Heart of England News

Stratford Literary Festival

The 2018 Winter Stratford Literary Festival, which headlined some of the most respected writers and high-profile journalists, attracted record numbers selling over 2,000 tickets. As well as best-selling author, Jodi Picoult, who appeared on 28 October, the Festival hosted a programme of popular events from 9 - 17 November. Many of the events sold out weeks before the Festival including those for historian and TV presenter, Lucy Worsley OBE and World Affairs Editor John Simpson CB.

Packed audiences also enjoyed talks from veteran broadcaster, Sir Michael Parkinson, Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed, former Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger, former stand-up comedian, Viv Groskop, leading academic, Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch and James Anthony, former Ford car worker. For younger audiences, there was a day of fun on 10 November with the award-winning creator of best-selling Mr Gum books, Andy Stanton. 
 
More good news for the Festival is that it received a generous grant of £4,000 from Stratford Town Trust towards ‘Books with Friends’ – a free, informal book club for those over 55.  Stratford Town Trust is a grant-giving charity dedicated to supporting local people and community projects. Since 2001 the Trust has distributed around £2 million each year in a diverse programme of grant-making, from large grants to small levels of funding.
 
Annie Ashworth, Festival Director said “Our Autumn/Winter Festival attracted record numbers with huge audiences enjoying our biggest offering of talks. Everything ran smoothly and it was great to work with the new team at Stratford Play House. Our Winter Series was once again sponsored by estate agents, Sheldon Bosley Knight and we were very grateful for their continued support”.
 
The Festival was also delighted to welcome a number of new team members including Sharon Walpole who is responsible for Corporate Sponsorship, Charlotte Brennan who looks after Trusts and Foundations Fundraising and Rachel Parris who is an Intern on work experience.
 
The Festival Schools Week will run from 1 – 5 April 2019 and features authors, illustrators and workshops for all ages groups. The events take place within Schools and are filled on a first come, first served basis. The award winning line-up, which has just been announced, includes Jeanne Willis, Michelle Robinson, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Chae Strathie, James Carter, Smriti Prasadam-Halls, Sophia Bennett & Manjit Thrapp, Steven Camden, Tom Percival, Laura James, Nicola Davies and David Solomons. To book any of the authors please telephone 01789 470185 or email info@stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk
 
The Spring Festival, which will celebrate its 12th year in 2019, will take place from 28 April – 5 May 2019.  The Festival is the highlight of the regional calendar and one of the most significant literary festivals in the UK, attracting thousands of people who share one passion: a love of books, writing and reading.
 
For further information please visit www.stratlitfest.co.uk  
 
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