Cambridge Literary Festival’s Winter Online Festival line-up announced

PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:30 06 October 2020

The line-up of the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020 includes David Mitchell. Picture: Mark Harrison

The line-up of the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020 includes David Mitchell. Picture: Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison

Comedian David Mitchell, novelist Matt Haig and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage are among the famous names taking part in Cambridge Literary Festival’s Winter Online Festival 2020.

Helen Lederer is taking part in the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020. Picture: Steve UllathorneHelen Lederer is taking part in the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

With 40 events set to run over Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22, and a special free family day on Sunday, November 29, there is much to engage and delight even the most jaded of palettes.

The CLF’s vibrant and varied winter programme includes household names such as Peep Show comedian David Mitchell, celebrated artist Maggi Hambling, novelist and journalist Matt Haig, who is best known for memoir Reasons to Stay Alive and best-selling novel How to Stop Time, and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

The line-up also includes former Children’s Laureate Jacqueline Wilson, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, and comedian Helen Lederer.

Festival director Cathy Moore said: “I am delighted to once again embrace the digital festival experience though saddened not to see everyone in person.

Cambridge Literary Festival director Cathy Moore. Picture: Martin BondCambridge Literary Festival director Cathy Moore. Picture: Martin Bond

“The opportunities presented by a digital festival mean that we can reach far and beyond Cambridge.

“We can provide our author events to those who can’t otherwise get here and we can build on the repertoire of artists that we able to programme.

“Thanks to all the donations received we have been able to continue and I’m excited to be launching a brand-new website alongside the launch of the Winter Festival.”

Climate and nature figure high on the virtual festival’s winter agenda.

Artist Maggi Hambling will be one of the contributors to the Cambridge Literary Festival Winter Festival Online 2020. Picture: Adrian LourieArtist Maggi Hambling will be one of the contributors to the Cambridge Literary Festival Winter Festival Online 2020. Picture: Adrian Lourie

Organisers have secured a major panel discussion on halting climate change with Dieter Helm, Jonathan Porritt and Caroline Lucas MP.

Sixteen-year-old Dara McNulty, hailed as a bright new voice in naturalism, will be chatting with festival patron Robert MacFarlane.

Helen McDonald brings online viewers her thoughts on life after H is for Hawk and her new book of essays, Vesper Flights.

Professor Sarah Churchwell and novelist Attica Locke will reflect on the outcome of the US Presidential election and examine what it means for us all.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage will be contributing to the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020Poet Laureate Simon Armitage will be contributing to the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020

There will also be music and conversation from the Kanneh-Mason family, the lockdown sensation featured in the BBC series Imagine.

Jay Bernard and Raymond Antrobus will provide an evening of contemporary poetry and spoken word.

This is also a festival of prizes.

Cambridge Literary Festival will host the six shortlisted writers for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, the winner being announced shortly after the festival.

Nina Stibbe will take part in the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020Nina Stibbe will take part in the Cambridge Literary Festival - Winter Festival Online 2020

UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage will delight audiences logged on at home with poetry and talk about the inaugural Laurel Prize, which rewards the best collection of environmental or nature poetry, as well as introduce its first ever winner.

The festival will welcome the winner of this year’s Goldsmiths Prize, which rewards ‘fiction at its most novel’, and the winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize