The Team


Festival founder Debbie Young (centre) with poets Dan Holloway (left) and Shirley Wright

All the directors and guest speakers give their time voluntarily, so huge thanks all round to everyone who is making this free Festival possible.

  • Festival Founder & Director
    In 2015, local author Debbie Young launched a new, affordable village event to celebrate books and reading on World Book Night. It quickly became a permanent fixture in the community diary, and has grown a little more each year, with the help and support of many volunteers. Debbie is also a volunteer – there are no paid staff.
  • Festival Assistant
    Debbie’s daughter Laura Young provides event support when she is not away at university.
  • Catering 
    Joan Yuill and Vicky Rispin manage the ever-popular Bookshop Cafe.
  • Front of House
    Pauline Dixon manages front-of-house at HULF Talks.
  • Venue
    Dick Wood is our helpful advisor at our current venue, Bethesda Chapel.
  • Finance
    Although the Festival is run on a tiny budget, its finances still need to be managed and has its own bank account, with Debbie’s husband Gordon Young, a retired financial manager, is her fellow signatory.


Without specific titles, but bringing much wisdom and consideration to the Festival planning and management process is Lucienne Boyce.


Author T E Shepherd, a regular speaker at the Festival since its inception, is also a talented artist. “My two main inspirations are the work of Edward Ardizzone and Rex Whistler, and my style is somewhere between the two,” says Thomas. He is currently working on a project to draw my favourite and recommended bookshops with the intention of putting together an illustrated guide.  He also takes commissions to draw homes and businesses, or to illustrate scenes from novels. His illustrations of Festival venues and his map of Hawkesbury to help visitors find their way around are much appreciated by our community and by our audience. View samples of his work at


Since the 2017 event, Angela Fitch has been our official Festival photographer, taking photos not only of the various programme events, but also providing individual portraits and groups on request at the special rate of £30 per session. For more information about Angela and her work, visit her website:

As the Festival continues to grow, more volunteers are needed to join our team of LitFestMakers who make the event run smoothly. We particularly need Venue Managers for the Bethesda Chapel, Methodist Chapel and School Hall.

To volunteer in any capacity, or to find out what our current needs are, please don’t hesitate to contact us.