Authors and sponsors announced for Marlborough LitFest's 2023 line-up

By Jessica Durston - 30 May 2023

Arts and CultureAttractions

The team at Marlborough LitFest have recently released the first details for the 2023 line-up.

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Marlborough LitFest will run this year from 28 September – 1 October 2023.

Organisers say they are delighted to welcome a number of new sponsors to support this year’s festival, joining 2023 lead festival sponsor, Fermoie.

New event sponsors this year are AG Builders, Bayntun Flowers, Deacons, McFarlane Property, Savernake Dental, Savills and Wansbroughs, who join main event sponsor, Hiscox Insurance, founder sponsor Robert Hiscox and event sponsors AM, Hamilton Trust, St Francis School, Marlborough College and William Golding Ltd in supporting the festival.

The LitFest team say they are also delighted to announce that authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Charlotte Mendelson and Mike Brearley will be appearing at this year’s festival, joining the 2023 Golding Speaker, Sebastian Barry.

Award-winning author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce won the CILIP Carnegie Medal for his debut children’s novel Millions and his subsequent books have been shortlisted for a multitude of prizes.

He is a judge for both BBC short story competitions: ‘500 Words’ and The One Show ‘As You Write It’. Along with Danny Boyle, he devised the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics and he has written for the hit TV series Dr Who.

He will be appearing at LitFest on Sunday 1 October at 1pm to talk about his latest children’s book, The Wonder Boys (suitable for 9+ years). The Sunday Telegraph calls him ‘A writer of comic genius – he has something of Roald Dahl’s magic, but more heart’.

Longlisted for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction, Charlotte Mendelson’s latest novel, The Exhibitionist, has been called ‘a devastating, blackly comic portrait of middle-class dysfunction’ by The Guardian.

It is said to explore themes of adult children, toxic parents, monstrous egos, sexual longing and heartbreak. Mendelson will be appearing at LitFest to discuss the book on Saturday 30 September at 11.30am at Marlborough Town Hall.

Part-biography, part-memoir, Mike Brearley’s latest book, Turning Over the Pebbles, reviews his life as one of the most successful cricketers of his generation.

The book is said to include wide-ranging meditations on sport, philosophy, literature, religion, leadership, psychoanalysis, music and more. With this new release, Brearley is said to delve into his private passions and candidly examines the various shifts, conflicts and triumphs of his extraordinary life and career, both on and off the cricket field. He will be appearing at LitFest on Sunday 1 October at 10am at Marlborough Town Hall.

Genevieve Clarke, Chair of the Marlborough LitFest, said: “We’ve worked hard to involve more businesses in Marlborough and further afield this year and we’re delighted with the result. We’re very grateful for the support of all our sponsors and our Friends which is allowing us to put on a full programme this year and plan for the future.”

There’s still time for people to sign up to be a Friend of Marlborough LitFest for 2023. The deadline is 23 June, with a cost of £30. Benefits include priority booking in advance of general sales, an invitation to a celebratory festival event and a copy of the festival brochure by post.

The full 2023 festival programme is being finalised, with a varied programme of literary events for all ages including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and the annual Big Town Read.

Already confirmed for this year’s line-up is the 2023 LitFest Golding Speaker, the acclaimed Irish novelist, Sebastian Barry, who will be appearing at LitFest on Friday 29 September, talking about his latest book, Old God’s Time.

The festival aims to champion new, upcoming writers as well as established names and also encourage a love of reading in children and young people with author talks, competitions and LitFest’s community outreach programme.

The full festival programme will be available at the end of June with priority booking from 3 July and general ticket sales from 13 July.

More information about the festival can be found on its website at

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