Heritage & Culture

Deepings Literary Festival: Strictly Wordcraft

An intimate event on books and how to write them

The 2019 Deepings Literary Festival (23-26 May) promises a fabulous four days of literary excellence, with no less than 20 professional authors, many of whom are multi award-winners and Sunday Times best sellers. Fine music is also on the programme in this up close and very personal festival, with, eminently fitting for a literary festival, a visit from a great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.

Once again a programme highlight is a wonderful Black Tie Gala Dinner and this year’s event will be a ‘strictly’ entertaining evening in the company of veteran broadcaster and now legendary Strictly Come Dancing star, John Sergeant. The first Deepings Literary Festival in 2017 was an enormous success with local residents and visitors from across the region enjoying a marvellous programme of top-class authors. Supported by South Kesteven District Council, the 2019 Festival programme line-up is equally impressive. It includes Sunday Times Best Selling authors Milly Johnson (The Perfectly Imperfect Woman), Cathy Bramley (The Lemon Tree Café) and Elly Griffiths (The Stranger Diaries – awarded The Times Crime Book of the Year in 2018).
Joining them will be international bestselling crime fiction writer Sophie Hannah, a Cambridge-based award winner who penned the first new Hercule Poirot mysteries since Agatha Christie’s death. The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket were both international bestsellers and her latest Poirot novel, The Mystery of Three Quarters, was published in 2018.

Specialist authors will include endurance athlete Mimi Anderson, appearing at the Spinroom Studio in Deeping St. James, and Dr Patricia Fara, the eminent academic from Cambridge University. Dr Fara will enlighten audiences at the Science Lab at The Deepings School with her talk, “A Lab of One’s Own – Science and Suffrage in the First World War.” The real draw of the Deepings Literary Festival, however, is its sheer charm, with authors sharing the secrets of their craft in wonderfully intimate venues across The Deepings.

The festival’s personal nature provides the perfect environment for engaging in meaningful conversations about books – and how to write them. Venues include the cosy corners of Lilli’s Tearoom, the sophistication of Driftwood Bistro and the traditional comfort of The Stage. Festival goers can also experience the al fresco delights of the gardens at The Granary, the contemporary setting of Godsey Lane Coffee Shop and the book-lined surroundings of Deepings Library – the heart of the Deepings Literary Festival.
More formal events will be enjoyed at the Coronation Hall, Open Door Church and the splendid Priory Church in Deeping St James. Food is also on the festival menu with coffee and cake, prosecco and canapés, afternoon tea, strawberries and cream and a Sunday Brunch as part of the delicious programme – plus a special fish and chip supper at the Boundary’s River Restaurant in the company of Milly Johnson.

The 2019 Festival will celebrate the growing influence and enormous success of female authors, although it also includes a selection of first-class male writers.
Darren O’ Sullivan is a successful local author with two bestsellers and his third psychological thriller, Closer Than You Think, is scheduled for publication in March. He has signed a new threebook deal with HarperCollins imprint, HQ Stories and is currently writing his fourth novel, The Village. Simon Scarrow is the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of The Fields Of Death. His many other successful books include his Eagles of the Empire novels, most recently Day Of The Caesars, Invictus, Britannia and Brothers In Blood. The schedule will also feature Lucien Young the author of Alice in Brexitland, Trump’s Christmas Carol and The Secret Diary of Jeremy Corbyn.

His upcoming book, #Sonnets, is a collection of Shakespearean verse on subjects like Kim Kardashian, Tinder and Pikachu. In a programme with something for everyone, railway expert Greg Morse will explore John Betjeman’s love of railways and local artist Nick Teale will exhibit work inspired by the fens. His book (with Becky Owen-Fisher) Standing High Out Of Shrunken Peat brings art and poetry together in “A Love Letter to the Fens.”

Full details and booking information can be found at www.deepingsliteraryfestival.co.uk and to book visit www.stamfordartscentre.com or telephone Stamford Arts Centre on 01780 763203.   

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Background photo created by jcomp   

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