Get ready for town’s first literary festival


The first ever Hastings Literary Festival is taking place this weekend from August 31 to September 2, writes Jessica Reid.

LitFest 2018 directors Sam Davey and Marcia Woolf have created a three-day event dedicated to the magic of storytelling across a variety of genres, from poetry to play writing.

This exciting new event is for all reading and writing enthusiasts to come and enjoy their passion through a number of mediums including; author talks, writing workshops, a book fair and evening events such as plays and films.

The festival’s patron, Sir David Hare, will be at the opening ceremony on Friday (August 31) at the Opus Theatre. During the festival he will also introduce a special screening of The Hours, starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, for which he wrote the screenplay.

He will also be talking about the importance of his upbringing in St Leonards and Bexhill and why they are still close to his heart.

Award-winning and top-selling authors are in line to speak at the event, discussing their latest publications and their approaches to writing.

These include; Sophie Hannah, Alison Moore, Simon Mawer, Michael Arditti, Jane Harris, Patrick Gale, Rianna Walcott, Mavis Cheek and many others.

There will also be a panel discussing writing for children and another on crime fiction.

Writers can grow their skills in specialist workshops being held over the weekend. There is a number to choose from such as; developing your creativity, flash fiction, marketing and promotion for authors, songwriting, scriptwriting and researching historical fiction. Children can also get involved in a workshop teaching them how to make their own book.

Hastings LitFest is also holding three writing competitions with the categories being, short story, sports journalism, and crime novel.

Entries closed in June and the winners and runners up of each will be announced at the closing ceremony on Sunday at the Royal Victoria Hotel. Prizes include a £200 voucher, a guest pass to Litfest 2019 and a selection of books signed by authors appearing at this years festival.

Sponsors and supporters of the event include the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust and a number of local companies and organisations.

For more information on tickets and venues visit There is limited availability for the workshops.