A WINTER line-up has been announced for Stratford Literary Festival.
The weekend, which runs from November 20 to 22, will include events in front of a restricted live audience, observing covid-19 guidelines, but will be filmed for live streaming so audiences can watch from home too. Other events will be available virtually only.
The festival will feature major headliners including twice-Booker prize winner, Dame Hilary Mantel, broadcaster and best-selling author Andrew Marr and fellow BBC broadcaster Sophie Raworth, Times columnist and Radio 4 presenter Matthew Parris, who will look at how trauma shapes great leaders, and LBC presenter Iain Dale discussing what separates a good Prime Minister from a bad one. The acclaimed modern historian Margaret MacMillan, will explore her suggestion humans are programmed for war, and colonial history specialist Michael Taylor will consider how and why the establishment was against the abolition of slavery.
On a lighter note, impressionist Rory Bremner will explain his craft, and coping in lockdown, and audiences will be inspired by poets, Roger McGough, and Lemn Sissay, who shares his best-selling memoir.
New writing, impacted by lockdown and the closure of bookshops, will be celebrated with a You Heard it Here First debut authors event, and writers can learn how to create impact when they submit their work to publishers.
There’s fun for families too with the Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown and storytelling workshops with artist Ros Ingrams and Kate Coleman.
Extra content this year includes Christmas book-buying recommendations from experts, a virtual bookshop, and discounts for local business.
Festival director Annie Ashworth said: “Events are a challenge for everyone at the moment, but we have planned a flexible programme so that we can be live or digital – or both – depending on guidelines.
“I am so pleased that some authors who couldn’t be with us because of the cancelled festival in spring are back with us this winter, and we are committed to working with local organisations and businesses as we all need to support each other at the moment.”
Tickets are available from stratlitfest.co.uk from October 5.