News Details

Events and speakers for the 2014 Festival

Monday 13th January 2014

The 2014 Stratford upon Avon Literary Festival celebrates its 7th year with a sparkling array of superb speakers and events. Headline names and eventsincluding:

Ray Davies of The Kinks
The highly respected peer Baroness Shirley Williams
Comedian and writer Tim Brooke-Taylor
BBC correspondents Frank Gardner on the Middle East, Gavin Esler on great world leaders and Hugh Pym on the banking crisis
Queen of crime, Val McDermid on her latest novel and the challenges of re-working Jane Austen talking with Louise Welsh and Jo Baker (author of Longbourn)
Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen on our alphabet
MP Alan Johnson on his extraordinary childhood
Linguist David Crystal on English accents
Comedy writer Jon Canter on his glittering career
Gardening guru Chris Beardshaw
Design guru Emma Bridgewater
Best-selling author Rachel Joyce
Thriller writer and veteran journalist Gerald Seymour
Human Rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith delivering our Big Issue Lecture
Poetry from Simon Armitage and Jean Binta Breeze
Chocolat creator Joanne Harris on The Gospel of Loki
Writers from Denmark talking about the appetite for Scandinavian storytelling
Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark with her debut novel
2013 Orwell Prize Winner Andrew Williams
Children's illustrators Nick Sharratt and Axel Scheffler
Authors Tracy Corduroy, Julia Golding and Philip Ardagh
2014 Carnegie Prize nominated author Helen Watts
Winnie the Witch illustrator Korky Paul
Lauren Child, creator of Clarice Bean, and Eileen Browne, creator of Handa
Authors Giles Paley Philips, Tony Bradman and Geraldine McCaughrean

We will be entertaining travellers at Birmingham Airport to celebrate Shakespeare's 450th Birthday, sending an author into prison, and marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War I with poetry from Siegfried Sassoon, harrowing memoirs re-created by Jon Cooksey and David Gordon, a debate on women's achievements since 1918 and a discussion about the man behind the start of the war, described by Tim Butcher.

Supported by John Murray Publishers, we'll have a series of Creative Writing workshops, including a residential weekend, to support people who want to write crime fiction, for children, a family memoir, poetry or simply want to know where to start.

And, to celebrate the theme of the Festival, we'll be asking the nation what's the one novel they'd take on a journey…?

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