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Petworth Festival Literary Weekend


12.00pm - 10.00pm

Having already celebrated its 40th anniversary in style with a record breaking summer festival, the full programme for the 8th Petworth Festival Literary Week will be announced on Friday 5th October. 

To book from Friday 5 October:online at by calling the box office on 01798 344576 (Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 13:00).  Alternatively, a booking form can be downloaded from the website and sent to the festival office.

The Petworth Festival Literary Week (Saturday 27 October to Sunday 4 November 2018), has been running since 2011. Starting as a weekend event, such has been the growth in demand for the festival’s literary events, for the first time the festival is proud to announce an extended programme that in 2018 runs to 27 events over 8 days,giving audiences a chance to hear some of the UK's favourite authors and poets talking about their work, giving readings and signing books. 

And what a series of events Petworth has in prospect. Just two weeks before the nation as a whole marks the centenary of the ending of the First World War, the festival is opened by Michael Morpurgo who reads from one of the great First World War novels War Horse, his narration being complemented by the songs written by John Tams for the acclaimed National Theatre production of War Horse and performed by Ben Murray. 

Over the following days there is no let-up in the notoriety to be seen at this year’s festival as once again lovers of history, current affairs, food, sport, music, biography, poetry, screen writing, the outdoor world and, of course, fiction will have the opportunity to meet major authors. Book signings will as ever feature as part of each event, the festival once again working in close partnership with The Petworth Bookshop. 

Just to give a flavour, arguably ‘the most impressive novelist of his generation’ (The Daily Telegraph) Sebastian Faulks will be talking about his latest book, Paris Echo, whilst one of the most admired novelists of the last few generations – Fay Weldon – will also be bringing her wit and wisdom to the Petworth stage as she talks about After the Peace. History features prominently with Paddy Ashdown talking about the Second World War and, in the festival’s first visit to Seaford College, Max Hastings will discuss his brand new blockbuster on the Vietnam War. With other events looking at the arts and performance, fans of rock ‘n roll are also in for a treat in the shape of an evening that features a film of the sensational David Bowie exhibition at the V & A followed by a talk and book signing by the show’s curators Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes. Indeed Bowie’s song ‘Heroes’ is an apt description of many of this year’s Petworth speakers; high achieving, fascinating writers discussing fascinating subjects… including: Alan Titchmarsh, Julian Fellowes, Robin Ince, Andrew Adonis, Kate Williams, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Mark Austin, Henry Blofeld, Robin Knox-Johnston and many others.

‘The way our literary week has exploded into life these last few years has been tremendous for the whole area’ says festival director Stewart Collins, ‘but I am so pleased that we have been able to up the bar yet again for this coming Autumn’s festival. Many sell-outs are predicted!’

Earlier Event: October 27
Later Event: October 27
Fittleworth Bonfire Night