Biggest ever Lavenham Literary Festival described as 'runaway success'
Lavenham Literary Festival organisers described this year’s event as the biggest to date, after the village welcomed some of the country’s most renowned creative figures throughout the weekend.
Renowned authors, poets and screenwriters drew crowds totalling more than 1,000 people on Saturday and Sunday for the bi-annual festival, which is now in its sixth year.
Kicking off on Friday with the festival dinner, with actress and writer Ruth Jones as the guest speaker, the two-day event saw many sell-out talks, panels and recitals at Lavenham Village Hall, featuring the likes of famous novelist Ian McEwan and poet Pam Ayres.
Susan Burton, chairman of the literary festival, called this year’s festival “a runaway success”.
“I think it went brilliantly,” she told the Free Press. “We had more people than ever before attend the events.
“I think one of the benefits of this festival is not only to hear and meet the speakers, but also that we had such a mixture of subjects.
“There was something for everybody, whether you like fiction or non-fiction, whether you are a poet or a budding writer. There was a big range and choice for people.
“The events at the village hall main room had up to 190 people, so there were easily over 1,000 people. I think it was a runaway success.”
The schedule included a poetry session with Suffolk-based pairing Rebecca Goss and Pauline Stainer, a panel with crime writers Duncan Campbell and Joanna Jolly, and a sold-out creative writing workshop with Bridget Holding.
There were also discussions by authors Andrew Lownie, Tracy Borman and John Higgs about their new books, a talk by Clare Mulley on the centenary of the charity Save The Children and a conversation with Lavenham resident William Clegg, who spoke about his life as a high-profile barrister.
The festival will take a break next year before returning in 2021, with organisers instead staging an event geared at children for the autumn of 2020.
More by this authorThomas Malina