Taking place over four days from April 29 to May 2, the Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival is being launched by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and stars David Baddiel and Jo Brand – both well known as presenters, comedians and writers – will be headlining the programme for this exciting new festival.
David Baddiel is the author of four novels as well as six books for children which have sold over one million copies.
His most recent work is the Sunday Times bestselling non-fiction polemic Jews Don’t Count – ‘a book for people on the right side of history. People fighting the good fight against homophobia, disablism, transphobia and, particularly, racism. People, possibly, like you’.
JO BRAND: The former TWGGS schoolgirl is to return to Tunbridge Wells
Jo Brand, is no stranger to Tunbridge Wells having attended Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School in her teens.
Her 2019 book Born Lippy: How To Do Female is a darkly funny guide to life as a woman. It’s all the things Jo wishes she’d known, all the things she’s learnt, and all the things she hopes for the future.
“The creative space and the new libraries in The Amelia Scott make it the perfect place for this new festival to establish its roots”
The creative space and the new libraries in The Amelia Scott make it the perfect place for this new festival to establish its roots.
Set for an opening date in the last week of April, the £21million project is a joint venture by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) and Kent County Council (KCC) with National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England funding.
The Amelia Scott building and the Amelia cultural centre within are both named after the early 20th-century campaigner for women’s suffrage who was one of the first two women to be elected to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in 1919.
Once the centre begins welcoming people inside, the Council hopes the combined art gallery, museum, adult education centre and visitor hub is expected to bring around 450,000 visitors a year.
As well as established names, the Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival will showcase new talent and local writers across the four-day extravaganza of words, workshops, readings, panel discussions, poetry and much more.
Readers, new writers, established writers and illustrators will be coming together to celebrate the joy, imagination and inspiration that comes from the widest variety of literary media, from graphic novels to poetry and podcasts, fact and fiction, popular and niche.
Crime, sport history and personal stories will all feature, and there will be events for younger readers, too. The event’s organisers promise there will be something for everyone!
“A literary festival is the ideal event for Royal Tunbridge Wells”
A literary festival is the ideal event for Royal Tunbridge Wells, which has long been a source of literary inspiration with names such as WM Thackeray, Siegfried Sassoon, EM Forster, Arthur Conan Doyle, AA Milne and Jane Austen having links to the town or the wider area.
The festival’s programme of events will be taking place at The Amelia Scott as well as at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Trinity Theatre, The Forum and The Tunbridge Wells Hotel.
The Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival is being organised in partnership with bookseller Waterstones, and The Tunbridge Wells Hotel is sponsoring the event, which is also being supported by Royal Tunbridge Wells Together.
The Times of Tunbridge Wells is acting as headline media partner for the festival.