Festival of Literature 2019

Festival of Literature

We will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Festival of Literature from Friday 1st - Thursday 14th February 2019 and because it is also the 150th year of the College we will have more events and more speakers than ever before, including a number of returning favourite authors. As well as our usual busy schedule of talks and workshops, the 10th Festival will also feature a community and education programme aimed specifically at children and young people.  Please click here for tickets.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all who have kindly supported the 2019 Festival of Literature.  Thank you to Marilyn Brocklehurst, founder of the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre, who has been central to the running of the Bishop’s Stortford College Festival of Literature since its inception and to the Prep School Friends, who are involved every year. The Bishop’s Stortford Independent has given fantastic support and encouragement as well, helping us to spread the word about the Festival.

You can read all about the 2018 Festival of Literature here.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Diane Setterfield, who had been booked for 6th February, has had to cancel. Instead, we are delighted to welcome  crime writer Fiona Barton.

Schools Events Including Picture Book Award

We are very grateful to Tees for sponsoring all of our Schools Events, including the Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award.  Tees logo small

Friday 1st February

Chris Riddell - An Event for Year 3 Pupils

Chris RiddellTake part in a live drawing session with Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate 2015-17 and winner of the 2001, 2004 and 2016 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals. 

2.00pm – 3.00pm
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Venue to be confirmed when we have final numbers.

Please click here to book your tickets.

 

Monday 4th February

Chitra Soundar - An  Event for Year 1 Pupils

Chitra SounderCelebrate the start of National Storytelling Week with Indian born Chitra, who will enthral her audience with stories from different regions of India with sounds, imagery and the taste of food.  

9.30am – 10.30am
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Venue to be confirmed when we have final numbers.

Please click here to book your tickets.


Paul Cookson & Steve Skidmore - An Event for Year 5 Pupils

Steve and paul poetry and prosePoetry and prose join forces in this unforgettable event, featuring poet and performer Paul Cookson and one half of The Two Steves, children's author Steve Skidmore.

2.00pm – 3.00pm
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Venue to be confirmed when we have final numbers.

Please click here to book your tickets.


Tuesday 5th February

Lauren St John - An Event for Year 6 Pupils

Lauren st johnAward-winning author, Lauren St John, talks about her childhood in Zimbabwe and reads from her new book, Kat Wolfe Investigates.

2.00pm-3.00pm
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Venue to be confirmed when we have final numbers.

Please click here to book your tickets.


Debs Newbold - An Event for Year 7 & 8 Pupils

Debs Newbold photo by pau rosWitness Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as you’ve never seen it before, as actor and performance storyteller, Debs Newbold re-invents this dramatic classic. We are delighted to welcome Debs back following her hugely popular Festival appearances in 2013 and 2014.

4.00pm – 5.00pm
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Venue to be confirmed when we have final numbers.

Please click here to book your tickets.

 

Wednesday 6th February

Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award, Presented by Sarah McIntyre - Open to Participating Schools

Children's illustrator and writer Sarah McIntyre reveals the winner of the 2019 Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award!

Bank heist Can you see a little bear Cyril and pat

Once upon a wild wood Theres a dragon in your book Station mouse

 Rubys worry Tropical terry

2.00pm – 3.00pm
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Ferguson Lecture Theatre

Also sponsored by Tees, with our thanks. Please click here to book your tickets.

 

Thursday 7th February

Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve - An Event for Year 4 Pupils

Sarah mcintyre with philip reeveJoin us for a lively drawing session and hilarious games as author Philip and illustrator Sarah return to the Festival of Literature to present their new adventure, ‘The Legend of Kevin’.  We are very excited to welcome back Philip and Sarah to the Festival.

2.00pm – 3.00pm
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Venue to be confirmed when we have final numbers.

Please click here to book your tickets.


Friday 8th February

Petr Horacek - An Event for Year 2 Pupils

Petr HoracekGo on an illustrative journey with picture book author and illustrator Petr as he reads and draws from many of his books.

2.00pm – 3.00pm
Tickets: £3.50 per pupil
Venue to be confirmed when we have final numbers.

Please click here to book your tickets.

 

 

Chris Riddell & The College Orchestra (Open Event) - Friday 1st February

Chris RiddellAward-winning illustrator Chris Riddell launches the Festival of Literature with an evening of live illustration and storytelling to music performed by the Bishop's Stortford College Orchestra. 

