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Don't Miss Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival in October

The second Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival will bring well known and award winning authors and local writers together.

Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival will feature top authors and poets including Erica James, Nicola Upson, Sophie Hannah and Wendy Cope as well as a wonderful selection of local writers.

Bury St Edmunds is no stranger to hosting award winning authors and writers. Literary greats including Charles Dickens, Daniel Defoe the Rev Charles Kingsley and W M Thackeray have all given readings in the town. Bury St Edmunds itself has been featured in many literary works including Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, Thomas Shadwell’s Bury Fair and Shakespeare’s Henry VI as well as mentions in books by Queen of crime fiction Ruth Rendell and best-selling author Norah Lofts, who lived in Northgate Street for many years until her death.

The Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival, from Wednesday October 23 to Sunday October 27, will bring together award winning authors and local writers and poets for a five-day literary celebration.

Internationally bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah will talk about her career on Saturday October 26. Her Hercule Poirot mysteries are best sellers and now she is about to publish a self-help book ‘How to Hold a Grudge: From Resentment to Contentment – The Power of Grudges to Transform Your Life’. An Evening with Sophie Hannah takes place at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Saturday October 26 at 7.30pm. Tickets £10, concessions available.


Author of twenty-one bestselling novels including Song of The Skylark and The Dandelion Years, award winning author Erica James will be appearing at the Festival.  Bury St Edmunds appears in her book Coming Home to Island House!

In Conversation with Erica James at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Sunday 27 October will give the audience an opportunity to ask her questions. Tickets £10, concessions available.


Crime writer Nicola Upson will talk about her series of crime novels starring Josephine Tey including The Death of Lucy Kyte, inspired by the infamous local Red Barn murder in a joint event with the Friends of Moyse’s Hall Museum.

An Evening with Nicola Upson takes place on October 25 at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Cornhill at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm. Tickets are £12 to include a drink, concessions available.

Well known historian Dr Francis Young will talk about Holy and Unholy Suffolk: Adventures in Suffolk's History and Folklore. Francis is author of several books on the Abbey of St Edmund, which celebrates its 1,000th anniversary in 2020, including Edmund: In Search of England’s Lost King The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds: History, Legacy and Discovery. The event takes place at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Saturday October 26 at 2.15pm.


Josh Winning will talk about his books including Vicious Rumer "A truly bad-ass heroine" & his dark fantasy Sentinel Trilogy at an event at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Saturday October 26 at 11.30am. Tickets £8, concessions available. 

Anne-Marie Howell will talk about her magical debut novel The Garden of Lost Secrets and how she came to write it at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Saturday October 26 at 12.45pm. Tickets £8, concessions available.

Best-selling author Ruth Hogan will talk about her warm-hearted fiction - just what we need today at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Saturday October 26 at 3.30pm. Tickets £10, concessions available.


Edward Fitzgerald was born in Woodbridge and educated in Bury St Edmunds. His 1859 translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was called "One of Suffolk's greatest gifts to the world" by Alfred, Lord TennysonCharles Mugleston will bring both poem and translator to life in this special event at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Saturday October 26 at 5.30pm. Tickets £8, concessions available.

Award-winning local playwright and novelist, Jackie Carreira, and writer of the popular, Suffolk-based 'Utterly' crime series of novels, Pauline Manders discuss the highs and lows of independent publishing with at an event entitled ‘Authors are Doing it for Themselves’! Jackie Carreira in conversation with Pauline Manders takes place at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Sunday October 27 at 10.30am. Tickets £2, concessions free.

Writer, journalist and naturalist Matt Gaw, who brings the beauty of the natural world to life in his luminous writing, will be speaking at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Sunday October 27 at 11.30am. Tickets £8, concessions available.

Writer Sam Byers, who was born in Bury St Edmunds, will be speaking about his critically acclaimed, and darkly funny, novels, Idiopathy (recipient of a Betty Trask award) and Perfidious Albion, which explores the present and near future. The event takes place at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Sunday October 27 at 2.30pm. Tickets £10, concessions available.

Georgina Harding is the author of five novels including The Spy Game, which was shortlisted for the Encore Award, and Painter of Silence, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. Her deeply moving novel, The Land of the Living was published in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. Georgina will be speaking at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street on Sunday October 27 at 4pm. Tickets £10, concessions available.

The Festival starts on 23 October with Fen Song, a beautiful and haunting sequence of poetry and song inspired by the East Anglian landscape followed by the ever-popular Open Mic. Bring and read your poetry at this joint event with Poetry Aloud at Risbygate Sports Club in Out Risbygate Street on Wednesday October 23 at 7.30pm.

 The much-loved Wendy Cope brings the Festival to an end on Sunday October 27 with her witty and pitch perfect poetry. This event takes place at The Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street at 6.30pm.

Tickets for Bury St Edmunds Literature festival are available at: https://burylitfest.com/. Tickets may also be purchased at Oakes Barn in St Andrew’s Street South.

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