Fishbourne Literary Festival

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Deborah Moggach

Claire Fuller

Phil Hewitt

Last Year’s Authors …

Nicci French

William Shaw

Previous festivals


Authors, Kate Mosse CBE, Louis de Bernières, Gordon Griffin, and Dominic Holland, delivered a diverse range of perspectives and literary styles. The addition of a ‘Getting Away With Murder’ panel with crime writers Nicola Williams, Greg Mosse, and Lesley Thomson added a new element to festival.


A great return post covid  – Nikki French, Clare Fuller, Phil Hewitt, Deborah Moggach and William Shaw all of whom received unqualified praise from our audience: “All of them were excellent, varied, informative, amusing.” “All great talks and wonderful variety of people and subjects.”

Moggach: Thank you all so much! That was huge fun – lovely audience, a glorious church, warm hospitality – a fab way to spend Saturday! All the best Debby


Building on the success of previous years, we had plans to expand our festival in March 2020 to 2 days.  The bold move paid off, and we were heading for another sell out event until … Covid intervened.  With great sadness, we had to cancel the event 2 weeks before it was scheduled to take place.   Concerns over Covid led to a 3 year break until we felt confident to stage the Festival again. 


Another year, another growth in our festival, with an increase to our current pattern of 5 speakers.  The  speaking team included Ellie Griffiths, Luke Jennings, Kate Mosse, Peter Parker and Duncan Salkeld. 

Happily, we  still received  the same positive feedback:  Wonderful day and great speakers. Really enjoyed the talks – very professional and interesting All very professional – “I was particularly taken by Duncan Salkeld as it was such a lively talk.  “Brilliant! Spell binding, especially .. Kate Mosse …”


The third staging of our literary festival built on the successes of previous years.   The decisions that children’s authors needed to be covered in a different event, and we should sell tickets for the whole day rather than for individual talks,  were obviously correct ones as this was this was our first sell out event.   

The speaking team consisted of Isabel Ashdown,  Margaret Drabble, Beatrice Crawford and Adam Mars-Jones,  and they and the structure of the day were universally praised with comments such as

Excellent day – nice to view the book sale.  Enjoyed the talks and the panel debate re getting published.  All staff were so helpful and friendly.  Thoroughly enjoyable day – thank you and well done. “Meeting Isabel Ashdown and listening to her was lovely” – “Beatrice Crawford put a smile on one’s face the whole time that she was talking.  What fun and so interesting’’ “Margaret Drabble  – really interesting, writing, ideas – amusing – evergreen too!”


The second festival featured local authors Simon Brett, Max Egremont, and Jane Rusbridge, together with children’s author, Caroline Lawrence. 

Thank you to you and your organisation/members for a wonderful day.   All your team were splendid and worked very hard to make it such a happy and welcoming experience for everyone.    All my little group thoroughly enjoyed every moment.   Please let me know should you plan another such event.”


This first staging of the literary festival, under our original name of “Fishbourne Loves Books”, was held as a fundraising event for the church, but with proceeds being shared with Fishbourne School to raise money for their library. 

Speakers included Kate Mosse, David Lough, author of No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money’, and children’s science writer, Neil Downie and the day was described as  “such a happy and welcoming experience for everyone”. 

The positive feedback encouraged the committee to plan for future years: “I must say how much my wife and I enjoyed the book sale. There was so much on offer that it was real treat to be there, so our thanks to you and your team.”