Headline events confirmed for Salisbury Literary Festival 2018
We are delighted to confirm the headline events at this year’s festival. Bestselling crime writer Val McDermid will be appearing at Salisbury Cathedral on the opening night of the festival, Wednesday 17th October. Val is the author of 27 novels, short stories, and non-fiction, as well as a prize-winning children’s book. Her novels have been translated into 40 languages and have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Matt Haig joins us at the cathedral on Saturday 20th October. Matt is the bestselling author of six highly acclaimed novels for adults, including, How to Stop Time and The Humans. His memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, was a Sunday Times number 1 bestseller, and his latest novel, Notes On A Nervous Planet, went straight to number one in the UK non-fiction charts. Jonathan Coe is is the award-winning author of eleven novels, including The Rotters’ Club, The Accidental Woman, and A Touch of Love. Among his awards are the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger and The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for his classic 1994 novel, What a Carve Up! and The Prix Médicis Étranger for the 1997 novel, The House of Sleep. Jonathan will be appearing at the cathedral on Sunday 21st October.
Children’s programme of events announced!
We have a packed programme of children’s events on Saturday 20th October, starting in the morning when we welcome authors Angela McAllister and Duncan Beedie to Salisbury Library. Author of the Cogheart series of books, Peter Bunzl, will then host a workshop in the upstairs gallery at the library where children will be able to make their own mechanimals or mechanicals. The author and illustrator, Sophy Henn, then brings some Bad Nana mischief to the library, before Matt Haig reads from his latest children’s book, The Truth Pixie. Rounding the children’s events off, award-winning author Piers Torday will be in the Salberg Studio at Salisbury Playhouse to talk about his new book, The Lost Magician.
Crime Fiction Thursday!
Thursday 18th October sees a particular focus on crime fiction at the festival. Continuing our series celebrating Salisbury Greats, this year we welcome Martin Edwards, Chair of The Crime Writers’ Association, and President of the Detection Club, who will be discussing the great crime writer, Dorothy L. Sayers, who went to school in Salisbury, and also the ‘Golden Age of Crime’ that she helped establish.
Following this event, we welcome a panel of four present day female crime writers: Sarah Hilary, who won the 2015 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year; Sunday Times Bestseller Jane Corry; Amazon number one bestseller Louise Voss; and hotly tipped debut novelist Clare Empson. These events take place in the Salberg Studio at Salisbury Playhouse.
Leading Spy Writers at Salisbury Literary Festival
On Friday 19th October, the festival will turn its attention to spy fiction, with two of the leading writers in the genre coming to the city to talk about their work and offer their take on the events here in March. Charles Cumming has been described by the Mail on Sunday as ‘the master of the modern spy thriller’ and by The Observer as ‘the best of the new generation of British spy writers.’ Joining Charles is Mick Herron, who Val McDermid has called, ‘The John Le Carré of our generation’.
More authors added to the line-up!
We have a full day of author events in the Salberg Studio at Salisbury Playhouse on Saturday 20th October. These include: Salisbury-born bestseller C.J Tudor, who will be appearing alongside another of 2018’s breakthrough stars Stuart Turton. Also joining us are debut novelists, Libby Page, AJ Pearce and Katy Mahood. Gill Sims, author of the huge bestseller Why Mummy Drinks will appear with Asia Mackay, whose debut novel Killing It combines new parenthood humour with a spy thriller, and Kate Summerscale, best known for her number one bestseller The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, will appear alongside novelist Richard Beard, whose memoir The Day That Went Missing was shortlisted for both the James Tait Black Prize and the Rathbones Folio Prize. Also confirmed for Saturday is Claire Fuller, whose debut novel Our Endless Numbered Days won the Desmond Elliott Prize. Claire joins us to talk about her brilliant third novel, Bitter Orange.
Writers’ Day events announced!
Our popular Writers’ Day returns this year on Sunday 21st October, featuring workshops and talks by some of the best creative writers in the country. These include Richard Skinner, director of the Faber Academy, the UK’s leading creative writing school; bestselling novelist Joanna Briscoe, who will run a workshop on character; and John Yorke, one of the UK’s leading television writers and renowned expert on storytelling. There will also be sessions of Live Editing and Live Rejections with an editor and literary agent, and an author/editor panel discussing the journey of a book from pitch to publication.
The Sarum Symposium
On Monday 22nd October, this year’s festival concludes with a joint event with Sarum College – the Sarum Symposium in Salisbury’s Guildhall. Chaired by Erica Wagner, this panel will feature Barney Norris, Lionel Shriver and Bidisha discussing the topics of truth telling and storytelling.
Some memories from our inaugural festival. With thanks to Robert Stern and Ash Mills