Chris, the 2015-2017 UK Children’s Laureate, is an accomplished artist and the political cartoonist for the Observer newspaper. His caricatures of politicians, from John Major to Gordon Brown and Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, have earned him a reputation as a fine draughtsman and acute commentator on the political scene. He has enjoyed great acclaim for his books for children and has won a number of major prizes, including the 2001, 2004 and 2016 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals and the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2013. The fusion of art with music is always popular with audiences who become enraptured by the process of drawings as they come to life to music. Chris is also a great raconteur and we anticipate a humorous narrative!  

Chris lives in Brighton with his family.  You can find out more about Chris on his website. Twitter logo smaller  For tickets please click here.

Memorial Hall
7.00pm – 9.00pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 7-18s £5

Suitable for all the family.

Thank you to Savills for sponsoring this event. Savills logo

Writing for Children Panel (Open Event) - Saturday 2nd February

Learn the tricks and techniques behind writing and illustrating children’s books from three bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators:

Gillian McClure

Gillian mcclure 1Gillian is the award winning author and illustrator of over 25 picture books, including Dog on Wheels and Selkie.  She has served on the CWIG committee, was a 2006-7 New Writing Partnership Escalator judge/mentor, and a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Kent University 2005-8 and Essex University 2011-12. From 2010 - 2016 she also ran her own publishing company, Plaister Press.  Find out more about Gillian on her website.


Pippa Goodhart

Pippa GoodheartSince working in book shops during school and university holidays, Pippa has written a hundred children’s books. She is the author of the bestselling Winnie the Witch storybooks, which she writes under the pseudonym Laura Owen, and the picture book You Choose, illustrated by Nick Sharratt, which has sold over a million copies.  You can learn more about Pippa on her website. Twitter logo smaller

 


Rosemary Hayes

Rosemary hayesRosemary's first novel, Race Against Time (Penguin), was a Kathleen Fidler Award winner.  Since then Rosemary has written over forty books for children in a variety of genres on both contemporary and historical subjects.  She now writes mainly for the 11+ age group and also runs creative writing courses for adults. You can find out more about Rosemary on her website.  Twitter logo smaller

 


Ferguson Lecture Theatre
4.00pm – 5.00pm
Tickets: £5

Suitable for 13+

For tickets please click here.

Robin Ince (Open Event) - Sunday 3rd February

Robin InceJoin Robin Ince on a captivating journey of personal insights and interviews as he attempts to understand the human condition through the prism of humour.  

We are delighted to welcome Robin back to the Festival of  Literature. Writer, comedian and co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage, he will captivate us with humour and wit as he explores some of life’s biggest questions: Why do we make the choices we do in life? Where does anxiety come from? Where does imagination come from? Why are we like we are?

Robin's latest book, I'm a Joke and So Are you: a Comedian's Take on What Makes us Human is published by Atlantic Books.  You can find out more about Robin on his website.  Twitter logo smaller

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.30pm – 9.30pm
Tickets: £15

Suitable for 14+

For tickets please click here.

Debs Newbold (Open Event) - Monday 4th February

Debs Newbold photo by pau rosJoin us for an explosive and emotive evening of Shakespeare with a twist, from one of the UK’s most acclaimed performance storytellers. 

Debs regularly performs at venues such as the Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre and Shakespeare's Globe, as well as touring internationally.  We are delighted to welcome Debs back to the College following her sell-out Festival appearances  in 2013 and 2014. 

Winner of the Summerhall 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Award for Acting, twice voted one of the top five acts at the Towersey Festival (the only Spoken Word Artist in its fifty year history ever to achieve this), FUSE Playwright at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Storyteller and Education Consultant for Shakespeare’s Globe, Debs is a force of nature, a theatre maker not to be missed. Find out more about Debs on her website.Twitter logo smaller

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.30pm – 8.30pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 11-18s £5

Suitable for 11+

For tickets please click here.

Claire Lomas (Open Event) - Tuesday 5th February

Claire lomasHear Claire’s truly inspirational story of courage, willpower and overcoming adversity after a devastating riding accident in 2007 left her paralysed from the waist down.

Overnight, Claire went from living the life of an active sportswoman to one where even the simplest tasks were a challenge. 

Never one to feel sorry for herself, Claire found the strength and courage to rebuild her life from scratch. She discharged herself from hospital after just 8 weeks and spent hours in the gym working on her rehabilitation. She met her husband Dan, with whom she has two daughters, organised fundraising events and wrote an inspirational book, Finding My Feet.

