Welcome to the Chalfont St. Giles Literary Festival web site
The Chalfont St Giles 2014 Literary Festival - November 2013 Update
Chairman Kathleen Martin writes:
‘I am delighted that arrangements for our 2014 Literary Festival are already well advanced. We sadly have not been able to continue with our plans for a second Music Hall (another year, we hope) but we are very excited to welcome LiTTLe MACHiNe, who promise an enjoyable relaxed evening of poetry set to light music. In the same vein we have a celebration of Shakespeare and welcome Lance Person and a classical trio with an evening of Shakespearean recitations and music.’
Meanwhile, work continues apace on all the detailed planning and preparation, with regular committee meetings to consider, contact, and confirm suitable (and available) names – both famous, and the not-so-famous – from the world of words.
Maintaining a focus on contributors with the knowledge and passion to illuminate aspects of life one hundred or more years ago through poetry, prose, music or drama, the committee aims to recreate and explore some of the trials and tribulations of those dark days of the first Great World War, but also capture the spirit of a nation at a time of exploration, great invention, conscientious objection, and of course, from the key scribes of the day.
The festival will run from Tuesday 6th May to Sunday 18th May 2014 and will take place, as usual, at selected venues around the village of Chalfont St Giles, and Jordans.
Dr David Starkey
Amongst the growing list of eminent speakers are the renowned historian, Dr David Starkey - outspoken, colourful, and often controversial, who will be delivering his highly personalised views as a fitting climax to the festival in the Memorial Hall on Sunday 18th May,
while master storyteller and best-selling author Ken Follett - whose career as a began as a struggling writer in London during the 1970s – will be addressing what will undoubtedly be a packed village church on Saturday evening 17th May.
Other festival highlights include a talk by local genealogist Anthony Marr on searching for ancestors from WW1 days, Sue Smithson will discuss Conscientious Objectors, and 200 years after her first novels were published, Elizabeth Proudman (Chair of Jane Austen Society) will discuss ‘Jane Austen and the Miracle of Pride and Prejudice’.
We’ll take a flight back into the past with a nostalgic look at WW1 aviation, piloted by David Keen from the RAF Museum at Hendon, and one of the golden voices of BBC Radio - Gabriel Woolf - will bring to life the magical poetry and prose of Dylan Thomas, who was born 100 years ago.
Rosemary Cook CBE
Rosemary Cook CBE (Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine) will call on her nursing background to talk about her book ‘The Nightingale Shore Murder’, and will include many first-hand accounts of nursing in the Great War, contained in letters sent at the time by Queen’s Nurses.
Local resident Colin Oakes will sharing his insights into a couple of world-renowned local authors – Enid Blyton, who contribution to literature included Noddy, The Secret Seven, and The Famous Five; and GK Chesterton - lay theologian, poet, dramatist, journalist, orator, critic, and biographer - often referred to as the ‘prince of paradox’.
As always, there will be a themed creative writing competition which is open to contestants both young and old, with the added benefit of a workshop or two with Lisa Golding on the skills of writing – including how to break the writing rules!
All this, plus a number of poetry readings which will take place at various locations around the villages.
Make sure you keep touch with all that is happening by returning regularly to the website, for more information and updates on the home page
Previous festivals: for details of the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 Festivals, including programmes and writing competition winners, click the 'Past Events' link on the left, or [here]