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This week, Guildford, Waverley and Woking students had an opportunity to meet their favourite authors and illustrators thanks to Guildford Book Festival.  Award-winning author and illustrator Simon Bartram, critically acclaimed poet James Carter, bestselling author Lauren St John, maths teacher and author Muhammad Khan, hugely popular writer Christopher Lloyd and internationally acclaimed author and illustrator Yuval Zommer entertained more than 2000 students across ten schools, including Busbridge Infants, Bushy Hill, St Edmund’s Catholic Primary, Holy Trinity, Howard of Effingham, Queen Eleanor’s, RGS, Sandfield, Woking High and Wonersh & Shamley Green Primary.

A registered charity, Guildford Book Festival aims to inspire a love of reading, writing and illustrating among all.  Funds raised through ticket sales to the main Festival – which this year takes place between 6 and 14 October – enable the Festival to take authors into local schools during the annual Schools’ Week.

Commenting, Alex Andrews, Co-Director of Guildford Book Festival, says: “Our schools events are always one of the highlights of the Festival – it was inspiring to see so many pupils engaging with the authors and illustrations and really buzzing about books. A huge thank you goes out to all the schools and speakers involved and also to our children’s sponsor, Martin Grant Homes. Without their continued support the programme would not be possible.”

Taking place between 6 and 14 October at venues across the town, Guildford Book Festival is recognised as the premier literary event in the South East.  Now in its 29thyear, highlights of the 2018 Festival include former BBC War Correspondent Martin Bell, celebrated broadcaster Jenni Murray, renowned journalist Max Hastings, internationally bestselling fiction writers Bernard Cornwell, Kate Mosse and Joanna Trollope, and acclaimed author Matt Haig.

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Today, organisers of Guildford Book Festival announce more authors for the 2018 event, which takes place at venues across the town between 6 and 14 October – and release further tickets for sale.

Joining an already sparkling line-up are Strictly Come Dancingfavourite Anton du Beke, with his debut novel, One Enchanted Evening, a sweeping historical romance set around a London hotel ballroom in the lead up to World War II; the UK’s most famous and beloved vet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, recounting his inspiring journey from growing up on the family farm in Ireland to starring in Channel 4’s The Supervet; leading batsman James Taylor, whose promising cricket career was dramatically cut short when he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition at the age of 26; much-loved author Patrick Gale, who will talk about his new book, Take Nothing With You, and Gill Sims, who will discuss Why Mummy Swears, her hilarious follow-up to her bestselling debut novel, Why Mummy Drinks.

Marking the centenary of the WWI Armistice, award-winning biographer and naval historian Jim Ring will reveal the pivotal role of the Navy in the ‘war to end all wars’.

Anthologist Ana Sampson will explore the history of female poetry, with readings from some of her favourite poets from the ancient world to the present day.  Among those featured are Maya Angelou, Carol Ann Duffy, Grace Nichols, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti and Charlotte Bronte. 

Nicolas Seal, a leading environmental scientist and Japanese Knotweed expert, will present a fascinating look at the destructive plant’s origins, its history and the reasons for its success.  The session will end with a short knotweed clinic. 

And to mark Lewis Carroll’s arrival in Guildford 150 years ago, Matt Pinches, Co-Founder of the award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company, discusses the writer's unique relationship with the town and the return of GSC's Alice in Wonderland, a multi-venue theatre production.

Already announced for Guildford Book Festival 2018 are, amongst others: former BBC War Correspondent Martin Bell; celebrated broadcaster Jenni Murray; renowned journalist Max Hastings; internationally bestselling fiction writers Bernard Cornwell, Kate Mosseand Joanna Trollope; acclaimed author Matt Haig; world-renowned drummer of the Small Faces and The WhoKenney Jones; much-loved music broadcaster Humphrey Burton; hugely popular cricket commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd; historian Alison Weir and ever popular authors Adele Parks and Tasmina Perry.

Guildford Book Festival is grateful to Headline Sponsor Simba Sleep and to sponsors Wilkins Kennedy, Martin Grant Homes, The Rutland Group, Surrey Libraries, the Mandolay Hotel and Green Team Interiors.



Organisers of the Guildford Book Festival today announce the initial line-up for 2018, with events taking place at venues across the town between 7 and 14 October.

Recognised as the premier literary event in the South East, the 29th edition of Guildford Book Festival will feature: former BBC War Correspondent Martin Bell, with a moving, personal account of the travesties of war and an impassioned call to ‘put the substance back into news’; celebrated broadcaster Jenni Murray with her History of the World in 21 Women; renowned journalist Max Hastings, with a masterful new chronicle of the Vietnam War; internationally bestselling fiction writers Bernard Cornwell, Kate Mosse and Joanna Trollope, and acclaimed author Matt Haig, who will share his thoughts on how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century. 

