The main 2018 Festival weekend ran from Friday 29th June – Sunday 1st July, but with a year long programme of ‘fringe’ events. You can download the 2018 Brochure. Events for 2019 are gradually being added to the website. You can now download selected details of the 2019 Festival. Keep your eyes open for some great events!
Free events in 2018!
We have a range of free events taking place each month, and everyone is welcome. These include ‘Writers Meets’ on the first Wednesday of each month at 10.30 am at JellyPickleJam Cafe; ‘Evesham Festival of Words Flash Fiction Group’ on the second Monday of each month at 2.00 pm at Brew Bear Cafe, and ‘Meet the Authors’ at 11.00 am on the second Friday of each month upstairs in Evesham Library.
Meanwhile, look out for signs that our Festival ‘Book Fairy’ has been out and about, depositing piles of free books in selected venues around the town. The idea is that you find them, take one, read it, then leave it for someone else to pick up. Let us know where you found it, and ideally send us a photo. To start you off, the Book Fairy has already made a number of drops – Raphael’s Restaurant, Moo Moos Cafe, Delicious Cafe, Brew Bear, Hampton Farm Shop, Ellenden Farm Shop/Cafe, JellyPickleJam! Latest venue – Morrisons Community Book Shelf!
'Christmas Wordy Quiz Sheet'
Our 2018 Christmas Quiz is now available; with a closing date of Saturday 5th January 2019. Just 20 questions to tax your brains over the festive period. £10 book token to the winner. (Copies of the Quiz will be emailed out to all on Festival distribution list, otherwise available to download from the Festival website, or pick up at the Almonry).
15 December - 5 January
Christmas Tree Festival
Call in to the Evesham Christmas Tree Festival in St Lawrence’s Church. View our Festival tree and those of lots of other organisations and societies in the town. A fabulous display, guaranteed to get you in the festive mood!
Friday 18th January 2019, 12.30 for 1.00pm
'Ringing the Changes: Bellringing in English history & literature' with Tim Keyes
A combined Evesham Festival of Words/Holland House event. This promises to be a fascinating talk, including reference to Dorothy L Sayers ‘The Nine Tailors’. Speaker Tim Keyes has been an avid reader throughout his life and has also had a lifelong interest in bellringing. After 16 years as Headmaster of The King’s School, Worcester, he and his wife retired to Ledbury, where he is Chair of an Appeal to raise funds to overhaul the bells in Ledbury Church.
Venue: Holland House, Cropthorne. WR10 3NB (www.hollandhouse.org, tel: 01386 860330)
Tickets: £16 to include 2 course lunch (bookable via Holland House only)
Saturday 16th February, 7pm
The play Love Letters tells the story of two people who meet at Primary School and maintain a correspondence throughout their lives, charting a complex and intriguing relationship speckled with sadness and humour. A.R. Gurney has written a delightful play which enthrals as the two characters interact, moved by social, educational and familial pressures and demands, all recorded in the letters which pass between them.
Love Letters is presented by Two’s Company, two local, professionally trained, actors (Pauline Beale and John Horton)). A perfect evening to mark Valentine’s Day!
Venue: Hampton Community Hall, Pershore Road, Evesham. WR11 2PQ
Tickets: £10, to include glass of wine and nibbles.
Monday 25th February, 2 - 4pm
Workshop 'Motivation and Moving Forward', with Ellie Stevenson
In this Workshop, local writer Ellie Stevenson, will help with how to make your book happen – for anyone with a work in progress who needs help, either with motivation or practical issues. (One of 4 Workshops Ellie runs under the umbrella, MOTIVATION TO PUBLICATION).
Tickets: £15, including tea/coffee and home-made cake. (Limited to 10 participants).
Friday 15th March, 12.30 for 1.00 pm
'Francis Brett Young - Worcestershire Poet and Novelist'
Following a two-course lunch at the beautiful venue of Holland House, Dr Michael Hall, Chairman of the Francis Brett Young Society, will be talking about this famous Worcestershire poet and novelist. Born in Halesowen, Francis Brett Young acquired the dilapidated Craycombe House in 1932, which he was able to buy and renovate due to his continuing success as a writer. Following his death in 1954, his ashes are buried in Worcester Cathedral.
This event coincides with an exhibition in Worcester Cathedral. On Sunday 17th March, there will be a dedicated evensong at the Cathedral, at which a wreath will be laid at Francis Brett Young’s memorial, followed by the opportunity to view the exhibition in the Dean’s Chapel. All are welcome.
Venue: Holland House, Cropthorne. WR10 3UB. (www.hollandhouse.org. Tel: 01386 860330).
Tickets: £16 to include 2-course lunch (bookable via Holland House only).
Monday 18th March, 11am - 1pm
Workshop 'Writing Historical Fiction', with Sue Johnson and Elizabeth Beacon
Take advantage of the huge amount of shared knowledge and experience of local writers, Sue Johnson and Elizabeth Beacon.
Sue Johnson is a poet, short story writer and novelist. She is a creative writing tutor, and author of books to help writers with their writing. Elizabeth has a passion for history and storytelling. After a variety of jobs she finally landed her dream job, writing Regency romances for Harlequin, Mills and Boon.
Venue: Almonry Museum and Tourist Information Centre.
Tickets: £15, including tea/coffee and home-made cakes.
Monday 15th April, 2 - 4pm
Workshop 'Writing Crime Fiction', with Alice Castle
Before turning to a life of crime, Alice Castle, author of the very successful London Murder Mystery series, with amateur sleuth, Beth Haldane, enjoyed a career as a UK newspaper journalist.
In this workshop, Alice will discuss the different types of genres, a guide to plotting, developing a protagonist, the advantages of series versus standalone stories, creating suspense, a flash writing exercise and an exciting denouement.
Venue: Almonry Museum & Tourist Information Centre
Tickets: £15, including tea/coffee and home-made cake.
Wednesday 17th April, 7.30 pm
'The Drum Horse in the Fountain', with Christopher Joll
In this illustrated talk, author and Regimental Historian to the Household Cavalry, Christopher Joll, will talk about his new book, co-written with Sir Anthony Weldon, The Drum Horse in the Fountain. The talk will focus on some of the more extreme ‘characters’ in the book including one example each of the famous, the good, the brave, the non-military achievers, the mad and the downright bad. The aim will be to inform, amuse and amaze – in keeping with the Michael Caine principle of ‘not a lot of people know that’… Christopher has led an interesting career as an officer in the Household Cavalry, an arms dealer, author, and organiser of large events. He is a regular speaker on Noble Caledonia cruises. Guaranteed to be a truly fabulous evening!
Venue: Ecgwin’s Club, High Street, Evesham. WR11 4EQ
Thursday 9th May, 6.30 for 7.00 pm
'Behind the scenes - a humorous view of the auction world'
Ellenden Farm Shop once again hosts a 2-course supper, followed by after dinner speaker, in what is bound to be a fabulous evening. Warwickshire based Auctioneer, Steven Bruce, will take a humorous view of the auction world and the many associated television programmes. The Ellenden event in 2018 was our fastest selling event, so do book early to avoid disappointment!
Venue: Ellenden Farm Shop, Harvington. WR11 8LU.
Tickets: £18 (Pre-booking essential)
Friday 24th May, 7.00 pm
'Outside the Box' (A Live Show About Death)
Outside the Box is a unique one-woman play about death, written and directed by Liz Rothschild. Liz trained at the Bristol Old Vic. She went on to become a theatre practitioner, then a celebrant, then a burial ground manager. Realising the need to reach people before they have been bereaved or died, she set up the first Kicking the Bucket Festival in 2012 in Oxford. Liz’s unique insight into the ‘business of dying’ has created a highly original and beautifully cathartic show. Totally unique and original, Outside the Box asks its audience to embrace mortality and look on the bright side of life. The evening will include a raffle in aid of St Richard’s Hospice.
