Festival of Literature 2018 Sponsorship Opportunities

Our 9th annual Festival of Literature will commence on 2nd February 2018 and, as usual, will feature a whole host of wonderful word smiths and spectacular speakers!

Whilst our aim isn't to make money, we do rely on the generous support of our Sponsors and Festival Partners to ensure the Festival breaks even and can continue into the future (our 150th anniversary will be celebrated through the 2018/19 academic year so the 10th Festival of Literature, in 2019, will be extra special...).

The 2018 Festival will feature a wonderful array or authors, writers, adventurers and some especially well known faces - a short synopsis of these is below.

We are seeking sponsors for our Open Events and our Schools Event programme. The Open Events will attract between 190 and 380 people depending on the night and the Schools Events will entertain up to 2000 children, parents and teachers through the week. We hope that some of the names will appeal enough to persuade you to support us. You will earn our heartfelt thanks whether you are a returning sponsor or a brand new supporter - we couldn't do it without you!

Every sponsor will benefit from

  • a colour, full page ad in our programme.
  • your logo next to the precis of 'your' event in the programme.
  • your logo on flyers and posters for distribution to local schools, shops and businesses
  • a link from your logo on the Festival website page to your website
  • inclusion in our social media campaign
  • brand awareness amongst our Festival audience
  • display space in the FLT during 'your' event

There are also a limited number of advertising opportunities if you feel sponsorship is beyond the scope of your budget. Please contact Sarah Gowans for details.

James Mayhew and the College Orchestra

James Mayhew 2015The Festival will open on Friday 2nd February with a musical evening featuring James Mayhew and the College Orchestra in the Memorial Hall. Author and illustrator James will be creating wonderful illustrations accompanied by our talented musicians.  Held in the Memorial Hall, we expect this event to sell out (approx 250 seats).

Our thanks to Savills for their generous sponsorship of this event.


Gyles Brandreth

Gyles BrandrethOn Saturday 3rd February we look forward to welcoming Gyles Brandreth. They say all political careers end in tears.  In Gyles Brandreth’s case it’s tears of laughter as the former MP and Government Whip, regular on Just A Minute and longest surviving member of the Countdown team, takes us on a rollicking roller-coaster ride around his amazing world of words.

Host of Radio 4’s Wordaholics, a reporter on The One Show, a survivor on QI, Room 101 and Have I Got News for You, Gyles Brandreth has been fascinated by words since he could walk – and talk.  In his new book, Word Play, and the show that goes with it, with words to make you laugh (and even cry) and stories from his years in politics and entertainment, Gyles is coming to Bishop’s Stortford College Festival of Literature to celebrate a lifetime’s love of language.  No hesitation or repetition, but a bit of deviation guaranteed.

We anticipate an audience in the region of 190.

Our thanks to Novo for their generous sponsorship of this event.



Ian McMillan

Ian McmillanIan McMillan is a writer and broadcaster who presents The Verb on BBC Radio 3 every Friday night. He's written poems, plays, the verse autobiography Talking Myself Home, and a voyage round Yorkshire in Neither Nowt Nor Summat. He watches Darfield and Yorkshire Cricket Clubs and the only time he played cricket, at Low Valley Juniors in 1963, Mrs Hudson told him to take his balaclava off or she'd make him wear his mother's Rainmate.

Ian’s latest collection, To Fold The Evening Star - New and Selected Poems (Carcanet), was published last year. Ian was recently awarded The Freedom of Barnsley.

The capacity of the Ferguson Lecture Theatre is 190 seats. To sponsor this event, please click here.

Sarah Outen and Dan Cruikshank

Image result for google images sarah outen

Tuesday evening will see two authors delight our audiences; the first, Sarah Outen MBE, is an extraordinary lady. An adventurer by land and sea, best-selling author and motivational speaker, Sarah is keen to encourage people to get outside and enable young people to access adventure. She is also a proud ambassador and patron of a number of charities. In November 2015 Sarah completed her most recent major expedition: London2London:Via the World, an attempt to row, cycle and kayak 25000 miles around the Northern Hemisphere. The journey took 4.5 years and was all the richer for not turning out exactly as planned.

Sarah's talk will be followed by Dan Cruikshank, Dan Cruickshankwho will give us "A history of architecture in 100 buildings". Journeying through time and place, from the ancient Egyptian pyramids to the soaring skyscrapers of Manhattan, renowned architectural historian Dan Cruickshank explores the most inspirational and characterful world buildings.

The capacity for each performance is 190 seats.

Our thanks to Taylors Service Centres for their generous sponsorship of this event.


The Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award

For this fun afternoon we welcome pupils, parents and teachers from the local area to witness the presentation of this annual and coveted award - one which they have all voted for. The shortlisted authors will present their work to a rapt audience who eagerly await the outcome. A wonderful celebration of picture books! To sponsor this event please click here.

Chris Whitaker

Local author Chris Whitaker will be headlining on Wednesday 7thChris Whitaker February. Chris was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. His debut novel, Tall Oaks, was published to critical acclaim in 2016 by Bonnier Zaffre. Tall Oaks was longlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger, and shortlisted for the Last Laugh Award.  A Guardian crime book of the month, Tall Oaks also featured in Crime Time’s top 100 books of 2016 and BuzzFeed’s incredible summer reads. Chris’s second novel, All The Wicked Girls, will be published this summer. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons. To sponsor an evening with Chris, please click here.


Laura Bates

For our Festival finale, Laura Bates will be sharing her thoughts onLaura Bates Everyday Sexism. Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, an ever-increasing collection of over 100,000 testimonies of gender inequality. The project has expanded into over 20 countries worldwide and become internationally renowned, featuring in media from the New York Times to the Times of India. 

Laura's first book, Everyday Sexism, was shortlisted for Waterstones' book of the year and the Political Book Awards Polemic of the Year. It was one of the Bookseller's top 10 non-fiction books of 2014. Her latest book, the Sunday Times Bestseller Girl Up, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2016.

Our thanks to Delta2020 for their generous sponsorship of this event.

Schools Events

Throughout the week we welcome a number of authors to enthral not just the pupils and staff of Bishop's Stortford College but also around 1500 visiting pupils and teachers. Visiting authors will include Jeanne Willis, Robin Stevens, Margaret Bateson Hill, Joseph Coelho, Martin Brown and Jo Cotterill, with more to be confirmed. To sponsor the Schools Events Programme, please click here.