6-10 November 2019
Over fifty events at venues across Stroud, in a programme that celebrates life, love and reading!
Headline events include Julia Donaldson, Ian McEwan, Nina Stibbe, Lemn Sissay, Katy Brand, Bee Wilson, Richard Mabey, Max Porter and Shaun the Sheep!
Full line-up at: www.stroudbookfestival.org.uk
Here’s our pick of the Festival programme:
Saturday 9th November
A GIANT DOSE OF GROSS! / ANDY SEED
Lansdown Hall. Ages: 7-11. 10.30-11.30am.
Come and celebrate the world’s most disgusting creatures with Andy Seed, winner of the Blue Peter Book Award, as he reveals the gruesome contents of his new book, “A Giant Dose of Gross”.
Stroud Library (Free event). Various times.
Join us for a very special storytelling performance featuring the much-loved Elmer, everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant who is celebrating his 30th birthday this year.
STORY IN A SUITCASE / TOM PERCIVAL
George Room, Subscription Rooms. Ages: 4 -7. 12.00-1.00pm.
Join author and illustrator extraordinaire Tom Percival for a whistle-stop tour of YOUR imagination!
The Pavilion, Museum in the Park. Ages: 6-96+.
Stroud Book Festival is delighted to present these fantastic workshops from the amazing Aardman – the world-famous, four times Academy Award® winning animation studio, and creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Morph.
All materials are included in the ticket price. But places are strictly limited so please book early to avoid disappointment!
SNEAKY BEAK! / TRACEY CORDEROY
George Room, Subscription Rooms. 2.00-3.00pm. Ages: 4-7.
Join Stroud’s own Tracey Corderoy for a brilliantly creative hour of story-telling and crafts, inspired by her two most recent picture books.
THE CIRCUS OF DREAMS! / NELL GIFFORD and SALLY GARDNER
Lansdown Hall, 188.8.131.52pm. Ages 6-adult.
Roll up, roll up for a magical hour of fun and laughter with the one and only Nell Gifford, owner and producer of Giffords Circus, and Costa and Carnegie Medal-winning author Sally Gardner. Chaired by Nicolette Jones, Children’s Books Editor of the Sunday Times.
Sunday 10th November
MARK AND SHARK: DETECTIVING & STUFF / JOHN DOUGHERTY
Lansdown Hall. 11.00-12.00pm. Ages: 7-9.
Mark and Shark are best friends. They’re also a boy and a, um, shark!
Stroud’s own John Dougherty makes a welcome return to Stroud Book Festival for readings, hilarity and even a song or two.
FIRST CROWN: MALICE OF SNOW / C. HIGGINS
George Room, Subscription Rooms. 4.30-5.30pm.
Last year at the age of 13, inspirational Stroud author Callum Higgins published his debut novel, “First Crown: Malice of Snow”, the first in his highly imaginative “First Crown” dark fantasy series set in the kingdom of Askaria. In the space of a week, the book became an instant epic cont.>>
fantasy bestseller, and stayed at #1 in the charts for almost an entire month, with Callum later donating 20% of his profits to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
With his sequel to “First Crown: Malice of Snow” due out later this autumn, join Callum as he tells his remarkable writing and publishing story to Anna Bailey.
Wednesday 6th November
BOSH! HOW TO LIVE VEGAN / HENRY FIRTH and IAN THEASBY
Stroud Brewery. 7.00 – 10.00pm.
Join us for our very special opening night celebration as we kick off Stroud Book Festival in style in the company of Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, creators of the mega-successful BOSH! Dubbed the “vegan Jamie Olivers” Henry & Ian are the authors of two bestselling recipe books, “Bosh!” – the highest-selling vegan cookbook ever, and “Bish Bash Bosh!”. Through their books and their online platforms, this dynamic duo’s food creations reached more than half a billion people in their first year.
Hear Henry & Ian discuss their plant-based ethos, and their freshly-published and eminently accessible lifestyle guide, “BOSH! How To Live Vegan”.
You can also taste some of their delicious recipes and drink vegan beer from Stroud Brewery. What’s not to love?
MENDING: DAY WORKSHOP / CELIA PYM
Atelier. 10.30–4.30 with an hour for lunch (supplied).
This workshop explores textile repair on knitted and wool textiles, and considers the tenderness and care of mending.
Workshop staged by Hawthorn Press to mark the launch of new imprint, Quickthorn, and the publication of “Darning: Repair, Make, Mend” by Hikaru Noguchi for which the work of Celia Pym was a prime inspiration.
PIRANHA POETRY: OPEN MIC NIGHT / Guests: SCOTT TYRRELL and BIRDSPEED
Imperial Hotel. 7.30 – 10.30pm. FREE.
Piranha Poetry presents an open mic night featuring two incredible guest artists, Scott Tyrrell and Birdspeed. Hosted by Gary Death.
Friday 8th November
CRIME, COURT & CONFLICT / ANDREW TAYLOR and CYNTHIA JEFFERIES
George Room, Subscription Rooms. 7.00-8.00pm.
