16th Dec, 2018

Much discussion at Stratford Literary Festival

Ian Hughes 19th Feb, 2018

There will be much discussion and debate at the 2018 Stratford Literary Festival.

Hot topics at the festival, running at Stratford ArtsHouse from April 22 to 29, will range from post truth to the #MeToo campaign, the far right to the threat to nature in the UK, the place of women in 21st century Britain to what it means to be British, and even how we deal with death in a denial society.

The festival will also celebrate great writers including Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley, important anniversaries – notably a special event marking the words and music that emerged from the First World War with Dame Harriet Walter – and the work of authors writing today.

The latter will include Jon McGregor, who won the Costa Book Award last year for his novel Reservoir; former Sky News foreign correspondent Tim Marshall; Gavin & Stacey creator Ruth Jones; MPs Harriet Harman and Jess Philips commenting on 100 years of Women’s Suffrage; Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine and Simon Mayo; BBC’s John Tusa, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Peter Snow and his wife Ann McMillan; acclaimed authors Rose Tremain and Simon Scarrow; and the multi-award-winning food writer Diana Henry.

The line-up also includes poets Don Paterson, Wendy Cope and Robert Minhinnick.

Chairing some events will be well -known interviewers Libby Purves and Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey.

A weekend of events for children will include comedian Harry Hill, multi-million selling illustrator Axel Scheffler; creator of Lost Words Jackie Morris; illustrator James Mayhew; together with interactive storytelling, a Tiger who came to Tea party; and the chance to make Aardman famous characters including Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.

There will also be the launch of the children’s book, Luna and The Moon Rabbit, which won the 2017 Stratford Lit Fest/Salariya Book Company Prize – the first prize collaboration of its kind between a festival and a publisher.

Workshops will include classes for writers, the chance to meet a publisher, and book-making, paper cutting and hand lettering.

Festival director Annie Ashworth said: “The range of topics and specialism this year is wider than ever.

“We’ve tried to pack in as much as we can for as wide an audience as we can, and we’re really excited about this year’s programme. There’s something for budding writers, or model and craft makers, those who love philosophy or nature, politics or campaigning, and there’s some very good writing to discover.”

Visit www.stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk for further details and tickets.

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