In 2012 Claire made headline news across the globe when she walked the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit, raising £210,000 for Spinal Research. Further challenging fundraising events have included a 400-mile hand cycle around parts of England, the London Vitality 10K, the Great North Run (whilst 16 weeks pregnant) and perhaps her toughest challenge, walking 10 miles of the Great South Run in 24 hours.  Claire is currently learning to ride a motorbike with the aim of racing in track events - there is simply no stopping her!   Twitter logo smaller

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
6.00pm – 7.00pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 7-18s £5

Suitable for 7+

Thank you to Delta2020 for sponsoring this event Delta logo  Please click here for tickets.

Dr Michael Leach (Open Event) - Tuesday 5th February

Michael leachJoin wildlife photographer, cameraman and author Dr. Michael Leach as he shares some of the cunning tricks of the trade that produce photographs of some of the most fascinating wildlife on earth. Find out how he coaxes animals to the right spot and convince them that no-one is watching. Be prepared to have your illusions shattered!   

Michael has travelled to all seven continents and has worked with many of the world’s most charismatic animals, including polar bears in the Arctic, gorillas in central Africa and lemurs in Madagascar, to name just a few.  He has filmed more than 60 TV documentaries for both the BBC and independent television and his illustrated articles have been used in a long list of magazines, including Country Life and The Observer.  Michael has also written 30 books on subjects ranging from big cats and owls to great apes and bears, including his bestseller Hidden Shallows, which illustrates the revealing and amusing behind-the-scenes work of wildlife photography and film-making.

Find out more about Michael on his website.

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.45pm – 9.00pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 7-18s £5

Suitable for all the family.

Thank you to Delta2020 for their sponsorship of this event Delta logo Please click here for tickets.

Sarah McIntyre (Open Event) - Wednesday 6th February

Sarah McintyreHave you ever wondered what it would be like to create your own picture books? Join award-winning writer-illustrator Sarah McIntyre to learn how she got into the business, find out about her love of drawing, and discover fascinating tips of the trade. Bring your questions, and find out about her #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign and how you can help make illustration a better career choice for up-and-coming artists.

Illustrator and writer Sarah McIntyre writes and draws her own picture books and comics but also illustrates books for other people, including Philip Reeve, Giles Andreae, Alan MacDonald, Gillian Rogerson, Anne Cottringer and Claire Freedman.

Sarah has also given a TEDx talk on How to Grow by Embracing our Mistakes and written blogs as Writer-Illustrator in Residence for BookTrust. Twitter logo smaller

You can find out more about Sarah on her website.

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
6.00pm – 7.00pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 7-18s £5

Suitable for all the family.  Please click here for tickets.

Fiona Barton (Open Event) - Wednesday 6th February

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Diane Fiona BartonSetterfield has had to cancel her event on this day and we look forward to welcoming Fiona Barton instead.

Fiona Barton's debut novel, The Widow, featured in the  bestseller lists in the Sunday Times and the New York Times, has been published in thirty-five countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was also a Sunday Times bestseller. Both novels were Richard & Judy Book Club picks.  Fiona's next novel, The Suspect, will be released in January 2019.

Before becoming a full time author Fiona was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.  While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes; the guilty, their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most…

You can read more about Fiona on her website and follow her on Twitter logo smaller

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.30pm – 8.30pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 16-18s £5

Suitable for 16+

Please click here for tickets.

Literature Live (Open Event) - Thursday 7th February

Senior School Houses compete in this spoken word competition, judged by poet and performer, Luke Wright.

A reading competition for Senior School pupils, Literature Live is an enjoyable and highly anticipated feature of the Festival.  Each year sees stirring performances across all age groups, with fierce competition between the Houses. Pupils are able to select any piece of literature they wish, so expect the unexpected! They compete in three different categories (junior, intermediate and senior), and the winners of these perform in the final.  This year we are very pleased to welcome poet, Luke Wright, to judge the readings. 

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
5.30pm – 6.30pm
Tickets: £5

Suitable for 13+

Please click here for tickets.

Luke Wright (Open Event) - Thursday 7th February

LukewrightJoin the flamboyant, political and riotously funny poet Luke Wright as he performs his inventive work about small-town tragedies and national farce with snarl and spit.

“One of the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation”, according to Johann Hari of The Independent, Luke has written and performed nine spoken word shows and two verse plays, touring them all over the world. He has won several awards and published four books, including his latest, Frankie Vah.  He also co-authored a humour book with Joel Stickley, Who Writes This Crap?, for Hamish Hamilton/Penguin.

