Arts + Entertainment

Whitstable Literary Festival

Big names and local authors feature in second year line-up


WhitLit has announced Whitstable’s second literary festival will be taking place from 9th-17th May 2015. The programme has doubled in size since last year to host over 50 events including author chats, writing workshops, and activities for children and families. The festival will take place primarily at The Horsebridge Arts Centre and Whitstable Library, with additional events held at Whitstable Community College Lecture Theatre, the Duke of Cumberland and Whitstable Castle.

WhitLit is rapidly becoming one of the area’s leading arts festivals, as it continues to celebrate the town’s unique heritage under the theme of ‘independent spirit’, bringing together inventive authors, innovative stories and original voices – many with local connections.

Following on from last year’s hugely popular first festival, founder and director, Victoria Falconer, was inspired to build on WhitLit’s success: “Last year’s festival proved such a hit with the town that we couldn’t wait to get planning the next one. We are delighted to present so many big names this year and we’re are also proud to be supporting local writing talent – about 80% of our programme features a local author, interviewer or theme.

Kate Mosse. (c) Mark Rusher

Kate Mosse. (c) Mark Rusher

“Without the support of the town’s local businesses and funders, the festival simply couldn’t happen, so I’d like to thank them all for their support. These include our funders, Canterbury City Council; Kent County Councillors, Mark Dance and Mike Harrison; Canterbury Arts Council; Whitstable Business Club; our sponsors, Copperfields of Whitstable; Harbour Books; Mark Smith Estate Agents; Parry Law; Whitstable Bay (Shepherd Neame); and Whitstable Cottage Company. In addition, we’re grateful to our partners, KCC Libraries and Archives; Whitstable Community College; The Horsebridge Centre; Vintage Books; The Duke of Cumberland; and Whitstable Improvement Trust. We want to create an accessible festival: many of our children and young people’s events are free and we have kept ticket prices modest. We really hope the town and local area will continue to support the festival and come to as many events as possible.”

2015 Festival Highlights include:

  • A brand new mini writing festival, including a full day of talks and discussions at Whitstable Castle on 9th May for budding writers
  • Tony Smee returns to play W. Somerset Maugham (after last year’s sell out at the Playhouse) for a world-first rehearsed reading of Anthony Curtis’s final play, At the Villa Mauresque
  • UK Author of the Year, David Nicholls (One Day), talking about his acclaimed new novel, US
  • Local resident, comedienne and author, Sandi Toksvig, discussing her life and career
  • Prize-winning novelist and founder of the Orange Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse
  • Former journalist, Kate Adie, discussing the transition from reporting to writing
  • Best-selling crime writer, Peter James, on his inspirations and influences
  • Penny Vincenzi talking about her love of Whitstable’s W. Somerset Maugham
  • Renowned author, Patrick Gale, discussing his writing and ancestral origins in Whitstable
  • Actor-turned-crime writer, Robert Daws, in conversation with mystery novelist, Lesley Cookman
  • Psychologist, author and 60’s model, Jenny Boyd, interviewing Squeeze’s Chris Difford about his life in music
  • The Sunday Times columnist and Perrier nominee, Andrew Clover, with his new show
  • Pioneering feminist, Lynne Segal, about her extraordinary life and the rise of new feminism
  • An agony aunt panel debate with Irma Kurtz, Keren Smedley, and Anna Raeburn with ex OK! editor, Richard Barber
  • Andy Miller performing the new version of his sell-out show, Read Y’Self Fitter
  • Music experts, Clinton Heylin, Peter Doggett and Andy Miller, debating music biographies
  • Former EastEnders writer, Julie Wassmer, talking about her new Whitstable Pearl mystery series
  • Peter James

    Peter James

All tickets are available from The Horsebridge Arts Community Centre Centre Box Office, 11 Horsebridge Road, CT5 1AF, 01227 281174 or online at (online booking fees apply).

There are a limited number of festival passes sold on a first-come-first-served basis available for just £45, saving a potential £52. This will gain you access to every event, with the exception of the writers’ day and Reading Fairy event.

All programme details can be found at


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