The literary festival by the sea announces a stellar line up which includes Deborah Levy, Adam Kay, A.C. Grayling, Sathnam Sanghera, Andi Osho, Yomi Adegoke, Rob Newman,, Miki Berenyi, Ian Dunt and Daisy Buchanan alongside an exciting new venue partnership with the iconic Dreamland.

A source of inspiration to artists and writers including J.M.W. Turner, Tracey Emin, T.S. Elliott and Graham Swift, Margate is the fourth hippest place in the UK* and the home of the friendliest lit fest by the sea, the Margate Bookie. Now in its eighth year Margate Bookie will take place Friday 20 to Sunday 22 October with an invigorating line-up to refresh your senses and recharge your mind. Featuring poetry and music, comedy and art, politics and fiction, and an extensive fun-packed children’s programme, the Bookie has plenty to encourage young and old to dive into books. 

Margate Bookie are delighted to announce a new venue partnership with Dreamland, alongside our long-standing venue partners, the Turner Contemporary Gallery and The Margate School, and are proud to be part of the town’s regeneration story. This October we are looking forward to welcoming leading authors and new visitors to the delights of Margate, to promote local creative talent and to help build an inclusive hub for readers and writers across Thanet. The programme this year features creative writing workshops, a poetry slam headlined by UK Poetry Slam Champion Rick Dove and two full days of children’s events.

Perfectly timed for October half-term the Bookie children’s programme is jam packed with brilliant authors to keep kids of all ages entertained. Adam Kay and fellow comedian and illustrator Henry Paker will be tickling funny bones on Saturday and Sathnam Sanghera kickstarts Sunday with his family-friendly adaptation, Stolen History, taking kids on an illuminating tour of the hidden secrets and stories of the British Empire over four centuries. 

Kids will find lots to make them laugh and fire their imaginations with authors including Roopa Farooki (Double Detectives), Garry Parsons (The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet), Paul Deslandes (The Garden Monster), John Condon (The Pirates are Coming), Gianna Pollero (Monster Doughnuts), Anna Orenstein (The Tree of Hope),Tamara McFarlane (The Book of Mysteries, Magic and the Unexplained), Sam Gayton (World Weavers), Tamara Rattigan (Everybody’s Special), Susie Darnton (A Dance in the Moon Garden), Zoe Antoniedes (Cally and Jimmy) and Mr Gilbert Giggles (Master of Disaster) as our special MC.

Adam Kay

Other highlights include:

  • Franny Moyle on The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner at the Turner Contemporary Gallery.

  • Bookie regular, award winning journalist and author Daisy Buchanan chats with actor, writer, comedian and film maker Andi Osho (Asking for a Friend, Tough Crowd) for a live recording of the much loved You’re Booked podcast.
  • Frmer Lush frontwoman and author of the music Book of the Year Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved me from Success, Miki Berenyi to talks Britpop, becoming a bestselling author and more. Festival goers will also be able to catch a live set from the Miki Berenyi Trio.

  • Italian singer-songwriter and novelist Erica Mou (Thirsty Sea) joins author and art critic Chloe Ashby (Wet Paint, Second Self) in exploring women’s place in the world in words and music.

  • Multi-award-winning journalist and author Yomi Adegoke (Slay In Your Lane, The List) joins Laura Kay (The Split) to discuss Alternative Romance and the cool rebirth of the modern romcom.

  • Discover the literary stars of tomorrow with the Faber & Faber Academy, Vanguard Readings and contributors to the 14 Anthology, as part of Margate Bookie’s commitment to supporting writers and authors at all stages of their career.

  • Live podcasts with special guests Lucy Vine, Olivia Petter and Zahra Barri with Rosie Wilby (The Breakup Monologues) and visual storyteller Karrie Fransman with Miriam Robinson (The Unlived Life).

The Bookie is supported by local booksellers Moon Lane Books, Book Bodega and Seadog Books from Ramsgate and Westgate’s Books That Expand The Mind.

Director and founder Andreas Loizou says ‘I’m overjoyed that Bookie has put Margate on the UK’s literary map. Over the last few years we’ve had big name authors alongside local writers, seen literary legends side by side with up-and-coming stars, and brought people together to celebrate words and books in the seaside town we love. With new partnerships and an expanded programme, Bookie 2023 really will be bigger and better than ever.’ 

Margate’s iconic Dreamland will be the host venue for this year’s Bookie with events taking place across The Ballroom, the Roller Room and Cinque Ports. Dreamland Margate is a world-class family attraction and live entertainment venue, with everything from a amusement park that features the UK’s oldest wooden roller coaster, The Scenic Railway, to being the home of Banksy’s recent work “Valentine’s Day Mascara” to hosting some of the best live music acts in the world – this year including Queens of the Stone Age, Placebo and Bastille.

So start planning your October trip to Margate – tickets for Margate Bookie are on sale now via 

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