Alongside his own shows, Luke is John Cooper Clarke’s regular support act, performing to crowds of 2,000 people at venues such as The London Palladium and The Palace Theatre in Manchester. We are delighted to welcome Luke back to the College after his previous Festival appearances in 2012 and 2015. Twitter logo smaller

You can find out more about Luke on his website.

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.30pm – 8.30pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 14-18s £5

Suitable for 14+

We are grateful to Barnes Construction for sponsoring this event Barnes construction logo

Please click here for tickets.

Andrew Graham-Dixon (Open Event) - Friday 8th February

Andrew graham dixon portraitJoin us for an evening of art history and hidden meanings as leading art critic and TV presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon explores some of his favourite paintings.

In this wide-ranging talk, Andrew plays the role of both biographer and detective. First he examines the work of Paul Nash and considers how the painter’s art was affected by his wartime experiences. He then explores some of his favourite paintings from many different corners of the history of art, telling the fascinating stories that lie behind them and revealing their often hidden meanings.  

Andrew has presented numerous landmark series on art for the BBC, including the acclaimed A History of British Art, Renaissance and Art of Eternity. More recently he has teamed up with chef and friend, Giorgio Locatelli, to combine his love of art and food in the popular series Italy Unpacked.  Andrew has written several acclaimed books and has won numerous awards for writing and broadcasting. Twitter logo smaller

Find out more about Andrew on his website.

 Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.00pm – 8.00pm
Tickets: £15

Suitable for 10+

We are grateful to M J Warner for sponsoring this event M j warner

Please click here for tickets.

Saira Hamilton (Open Event) - Saturday 9th February

Saira Hamilton 2019Enjoy a delicious meal and an informative cooking session with the 2013 BBC Masterchef semi-finalist Saira Hamilton, as she prepares and narrates a selection of recipes from her new book, My Bangladesh Kitchen.

Saira will show how she prepares meals using fresh, everyday ingredients in a short demonstration, while bringing us up to date with her most recent experiences and activities through her catering company, Small Aubergine.  

Mainly inspired by her mum, Nadira, Saira has been cooking for as long as she can remember. She uses the best British produce combined with spices and cooking techniques from her Bengali heritage to create delicious, fresh-tasting and achievable dishes.  

Saira appears at many food festivals, has featured as a guest chef in local restaurants, runs regular pop-up restaurants and writes a food column in the Bishop’s Stortford Independent.  We are delighted to welcome Saira back to the Festival of Literature this year. Twitter logo smaller

Please click here for tickets.

You can find out more about Saira on her website.

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
5.15pm – 6.45pm
Tickets: £25

Suitable for 16+

Thank you to Herts Display for sponsoring this event Hdc logo smaller

 

David Starkey (Open Event) - Saturday 9th February

David starkey2Journey through history with well-known historian and Question Time regular, David Starkey, as he explores A Monarchy of Misfits”. David traces the radically shifting marriage customs of the British monarchy from the laxity of the Middle Ages through to the more recent marriages in the house of Windsor in the 21st century.  

A Cambridge educated grammar school boy who became a respected LSE lecturer, an uniquely abrasive debater on Radio 4’s Moral Maze, a controversial contributor to Question Time, and the creator and presenter of many hugely popular historical TV series, we are delighted to welcome David back to the Festival of Literature.

There are few more stimulating thinkers, and few who understand better, the way the most powerful have thought throughout our history. Twitter logo smaller

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.30pm – 9.30pm
Tickets: £20

Suitable for 16+

We are very grateful to Herts Display for their sponsorship of this event Hdc logo smaller

Please click here for tickets.

Jackie Morris (Open Event) - Thursday 14th February

Jackie morrisExplore the effortless beauty of nearby nature with illustrator and author Jackie Morris, as she guides us through her stunning new book, The Lost Words.

Written by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie, The Lost Words won the most Beautiful Book at this year's Books Are My Bag Readers Awards. It is a celebration of everyday species, both animal and from nature, the names of which have slipped from common knowledge.  The Guardian described it as a "phenomenon", while Jackie says it is "about lost and found, about words, about the wild", "a book to lose yourself in" and "a book for all ages...that reads aloud to delight the ear, with images that dance in the heart".

Jackie lives in a small house beside the sea in West Wales, with cats, dogs and creatures. You can view Jackie's artwork here.  Twitter logo smaller

Ferguson Lecture Theatre
7.30pm – 8.30pm
Tickets: Adults £7.50; 7-18s £5

Suitable for 7+

Thank you to Simpsons Creative for sponsoring this event Simpsons creative logo smaller

Please click here for tickets.