
Brad Borkan
1pm Why Ireland’s Most Famous Poet, WB Yeats is Still so ImportantOrna Ross
2pm Behind the Scenes at the Oxford English Dictionary – John Simpson (Editor) & Edmund Weiner (Deputy Editor)
3pm-5pm Poetry Slam – led by Dan Holloway


11am How to Live a More Creative LifeOrna Ross
12noon Look After Yourself! – create your own self-care manual in an hourChristine Foster
1pm Using the 5 Senses in Travel Writing & Travel JournalsJay Artale
2pm Marketing for New AuthorsEllie Stevenson
3pm The Writer’s MindsetLorna Fergusson
4pm How to Find the Perfect Book: A Workshop for the Uncertain ReaderKate Macdonald


11am Alternative Realities in Fiction – scifi, fantasy, speculative fiction & alternative history – chair: Stephen Oram with Alison Morton, Thomas Shepherd & Justin Newland
12noon The Importance of Poetry – chaired: Shirley Wright with Dan Holloway and Phil Kirby
1pm Historical Fact vs Historical Fiction: Authors Debate – chair: Lucienne Boyce with Jayne Davis, Helen Hollick, David Penny & Jenifer Roberts
2pm Spirit of Place in Fiction: Location and Dislocation – chair: Katharine E Smith, with Helena Halme, Carol Cooper, A A Abbott & Felicity Everett
3pm Travel & Exploration (Non-fiction writing) – chair: Caroline Sanderson, with Brad Borkan, Steve Berry, & Mark Horrell
4pm Family Sagas – chair: Rosalind Minett with Mari Howard, Clare Flynn & Anna Belfrage


11am A Passion Shared: Non-Fiction Showcase – chair: Caroline Sanderson, with Steve Berry, Jann Tracy, Anna Chelmicka, Patricia Main, William Fairney & Michael MacMahon
12noon Fresh Faces in Fiction at HULF2020 – chair: AA Abbott with Alexandra Killworth, Valerie Dickenson, Felicity Everett & Heather Child
1pm Short Stories – chair: John Holland, Cath Barton, Amanda Staples, Sallie Anderson, Steve Wheeler, Mark Rutterford & Elaine Miles
2pm Poetry Please – chair: Shirley Wright with Mari Howard, Gef Lucena, Jay Artale and Roger Turner plus members of the public are invited to bring their own poems or favourite poems to share
3pm You’re Never Too Old for Children’s Stories – chair: Thomas Shepherd, with Kate Frost, Trevor Stubbs, Betty Salthouse, Roger Turner, Lexi Rees & Terri Daneshyer
4pm Around the World in 8ish Books – chair: Caroline Sanderson, Ali Bacon, Jean Burnett, John Lynch, Nima Lee, Kate Frost & Debbie Young

Young Readers’ Festival (10.30am-3pm)

(Director: Kate Frost)

10.30-11.30 Creative Writing Workshop with Lexi Rees
10.30-11.30 Art Workshop with Nicky Hill
11.30-12.30 Meet the Authors – Kate Frost, Lexi Rees, Trevor Stubbs & Roger Turner
2pm How to Get Your Children Reading – chair: Jo Ullah with Kate Frost, Trevor Stubbs, Heidi Perry & Lexi Rees
2pm Young People’s Creative Writing Workshop – Terri Daneshyer

Art Exhibition (11am-4pm)

Stroud Artists Books – extraordinary art inspired by books
Holly Stone – young Hawkesbury artist presents book art and paper flowers
T E Shepherd – Illustrations of the Best of British Bookshops, heritage buildings and more

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

Visitors will have the chance to travel back in tme to the age of the Domesday Book when they take advantage of free transport provided from The Plain (the green around the War Memorial) to the ancient hamlet of Hawkesbury, just down the hill from Hawkesbury Upton. Here members of the Friends of St Mary will take 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 will this year move to the Village Hall, to provide more space for serving up soups, cakes and drinks with a literary twist and a vast array of tempting books by HULF authors.


Our traditional closing ceremony will take place in the Village Hall, and will include the now traditional rendition of Prospero’s speech, beautifully delivered by Michael MacMahon – a lovely way to end a brilliant day!