The Programme

Our main 2017 Festival weekend ran from Friday 30th June to Sunday 2nd July, but with a much expanded range of really exciting fringe events before and after.  For our Festival Opener, we were thrilled to have Prue Leith (cook, restaurateur, food writer, business woman and now a very successful novelist) as our guest on Friday 30th June.  Sunday Times best-selling author, Susan Lewis, was signed up for Saturday 1st July, and The Festival Finale was based on a wonderful new book ‘The Odditorium’.  We really did have an incredible line up for this year’s Festival!
You can download the Festival Brochure here!
We still have some great fringe events to come.  Tickets for all future events are now available. To reserve tickets for any of the events listed, please email  [email protected], or telephone the Festival Chair, Sue Ablett, on 0787 1285606, or purchase online via Paypal.  Tickets are also available from The Almonry Museum & Heritage Centre, tel: 01386 446944.  

 – This colour indicates a child & family event! 


 –  This colour indicates a fringe event! 


  – This colour indicates a regular event!

  • Available Now!

    Festival Book Bag

    You can now buy a brilliant book bag! This handy cotton bag – especially designed for the Evesham Festival of Words – is a wonderful memento and an excellent gift! Stock is limited; so make sure to buy yours now!  Also available to purchase at Festival events.

    Price: £2.50 plus £1.25 P&P

    Click on an image to have a closer look!

  • What makes Evesham special?

    This year’s great Cotswold & Vale Magazine challenge as part of the Festival was to invite folk to send in poems on the theme of ‘What makes Evesham special?’   Judging is now complete and the winners were announced in the July issue of Cotswold & Vale Magazine!  The winning adult and junior poems will be appearing as a permanent feature in the town.  Watch this space!


  • Tuesday 22nd August, 7.30 pm

    'M - Maxwell Knight: MI5's Greatest Spymaster' with Henry Hemming

    Everybody loves a spy story!  Not everyone may have heard of Maxwell Knight.  In a gripping 40 minute talk, Henry Hemming tells of two remarkable female spies and the man who ran them: an animal-loving drop-out who went on to become MI5’s greatest spymaster.  Get to know more about Maxwell Knight, an inspiration for the James Bond ‘M’.  Henry is a great speaker, with rave reviews from performances at other festivals – this is bound to be a fascinating evening.

    Henry Hemming is author of four non-fiction books, including ‘The Ingenious Mr Pyke: Inventor, Fugitive, Spy’, published in the UK as ‘Churchill’s Iceman’ and a New York Times Bestseller.  M will be the first biography of Maxwell Knight in over thirty years, and draws on a wealth of material released by MI5 as well as previously unpublished material.

    Tickets: £5

    Venue: Evesham Rowing Club

  • Friday 8th September, 11am - 12.30

    'Second Friday Stories'

    ‘Second Friday Stories’ run for an hour on the second friday of each month in Evesham Library.  Come along and listen to local authors, enjoy a cuppa, meet like-minded people, and its free!    We have a great line up for September:  Tom Bryson – crime writer; Nina Lewis – Worcestershire Poet Laureate, and Ashleigh Jayes – Manager, The Almonry Museum.

    FREE EVENT.  (Tea and coffee included)!

    Venue: Evesham Library, Oat Street, Evesham

  • Friday 22nd September, 7.00 pm

    'Died Blondes and Navy Knickers and Nicked TVs!'

    Enjoy an incredible evening with Joan Ellis and Donna Jones, MBE – weaving together their poetry, stories and performance pieces, bouncing off each other with great ease, as they bring us performances of Died Blondes and Navy Knickers and Nicked TVs!

    Following the success of her first one woman show, award-winning author, Joan Ellis, is showcasing in 2017 a new presentation, ‘Died Blondes’.  Marilyn Monroe, movie star.  Ruth Ellis, murderer.  Infamous women.  Famous last words, reimagined.  Written and performed by Joan who pieces together the latest theories, creating two dramatic monologues which enable these so-called dumb blondes to find their voice moments before they die.  What secrets might Hollywood legend and John F Kennedy’s mistress, Marilyn Monroe, have shared with ex-husband Joe DiMaggio during her final ever phone call?  And how would Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, explain to lover David Blakely why she shot him?  “Outstanding” and “Brilliant” (Plymouth Festival of Words).

    ‘Navy Knickers and Nicked TVs’.  Strap in for a bad journey through lives littered with spelling tests, smear tests, mad mums and bad boyz!  “Full of wit and glamour, but touched on profound issues.” (Isle of Wight Literary Festival)

    Tickets: £10 to include supper.

    Venue: Raphael’s Restaurant, Hampton Ferry, Evesham


  • Friday 13th October, 11.00 - 12.30

    'Second Friday Stories'

    ‘Second Friday Stories’ run for an hour on the second friday of each month in Evesham Library.  Come along, listen to some local authors, enjoy a cuppa, meet like-minded people, and its free!    The October line-up is: Colin Pitts, singer-songwriter; Marisa Knight – children’s author; and Sue Ablett, Chair Evesham Festival of Words.

  • Monday 23rd October, 12 noon

    Mona Lisa: The People and the Painting

    Come along and enjoy a drink and a 2-course lunch in the delightful surroundings of Holland House, followed by a fascinating talk by Professor Martin Kemp, who will uncover the true story of the Mona Lisa with a wealth of previously undiscovered revelations about the people behind the portrait, how Leonardo painted it, and what it meant to him.  Martin Kemp is Emeritus Professor in the History of Art at Trinity College, Oxford University, and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Leonardo da Vinci.  ‘Mona Lisa: The People and the Painting‘ by Martin Kemp and Giuseppe Pallanti, published by OUP, 8th June 2017.  

    Tickets: LUNCH TICKETS SOLD OUT. LIMITED NUMBER FOR COFFEE/TALK at £5 .  Contact Holland House direct, tel: 01386 86033.

    Venue: Holland House, Cropthorne

  • Saturday 9th December, 10.30 am - 3.30 pm


    Come along to the Almonry and meet a host of local writers, encompassing a wide range of writing styles and genres, including children’s stories.  Meet the authors, enjoy a chat, short talks on a range of topics throughout the day (still to be finalised).  Free event and free refreshments.  Perfect opportunity to snap up some of those last minute christmas presents!

    Free event.

    Venue:  Almonry Museum and Heritage Centre


  • Thursday 21st December

    'Dickens' Penny Readings'

    As part of the Almonry Christmas celebrations, we feature Cambridge-based Geoff Hales for a legendary performance of some of Charles Dickens’ Penny Readings.  (Further details of time and tickets to follow)