University support for eclectic Wimbledon Book Fest

A host of big name speakers are set to illuminate Wimbledon later this year at the town’s expanding annual BookFest, which the University of Roehampton is a key partner in.

Posted: 30 July 2014

image for news story University support for eclectic Wimbledon Book Fest
Commentator Clare Balding is among the speakers at Wimbledon Book FestPicture: Bill Waters

The University is proud to have become the official higher education partner of the festival which takes place over 10 days in October. Ian McEwan, Alexander McCall Smith, Clare Balding, Paul Merton, Shami Chakrabarti, Alan Johnson and Juliet Stevenson are all highlights in a packed programme.

Senior academics from the University, including the Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul O’Prey plus highly acclaimed poets David Harsent and Fiona Sampson, and author Adam Foulds from the Department of English and Creative Writing, will also be taking part thanks to the partnership.

Dr Laura Peters, Head of English and Creative Writing at the University said: "Our students are lucky to have some of the most thought-provoking people in the country teaching them, and we’re very pleased that through the Bookfest we can share their passion with fans of literature from across London.

“The creativity and skill displayed by colleagues like David, Fiona and Adam for example is wonderful and really enriches the teaching in the department. I hope visitors to the festival enjoy it as much as our students do.

“We’re also able to be provide a paid student intern to support the festival this year, an example of how we can create real-world experience for our students, who will be able to use what they learn in future employment."

This year is the eighth BookFest, and as well as literature, the festival includes a wide-ranging programme of film screenings, live music, workshops, the popular Comedy on Wimbledon Common event with Josh Widdecombe and sports nights with hosts Clare Balding, John Inverdale and Brian Moore.

Children's events are at the heart of the programme - with art workshops, storytelling with CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell and the ever popular Wombles sing-along. Caroline Lawrence will be teaching children How to Write a Great Story. Speakers for schools include Jacqueline Wilson, also a member of the University’s Department of English and Creative Writing, Benjamin Zephaniah, Michael Rosen and a special 10 year anniversary event of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Series with Wimbledon writer and Patron, Michelle Paver.

Festival Director Fiona Razvi said “The festival is really evolving with a broader emphasis on arts and culture. We’re delighted to have such talented writers as Alexander McCall Smith and Ian McEwan opening and closing the festival this year. We also have sport, politics, and film, music and comedy events in our 10 packed days on the Common.”

Find out more about tickets and further details of performers and events at Wimbledon Book Festival.

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