Venue: Friends Meeting House, Cowl Street, Evesham. WR11 4PN
Tickets: £10, incl. soft drinks and nibbles.
Whole of June
Photography Exhibition 'It's all there in black and white'
For the third year running, members of Birlingham Photography Club will be putting on an exhibition of members’ photos. With a theme for 2019 of ‘It’s all there in black and white‘, the photos will be on display for the whole of June in the Circle Bar of Evesham’s iconic Regal Cinema. So come along, enjoy a pre-film drink, and enjoy a great exhibition.
Venue: Regal Cinema, Port Street, Evesham.
Wednesday 5th June, 7.30 pm
'An evening with Simon Brett'
Simon Brett, the writer is responsible for over a hundred books, including the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering and Blotto & Twinks series of crime novels. His writing also includes comedy in radio and television series, such as No Commitments and After Henry. Simon was awarded an OBE in 2016 ‘for services to literature’ and around the same time elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2014 he was presented with the CWA Diamond Dagger, one of the highest accolades in the crime writing world. Simon is a wonderfully entertaining speaker, so come along and hear more about his career in radio, television and the world of books.
Venue: Ecgwin’s Club, High Street, Evesham. WR11 4EQ.
Wednesday 26th June, 7.30 pm
'Bookworms Quiz Night'
Now a regular part of our Festival warm-up, the Bookworms Quiz Night is always a popular and very enjoyable event. Quizmasters, Helen Yendall and Chris Cherry, will once again be setting a mix of easy and challenging questions – to tax your brain, or let you shine. As always the questions will include a mix of knowledge of novels, nursery rhymes, poetry, plays, and anything ‘wordy’.
Venue: Raphael’s Restaurant, Hampton Ferry, Boat Lane. Evesham. WR11 4BP
Tickets: £6 per person, teams of 4. (Supper included – pre-booking of teams essential).
Thursday 27th June, 7.00 pm
'Crime Panel', with Debbie Young
Everybody loves a crime novel. In this new event for Evesham Festival of Words, Debbie Young, popular local crime writer of the Sophie Sayers series, and founder of the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival, will be chatting to a panel of experienced and very different crime writers. David Penny, author of historical thrillers, sets his stories in Moorish Spain at the end of the 15th century; Angela Buckley writes about real-life Victorian crime. Her life of crime began with her own shady ancestors who struggled to survive in the dangerous slums of Victorian Manchester. Barry Faulkner, best-selling author of the DCS Palmer Detective books, was born into a family of petty criminals, his father, uncle and elder brothers running with the notorious Richardson gang in the 1980s. Barry did not follow the family tradition but the characters he met and the events he witnessed have added a certain authenticity to his books.
Venue: Evesham Rowing Club, Abbey Road, Evesham. WR11 4ST
Friday 28th June, 10.30 am - 12 noon
Workshop 'Introduction to Playwriting: Finding Your Voice' with Caroline Summerfield
If you have a story to tell and love theatre, TV, film or radio plays, then this is the workshop for you. Designed to be interactive, fun and informative, this workshop will introduce you to: The key structural elements in a play; and a series of practical exercises – The Interview – Establishing Character; The Witness – The art of story telling; A Game of Consequences – Creating dramatic dialogue, and A journey through my senses – Pushing the boundaries of your writing. Through these practical exercises you will start to learn how plays are structured, create interesting stories, characters, dialogue and discover your voice as a writer. No previous writing experience is required, just a desire to write plays in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.
Caroline Summerfield is an experienced playwright. Her plays have been produced in London, Birmingham and Cheltenham. Awarded a Masters in Research in Playwriting in 2016, in the autumn of 2017 Caroline established Cheltenham’s first group for playwrights, actors, directors and producers to meet – the Writers and Directors Workshop.
Venue: Mulberry Room, Evesham Hotel, Coopers Lane, Evesham. WR11 1DA
Tickets: £15, including refreshments.