The Programme

We are just beginning work on our programme for 2021.  Planning is still badly affected by the Coronavirus crisis and it will be summer before we put on any actual events.  In the meantime we will keep up our series of online competitions.  Please keep an eye on the website for details of confirmed events. 

You might like to see what our 2020 Brochure was going to look like.  You can download the 2020 Festival Brochure.  If you want to know about previous years, you can download the 2019 brochure here as well as the 2018 brochure.

 – This colour indicates a child & family event! 

 –  This colour indicates an event outside the main Festival weekend! 

  – This colour indicates an event during the main Festival weekend!


    Looking for an exciting Christmas/birthday present for someone?  Then an Evesham Festival of Words Gift Voucher may be just what you are looking for!  Available in denominations of £10, the voucher will be emailed to you on payment and can be redeemed against any future Festival event.     

  • 2019/2020

    Free events!

    NOTE: Note the following are currently operating as virtual events.  Contact organiser for details.

    Interesting in writing or meeting local writers?  Come along to our monthly ‘WRITERS MEETS’ on the first Wednesday of each month at 10.30 am at JellyPickleJam Cafe.  Everyone welcome! 

    New for 2020:  Writers Prompt Swap – Waitrose Cafe – last Tuesday of the month, 2.00 – 3.00 pm.  Come and join Sue Johnson for an hour’s writing – or call in and pick up a writing prompt and take it home with you.  Bring a prompt to share or swap, grab a coffee and write.  Don’t worry about getting it right – get it written.  Sue will give suggestions as to where to send finished work.  For more information, contact Sue on

    We have now launched the Evesham Festival of Words BOOK CLUB, led by local author and creative writing tutor, Helen Yendall.  Contact Helen if you would like to know more:

    Meanwhile, our Festival ‘Book Fairy’ has been out and about, depositing books around the town.  The idea is that you find them, take one, read it, then leave it for someone else to pick up.   We have book fairy collections at: Raphael’s Restaurant, Cavendish Park Care Home, Delicious Cafe, Evesham Railway Station, Hampton Farm Shop, Ellenden Farm Shop/Cafe, Clives of Cropthorne, JellyPickleJam, Morrisons Community Book Shelf and Yates Court, as well as in the telephone box book exchanges in Church Lench and Sedgeberrow.  The books are free – we just ask that you enjoy! 

  • Wednesday 26th May, 11.00 am

    'In the Footsteps of Laurie Lee' with David Parker

    In 1994 TV Producer David Parker spent the summer recording interviews with much-loved author Laurie Lee, a man who generally did not ‘do’ television.   David shared those lost recordings at a fabulous Festival of Words event in 2018.  Here we have the chance to join David for a special guided tour of the village enshrined in much of Laurie Lee’s work. 

    Note that terrain is uneven and there are some gradients.  Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear suitable footwear.  Why not stay on and enjoy a nice pub lunch after the walk.

    Venue: Meet at the Woolpack, Slad. GL6 7QA.

    Tickets:  £12.  Lifts may be available on request.

  • 1st - 30th June.

    Photography Exhibition: 'Music in Monochrome'

    Back again for the fourth year running, Birlingham Photography Club will once again be putting on an exhibition of members’ photos.  Come along to the Circle Bar of Evesham’s iconic Regal Cinema to see how the photographers have reflected the theme of music in this year’s ‘Music in Monochrome’ Exhibition.  The photos will be on display for the whole of June.  Vote for your favourite – some great prizes to be won.  Pop in after seeing a film, or call in for a coffee and make sure you visit the exhibition.

    Venue: Circle Bar, Regal Cinema, Port Street, Evesham. WR11 3LD


  • 1st - 31st July.

    Calligraphy Exhibition: 'The Written Word'

    The art of beautiful writing …. or, in other words, Calligraphy.

    An exhibition by Severn Quills, a group of local calligraphers based in Upton-on-Severn.  The exhibition is themed around the spoken and written word, and the importance of libraries.   This follows on from the very popular Calligraphy Workshop at the 2019 Festival.

    Venue: Evesham Library, Oat Street. WR11 4PJ


  • Friday 2nd July 2.30 pm

    'Libraries of the World - More than Just Books'

    Back once more by popular demand, Festival Chair Sue Ablett again combines her love of travel with a love of books in what is bound to be another fascinating talk. You can be assured of a fun session, and you’ll go away knowing more about libraries than when you started.  Think it’s a dry subject – not at all!  As an attendee at one of Sue’s previous travel talks with a literary twist said: “Its always fascinating to try and work out where Sue is going to take us in these talks.” Come along and enjoy the ride – you won’t be disappointed!

    Venue:  Hampton Community Hall, Pershore Road, Evesham.

    Tickets: £6, including tea/coffee and home-made cake.

  • Saturday 3rd July

    Talk and Tour: 'Evesham Abbey Site - The Vision and the Reality' with Barrie Baldelli

    The project to open up the site of Evesham Abbey, which was the third largest Abbey in the country, prior to Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries, is the dream-child of Abbey Trust Chairman, Barrie Baldelli.  In this talk and tour, hear about the vision for the site and how it became a reality – the challenges along the way, and what the ultimate aim for the site entails.  There will be an opportunity to walk around the site: suitable footwear recommended.

