The Stratford Literary Festival will be packing some of the most respected writers and high-profile journalists into a weekend of events this winter.
As well as the internationally best-selling author, Jodi Picoult, who will be appearing on Sunday 28th October, the Festival will be hosting a programme of events from 9th to 17th November.
The names appearing include the veteran broadcaster, Sir Michael Parkinson, sharing his admiration for the legendary footballer, George Best; historian and TV presenter, Lucy Worsley OBE, who will be talking about her latest book The Many Faces of Queen Victoria, and Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman whose new book, Bloody Brilliant Women, highlights some forgotten but ground-breaking women from history. Two leading BBC journalists, World Affairs Editor John Simpson CB, and Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed, will be talking about their new books. John Simpson, who has covered many major conflicts around the world, brings his experiences to his debut novel, Moscow, Midnight, and Ahmed's book is an acclaimed and moving account of growing up in 1970s Britain amongst a culture of racism and suspicion.
The respected former Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger, will be considering why news reporting and analysis in a world of fake news and post truth is more important than ever, and the broadcaster and former stand-up comedian, Viv Groskop, will be offering advice on how women can be more effective public speakers.
The Festival is also delighted to welcome the leading academic, Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, who will just have published the definitive biography of Thomas Cromwell, one of the most notorious figures in history, and James Anthony, former Ford car worker, who has re-written all Shakespeare's sonnets for the modern audience - a feat described by Stephen Fry as a 'dazzling success'.
For younger audiences, there will be a day of fun on 10th November with the award-winning creator of the much loved, best-selling Mr Gum books, Andy Stanton, who'll be sharing the bonkersnus of Mr Gum's life in a new book of short stories. The Festival is celebrating the 80th anniversary of The Beano with a drawing workshop lead by Nigel Auchtertounie, artist for the famous comic, and the Festival sprinkles a little magic with a workshop to create a unicorn Christmas decoration with the leading theatre designer, Judy Reaves.
'Our Autumn/Winter offering is our biggest yet which is very exciting,' says Festival Director, Annie Ashworth. 'The focus this year is on non-fiction with the important themes of news and current affairs, as well as addressing important issues for women. We are also looking forward to working with the new team at Stratford Play House.
'Our Winter Series is once more sponsored by estate agents, Sheldon Bosley Knight, and we are very grateful to them as ever for their support.'
All events, except Sir Michael Parkinson, will take place at the newly re-named Stratford Play House, and tickets are available by phone on 0333 666 3366 or online via the Festival website at stratlitfest.co.uk.
For further information: http://www.stratlitfest.co.uk