The twentieth festival from 6 to 18 May could be one of the best ever with a spectacular array of well known writers, facinating events adn lots of opportunities to participate in all things literary for all ages.
Following last May’s splendid nineteenth Festival (see www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk) plans are now well underway for to mark two decades of Swindon’s longest running festival.
Authors already booked to appear in May include award-winning broadcaster, Olympic’s media superstar, writer, and rapidly becoming national treasure, Clare Balding (pictured right – photo: Bill Walters).
She’ll be joined in the programme by veteran best-selling crime writer P D James (photo: Ulla Montan), centre; broadcaster and founder of Childline Esther Rantzen; thorn in Margaret Thatcher’s government and one time London Mayor Ken Livingstone; television impressionist and wordsmith Alistair McGowan; controversial philosopher A C Grayling; environmentalist, activist, and author George Monbiot; editor of Resurgence Satish Kumar; wildlife presenter and writer Kate Humble; and television Book Club presenter and novelist Judy Finnigan, bottom (photo: Bill Walters)
There are more authors, speakers, and performers yet to be announced!
But as well as these, there will also be a good number of other key events. These include the uniquely invigorating Dawn Chorus, the now nationally-known Swindon Poetry Slam and schools’ Youth Slam, the bookishly-brilliant Children & Families Day, the fourth-ever philosophical Think Slam, the third Life Writing & Writers’ Workshop and the fourth Battered Moons Poetry competition.
Another edition of mischievously-serious magazine Domestic Cherry will be launched, there wll be the oh-so-exciting Poems, Pints, & Music Finale, plus a wide range of literary talks, discussions, and readings at main theatres, arts venues, libraries, schools, pubs, parks, and even in an ex-cowshed, in Swindon.
The Swindon Festival of Literature has been described by John Carey as ‘terrific’, by Joan Bakewell as ‘delightful’, by John Major as ‘punctual’, by Jon Snow as ‘a real surprise’, by John and Mary as ‘the reason we moved to Swindon’, and by Shaun B as ‘comparable to sex’.
Festival Director Matt Holland said: “Our twentieth Festival is something to get excited about. And we are. It promises to be both fantastic feast and fabulous frolic. We will have adventurous authors, terrific talks, delightful discussion, wonderful workshops, and excellent entertainment.
"The Festival will offer experiences that make life memorable, for everyone. People of all ages and backgrounds will be able to have a very good time. They’ll get together, meet authors, join in lively talk, explore new ideas, and even have a laugh. It is all very exciting.”
During its twenty years, the Swindon Festival of Literature has gone from strength. Each year it attracts new writers, terrific speakers, and a larger following. At every level, it has become a splendid celebration for Swindon of things well written and things well said.
The 2013 Swindon Festival of Literature is made possible by funding from Arts Council England, South West, whose support represents recognition of the good things that have been achieved in Literature development in Swindon.
Financial support is also provided by Dominic Winter Book Auctions; Swindon Borough Council’s Culture Swindon & Artswords; Swindon Libraries; the Council’s Adult Community Learning project; and Lower Shaw Farm; plus valuable support and assistance from First Great Western, the Swindon Advertiser, the Link Magazine & www.swindonlink.com, Wiltshire Magazine, BBC Radio Wiltshire, Swindon 105.5, Total Swindon, Acorn Press, Waterstones and Pen & Paper bookshops, Swindon Visitor Information Service, Friends of the Festival, as well as a host of other local organisations and individuals.
It is heartening that all these people see the value of a festival of Literature in Swindon says Matt Holland
To go on the Festival mailing list, or for further information, telephone 01793 771080 or e-mail email@example.com
The full programme will be launched at midday on 21 March, at which point tickets will go on sale, but not before.