BerkoFest Book Festival Line-up

Living Magazines BerkoFest BookFestival

Last month we brought you news of the inaugural BerkoFest Book Festival taking place on Sunday 12 May. We can now share the full programme for the event, which will take place at Berkhamsted Town Hall and Rectory Lane Cemetery from 9.30am-6pm.

The Mayor of Berkhamsted is officially opening the Book Festival – 9.30am at the Town Hall and 9.45am at the cemetary. The packed programme has something for everyone:

Town Hall, High Street, Berkhamsted

Clock Room

10.15 – 11.00 Stuart Turton and Jamie Fewery – Debuts
11.15 – 12.00 Erin Kelly – Secrets of the Asylum
12.15 – 12.45 Katy Regan and her editor Sam Humphreys on the publishing journey
13.00 – 13.45 Lisa Jewell in conversation with Clare Swatman
14.00 – 14.45 Panel: Clare Swatman, Rowan Coleman, Rosie Walsh and Lucy Dillon
15.00 – 15.45 Lucy Vine and Julie Caplin on writing the rom-com
16.00 – 16.45 Julie Cohen and Tamsyn Murray on writing unusual love stories – and the difference in writing them for adults and young adults
17.00 – 17.45 Stephanie Marland on writing the crime novel

Outside Clock Room

11.00 – 12.15 Giles Lyon’s Antiquarian Book Stall
Throughout afternoon – Adam Hollier’s Portraits of Berkhamsted People

Great Hall

10.00 – 10.30 Gramps from ‘Waffle the Wonder Dog’
10.15 – 10.45 Giles Lyon – World of Books Q&A led by Tom Rodwell
11.00 – 11.45 Claire Harding – It’s a Dodger’s Life
11.00 – 11.30 Adam Hollier – Portraits of Berkhamsted People
12.00 – 12.50 Olga Melita – Emotional Self-Regulation with Aroma Oils
13.00 – 13.50 Claire Harding and Angela Dixon – Wiping the Slate Clean
14.00 – 14.50 Olaf Falafel – Fun Anarchic Mayhem for Kids
15.00 – 15.50 Louis Quail – Shining a Light on Schizophrenia
16.00 – 17.00 Olga Melita – Look and Feel 10 years younger with Aroma Oils

Sessions Hall

10.00 – 10.50 Alison Goldie – Comedy Improv for kids
11.00 – 11.50 Paul Ryan – Audition Skills
12.00 – 12.50 Alison Goldie – Comedy Improv for adults
13.00 – 13.50 Pete Brown Q&A led by Nigel Barden – In Defence of British Food
14.00 – 14.50 Derek Pringle Q&A led by Tom Rodwell – Cricket in the 80s, Cricket Today
15.00 –15.50 An Audience with King Crimson’s Jakko Jakszyk hosted by Nigel Barden
16.00 – 16.45 Dani Womando – Real World Potency and How to Achieve It

Please be aware that under certain circumstances the line-up and programme may change. The capacity of the rooms means that space has to be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The Cemetary, Rectory Lane, Berkhamsted

Sessions Marquee

10.00 – 10.30 Pam Howard needs children to bring the characters in her book Spangle to life!
10.45 – 11.05 Mia Hickman, young author of Man from the Ice
11.15 – 11.45 Kelly Wright – Making friends in The Bluebell Wood
12.00 – 12.45 Andy Rigden & Jim Landen – Design-a-Monster session with the author and illustrator of My Mum’s a Bug-Eyed Monster
13.00 – 13.45 Theresa Breslin – Whispers in the Graveyard. Reading the Stones with Carnegie medal-winning author and the launch of our children’s writing competition
14.00 – 15.00 MG Leonard, the author of the award-winning Beetle Boy series will share her fascination for beetles and open our super new bug hotel. Children can bring contributions
15.15 – 16.00 Vashti Hardy – Brightstorm (‘Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights for younger readers’) and just released Wildspark (Waterstone: ‘storytelling at its brightest and best’)
16.15 – 17.00 A J Freer – Little Spirit: a children’s refugee mystery adventure – set in Berkhamsted

Family Tent

11.00 – 11.45 Suzy Reading –‘Self-Care for Parents and Kids: Boosting Resilience and Emotional First Aid’. A workshop on nourishing practices that the whole family can enjoy, including mindfulness, yoga and breathing.
15.00 – 15.45 Katharine McMahon – The Art of Historical Fiction with Richard and Judy Book Club author of The Crimson Room and The Hour of Separation, interviewed by Janice Boakes of Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society.

Sexton’s Hut

11.00 – 11.45, 12.30 – 13.15 Gravedigger Tales with Mr and Mrs Ghost – everything you ever wanted to know about grave-digging!
14.00 – 14.45, 15.30 – 16.15 Stories from the work and experience of our Victorian gravedigger, who really was called Mr Ghost!

Wildlife Area

Nature crafts and storywalks throughout the day with Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust volunteers.

Children’s Writing Competition

As well as being a venue for the BerkoFest Book Festival, the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project is also launching a children’s writing competition that day! You can read more about that here or visit the Friend’s of St Peter’s website.

Refreshments will be available at both venues. Please bring along your reusable mugs if you have them to reduce waste – thank you!

The organisers would like to thank:

  • The authors and workshop facilitators who are volunteering their time and expertise
  • Berkhamsted Town Council, Herts County Council, Berkhamsted Chamber of Commerce, Berkhamsted School and B&M Care Ashlyns Home for their financial and practical contributions
  • Volunteer assistants on the day

Without all this support and the efforts of others, this inaugural Book Festival would not be happening!