From Daphne du Maurier to Rose Tremain, the English Civil War and Restoration periods have long provided a rich seam of material for writers of fiction.
We are delighted to welcome two novelists to Stroud Book Festival, who explore all the politics, conflict and intrigue of this colourful time in history in their work
Saturday 9th November
OTHER TIMES, OTHER PLACES / DINAH JEFFERIES and CAROLINE MONTAGUE
Lansdown Hall. 2.30-3.30pm.
The particular joy of historical novels is the way in which they transport us so effortlessly to other places, and illuminate other eras in the process.
Join us to hear from two fine writers living here in Gloucestershire, Dinah Jefferies and Caroline Montague, whose novels do just that, and discover what it takes to write an authentic story set in the past.
WHAT KATIE READ / KATIE FFORDE, ANSTEY HARRIS and JOE HEAP
Ballroom, Subscription Rooms. 4.00-5.30pm.
Earlier this year, Stroud’s own Katie Fforde published her 25th novel, “A Rose Petal Summer”. It went straight to no.1 in the bestseller lists for hardback fiction. In celebration of both these remarkable achievements, we have invited Katie to host this very special event. Ticket price includes a glass of pink fizz (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and a helping of celebration cake.
DOES DEMOCRACY HAVE A FUTURE? / MOLLY SCOTT CATO MEP, DAVID RUNCIMAN and JACK SHENKER
Ballroom, Subscription Rooms. 8.30-9.30pm.
Until recently, few of us who live in Western democracies could have imagined the end of the political system we hold dear, let alone that it might occur in our lifetimes.
But here we are, with democracy under threat, or at the very least under intense pressure and scrutiny. What are its chances of survival? And how much does it matter in the context of climate change and the state of our planet? To assess the future of democracy are three expert speakers, each of whom has a particular view on the matter.
Sunday 10th November
MADE IN STROUD* / MELANIE GOLDING, ROSIE PRICE and MANDY ROBOTHAM
Lansdown Hall. 12.30-2.00pm.
When it comes to its wealth of writing talent, Stroud definitely punches well above its size! Come and hear from three writers with strong local connections whose debut novels have recently been published to wide acclaim.
Melanie Golding is author of “Little Darlings”, a spine-tingling psychological thriller which centres on Lauren and her new-born twins. While alone on the maternity ward, a terrifying encounter in the middle of the night convinces her that someone is trying to steal her children. Snapped up by publisher HQ, “Little Darlings” has also been optioned by Free Range Films.
Rosie Price grew up in Dursley, went to school in Stroud, and now lives in London. Her compelling debut novel, “What Red Was” is partly set in Gloucestershire and centres on a young woman, Kate Quaile, her friend Max and her dealings with his family, the wealthy Rippons. At their London home, just after graduation, her life is shattered apart in a bedroom while a party goes on downstairs.
Mandy Robotham is a midwife who has worked at Stroud Maternity Unit for the past 18 years. Her debut novel is “A Woman of War”, set in Germany in 1944. Taken from the camps, Anke Hoff is assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die. Torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred for the Nazi regime, Anke is swept into a life unlike anything she’s ever known.
*With thanks to Clare Honeyfield for allowing us to borrow her shop name for this event.
THE GOLDEN THREAD: HOW FABRIC CHANGED HISTORY / KASSIA ST CLAIR
George Room, Subscription Rooms. 3.00-4.00pm.
In association with SIT select.
Kassia St Clair is a cultural historian and acclaimed author of the bestselling “The Secret Lives of Colour” and “The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History”, both chosen as BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. We’re delighted to welcome her to Stroud Book Festival where, in conversation with contemporary textile artist Anna Gravelle, she will explain how fabric – “running like a bright line through history” – has allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places.
DOWN IN THE VALLEY: A WRITER’S LANDSCAPE by LAURIE LEE (BOOK LAUNCH) / DAVID PARKER
Lansdown Hall. 5.30-6.30pm.
In association with Penguin Classics.
“Living in our valley was like broad beans in a pod, so snug and enclosed and protective”.
After his sell-out event at Stroud Book Festival last year, we’re delighted to welcome back film-maker David Parker for the official UK launch of “Down in the Valley: A Writer’s Landscape”, a new Penguin Classics collection of never-before-published autobiographical reflections by Laurie Lee.
This event will complement rather than repeat last year’s session and should not be missed! Ticket price includes a glass of wine or soft drink.
STROUD SHORT STORIES
TEN GLOUCESTERSHIRE AUTHORS / Introduced by JOHN HOLLAND
Cotswold Playhouse. 7.30pm* (doors 7.00pm). *Please note the new earlier start time from previous SSS events.
Formed in 2011 and proclaimed by Cheltenham Literature Festival to be “possibly the best short story event in the South West”, the excellent reputation of Stroud Short Stories lies in the unfailingly high quality of stories read at its events.
We’re delighted to host the 19th Stroud Short Stories event at Stroud Book Festival.
Early ticket purchase is highly recommended to avoid disappointment as the last 13 events have all sold out well in advance.
Tickets for this event will be on sale from Friday 11th October on the Cotswold Playhouse website: