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Stellar line-up announced for the 30th annual Richmond Literature Festival!

29 September 2021

Richmond Literature Festival has launched its 2021 programme of events for the 30th edition of the much-loved literature festival. This year’s festival takes place from 5 - 21 November and will see a return to in person events following last year’s move online due to the pandemic.

The programme includes talks by authors, historians, politicians and more, with writing workshops, as well as activities for children and families. This year’s festival will explore the theme of ‘breaking ground.’ Through literature and ideas, we imagine the new possibilities of our future. The past eighteen months have seen massive upheaval and innovation across the globe. On our ever-changing planet, how can we work towards a world that’s more sustainable, more inclusive and more equal? What exactly is the ‘new normal’ and what does it mean for us?

The festival will begin on Friday 5 November with a panel discussion entitled ‘This is How We Come Back Stronger’ with guests including international bestselling author of The Burning Chambers Series Kate Mosse, writer and filmmaker Juliet Jacques, and Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton.

Other programme highlights include: 

  • Environmentalist and former director of Friends of the Earth Jonathon Porritt CBE joins a panel of speakers, including Dr Alice Bell, to explore how we can take collective action to avert runaway climate change in the light of COP26.
  • Monique Roffey, winner of the 2020 Costa Book Of The Year for The Mermaid of Black Conch, joins Courttia Newland in conversation to discuss their approaches to exploring contemporary issues through literary fiction.
  • Award winning journalist and broadcaster Sathnam Sanghera discusses his book Empireland and how understanding the history of imperialism is fundamental to understanding Britain today with Professor Corinne Fowler, author of the National Trusts report on it's historic houses links to empire.
  • Natasha Brown and Caleb Azumah Nelson, writers of two of 2021's most highly anticipated debuts come together in conversation.
  • 'Sarvat Hasin, Natalie Hanes, and Charlotte Higgins discuss their approaches to reinterpreting and retelling the stories of the women of Greek myth.
  • Nadifa Mohamed, author of the Fortune Men which was recently shortlisted for the Booker Prize

Tickets for Richmond Literature Festival 2021 go on sale on 29 September at 12 noon. Tickets can be booked online or by phone

A number of this year’s events will be held online only while other in person events will be live streamed allowing residents to view events virtually.

See the full programme of events.

Cllr John Coombs, Spokesperson for Arts, said:  

“I am delighted that Richmond Literature Festival is returning for its special 30th edition. This year’s programme of events promises to be extra special given the return to live events following last year’s move to online events and the difficult past year for our local arts and culture sector.  

“The last year has shown us just how important our arts are to all of us, and Richmond Literature Festival is one of the best literature festivals in the country. This year’s programme includes something for all interests. The theme of Breaking Ground has brought an exciting group of writers and thinkers together at the festival, which will be a unique opportunity see some acclaimed writers exploring some of the most important issues of our times. It's a busy mixture of events, talks and panel discussions, a great workout for the mind, so get out and support your local arts this November. I look forward to seeing you there.” 

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For more information on Richmond Literature Festival 2021 please contact

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Updated: 29 September 2021

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