World-renowned drummer of the Small Faces and The WhoKenney Jones will talk about his rock ‘n’ roll life, while much-loved music broadcaster, Humphrey Burton, will share insight into the life and career of Leonard Bernstein, marking the centenary of the composer’s birth.

Hugely popular commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd will entertain with brilliant stories from his cricket journey which has taken him all over the world.

Returning to the Festival for the third year in a row, historian Alison Weir will discuss the subject of her latest Six Tudor Queens series, Jane Seymour, while ever popular authors Adele Parks and Tasmina Perry return to talk about their latest books, both psychological thrillers.  

In a series of sessions to celebrate 100 years since the start of suffrage for women, Diane Atkinson will explore the lives of the suffragettes who answered the call to ‘Rise Up!’Sharon Wright will reveal the astonishing stories of the fabulous female pioneers of balloon flight, and Miranda Seymour will discuss Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s brilliant, mercurial daughter, who predicted the dawn of the computer era.

Spy fans can look forward to Ben MacIntyre, discussing  The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War, and Henry Hemming, who will shed light on MI5’s greatest spymaster, Maxwell Knight. 

Leading crime writer M. J. Arlidge and bestselling writer of historical thrillers, S. J. Parris, will be in conversation about their latest, chilling books.

Nick Hewer (The Apprenticeand Countdown) will share the A to Z of his life, and Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon will seek to inspire others through her hilarious journey from self-proclaimed ‘loafer’ to London Marathon runner.  

Geneticist and BBC Radio 4 Inside Science presenter, Adam Rutherford, will talk about how we became humans, and The One Show’s eco expert, Lucy Siegle, will call for urgent action to end the plastic pandemic. 

For food lovers, Skye McAlpine will offer an insider’s perspective on Venetian cooking and Maryam Sinai will entertain with recipes from the Persian kitchen. In Food You Can ForageTiffany Francis will show how foraging can be an adventure for the entire family.

David Lough will discuss his newly published book featuring an extraordinary exchange of letters between Winston Churchill and his mother, while Duncan Barrett will talk about what it was like to live under German occupation in the Channel Isles. Having been granted unique access to Chinese archaeologists and historians, Edward Burman will tell the story of the astounding Terracotta Warriors.

Tom Rachman, making his debut at the Festival with his novel, The Italian Teacher, will discuss the contemporary art world with Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, daughter of Antonia Fraser and author of After Andy: Adventures in Warhol Land.

This year’s Readers’ Day will again be hosted by Woman & Home’s Fanny Blake, and will feature popular authors Sarah VaughanLouise CandlishRuth Hogan and Kit de Waal along with debut writers, A. J. Pearce and Libby Page.

Budding writers can benefit from Creative Writing Workshops led by Rachel Marsh along with expert advice on How to Get Published.

For children there’s award-winning M G LeonardBryony Thomson, Gabrielle Djanogly and CBeebies favourite, Olobob Top, as well as Matt Haig talking about his new children’s books.

Funds raised through ticket sales and sponsorship enable the Festival to take authors into the Borough’s schools. This year’s schools’ programme takes place in July and students will be entertained by James CarterYuval ZommerLauren St JohnMuhammad KhanSimon Bartram and Christopher Lloyd.

Guildford Book Festival looks forward to once again working with its charity partners: Amnesty International, The Arts Society and Watts Gallery.  

The Festival is grateful to Headline Sponsor Simba Sleep and to sponsors Wilkins Kennedy, University of Surrey, Martin Grant Homes, The Rutland Group, Surrey Libraries and the Mandolay Hotel.

Commenting, Guildford Book Festival Co-Director Jane Beaton saysWe have a wonderful line-up of authors joining us this year, offering a wide variety of events.  With subjects from crime writing to rock music, espionage to food foraging there is something for everyone.”

Guildford Book Festival Co-Director Alex Andrews adds: “We look forward to welcoming some of the country’s best authors and illustrators and believe we have something for every taste and age.”

Tickets for Readers’ Day and the Literary Lunch are now on sale.  In addition, tickets can now be booked for two children’s events taking place over the summer with David Roberts and Yuval Zommer. For further information and to book tickets:  or 01483 444334.

Tickets for other events will be released over the summer.  



Tamsin Williams - Wigwam PR – +44 (0)1483 563562 (0)7939 651252     

Guildford Book Festival

Established in 1989, Guildford Book Festival is staged annually over 8 days across venues within the town.   Many bestselling authors have appeared at the Festival, including Jodi Picoult, Sebastian Faulks, Joanna Trollope, Joanne Harris and Ian Rankin alongside household names such as Sir Roger Moore, Jeremy Paxman, Graham Norton, Kate Adie, Brian Blessed and Sir Ian Botham.


Guildford Book Festival is a registered charity and receives core funding from Guildford Borough Council and the University of Surrey.

Festival patrons are Elizabeth Buchan, Michael Buerk, Adele Parks, Michael Rosen, Fay Weldon, Timothy West and Max Lu.