The Marlborough Literature Festival
2 - 4 October 2015
The Marlborough Literature Festival brings together author talks, interviews, creative writing workshops, children’s activities and poetry events to the beautiful, historic town of Marlborough (just a short train ride from London).
This year’s line up includes Booker Prize Long-listed author Andrew O’Hagan, Salley Vickers, Alexander McCall Smith, Helen Dunmore, Neel Mukherjee, poet Gillian Clarke and Peter Kosminsky (director of the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall).
They’ve also got children’s author Ian Whybrow, a workshop on how to write teen fiction with Jasper Fforde, creative writing with Sarah Butler and an open-mic poetry event in the local pub!
This year the Big Town Read (a massive book club discussion) is Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
The full programme can be viewed here.
Mavis Cheek on the origins of the Marlborough Literary Festival
It’s twenty-five years since my first novel was published by The Bodley Head and in that time the world of publishing has changed beyond all recognition.
Small publishers have been gobbled up by big financial houses; the Booker-McConnell has become the Man Booker and the prize money raised from £21,000 to £50,000; we have a prize for women only – the Orange (soon to be something else) valued at £30,000; publishers seem to be in meltdown over the arrival of e-books and the kindle and more and more authors are doing the unthinkable and self-publishing with some success.
My own particular bugbear is the rise of celebrity publishing which has pushed many a fine author off or to the bottom of a publisher’s list. This last is one of the reasons we started our Festival for Literature in Marlborough, so that we could return to recognising and celebrating and supporting real writers writing really good writing – you will not find celebrities, politicians, television cooks and gardeners, comedians, sportspeople in our Festival – unless they are excellent writers.
In a world where mass media prevails, it is easy to overlook the value of well-written words in all their forms. We undertook to redress that balance here in Marlborough and if the success of the enterprise is anything to go by, it continues to be something the reading public wants, too.
This wonderful market town has many fine literary connections already – Siegfried Sassoon, John Betjeman, Bruce Chatwin – and of course, William Golding whom we are very proud to single out each year with our Golding Author.
It would be nice to think that the Festival will still be here in twenty-five years time and that it will still reflect the quality in authorship we have managed to sustain in its first three years.
Mavis Cheek, September 2012
Tickets can be booked online via The Pound Arts Centre, who are also available on 01249 701628.
More information can be found on www.marlboroughlitfest.org
Find them on Twitter @MarlbLitFest #MLF2015