    Venue: Meet outside The Almonry, Abbey Gate, Evesham. WR11 4BQ


  • Saturday 3rd July

    'The Housman Lecture: 'Bredon and Other Hills' with Peter Parker

    The Housman Lecture: Bredon and Other Hills.  For this, our second collaboration with the Housman Society, we welcome acclaimed author Peter Parker whose recent book Housman Country: Into the Heart of England shows how A.E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad has permeated English life and culture for over a century.

    Our local Bredon Hill is the focus for one of the best-loved of A.E. Housman’s verses from the famous 1896 collection, and its imagery of “the coloured counties” speaks of a deep feeling for English landscape.  In this wide-ranging talk, which takes in poetry, music and topography, Peter Parker explores the allure of the hills, not only for Housman but for other writers and composers.

    Peter Parker is the author of two books about the First World War, The Old Lie (1987) and The Last Veteran (2009), together with biographies of J.R Ackerley (1989) and Christopher Isherwood (2004). He edited  A Reader’s Guide to the Twentieth Century Novel (1995) and A Reader’s Guide to Twentieth Century Writers (1996) and has been both an associate and advisory editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He was brought up in Herefordshire but now lives in London.

    A.E. Housman was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, in 1859 and attended school there until going up to St John’s College, Oxford in 1877. Although best remembered for three volumes of poetry: A Shropshire Lad (1896),  Last Poems (1922) and More Poems (published after his death in 1936) he was arguably the most renowned  English Classical Scholar of the Twentieth Century, holding the Chair of Latin at University College London from 1892 to 1911 and then becoming Kennedy Professor of Latin at Cambridge where he lived as a Fellow of Trinity College until his death in 1936. Since its publication in 1896 A Shropshire Lad has never been out of print.

    The Housman Society was founded in 1973 to promote knowledge and appreciation of the lives and works of A.E. Housman, other members of his family and the causes of literature and poetry in general. Its annual programme includes an academic Journal, regular Newsletters, commemorative events in Bromsgrove and Ludlow, and collaborations with academic institutions. The Society is pleased to sponsor The Housman Lecture at the Evesham Festival of Words. 

    Venue: All Saints Church, Market Place, Evesham. WR11 4RW

    Tickets: £6 inc tea/coffee and home-made cake.  (No charge for Housman Society members but please reserve tickets)

  • Sunday 4th July, 1.00 - 2.30 pm

    'Poetry Picnic' with Suz Winspear

    Once again popular Worcester-based poet, Suz Winspear, will lead the Poetry Picnic.  Suz was Worcestershire Poet Laureate in 2016.  She is a wonderful performance poet, really making her poetry come to life, and equally great at encouraging others to perform their work.

    The Poetry Picnic is being held in the delightful setting of the Friends Meeting House.  With its hidden gem of a secluded garden, this is the perfect setting for a meeting of poetic minds.  There will be some invited poets but also opportunities for poets to bring their own poetry, or poems they love, but written by other poets.  Bring a sandwich.  Tea/coffee will be provided.

    Venue: Friends Meeting House, Cowl Street, Evesham. WR11 4PN.


  • Saturday 17th July, 7.30 pm

    'Once Upon A Song'

    We are thrilled to include in our 2020 programme a return visit by members of EODS, who will be performing some of their favourite songs and readings.  Always a wonderful evening, showcasing a huge amount of musical talent.  See the Church transformed with stunning lighting effects.  This really is an evening not to be missed!

    Venue: Bengeworth Church, Port Street, Evesham. WR11 3LF

    Tickets: £10, inc wine and nibbles.

  • To be confirmed.

    'A Dog's Tale' (A Mikron Theatre Production)

    Linda and her wayward rescue dog Gary are pursued by security through the halls and history of Crufts, accused of a terrible crime.  When Charles Cruft, the ‘Greatest Showman in Dogdom’, held his first show in 1891, he had a sense that dog ownership and breeding was about to become pretty big.  In this extraordinary world of heroic hounds, pampered pedigrees and naughty nobblers, does Gary have what it takes to win the day?  Help cheer the underdog as we celebrate canines past and present and explore the enduring love between people and their dogs.  One of two brand new shows for 2020.

    Venue: Raphael’s Restaurant, Hampton Ferry.  (Outdoor event, weather permitting.  No tickets required, a cash collection will be taken after the show.)

  • 1st November

    Launch of 2021 Short Story Competition

    1st November sees the launch of the 2021 Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition.  More information to follow.

  • November date to be confirmed.

    Workshop: 'Short Story Competitions - Catching the Judge's Eye' with Helen Yendall

    Entering writing competitions can be fun and inspiring but also a source of frustration.  If you’re not placed or shortlisted, how do you know how close you were, or whether your story had the ‘X-factor’?  As we launch our 2021 Short Story Competition, this practical workshop led by one of the Competition Readers, will provide an insight into what makes a good competition story (and what doesn’t!) and how to give yourself the best chance of doing well.  There will be exercises to help generate ideas and Helen will refer to some of the stories she has read as part of the 2020 Competition (but without names or specifics!), and the lessons learned, as a writer, from judging them.  Whether you regularly enter competitions, or are taking the plunge for the first time, you’ll feel better equipped – and inspired – to start sending your stories out into the big wide world.

    Helen Yendall is a writer, tutor and blogger, who has won or been placed in several writing competitions.  She is a member of the Festival Steering Group and leads our Book Club.


    Tickets: £15 inc tea/coffee and home-made cake.

  • 1st December

    'Christmas Literary Quiz Sheet'

    Try your hand at some easy and fiendishly difficult literary questions.  Just the thing to while away a bit of time over the festive season.   Prize for the winner.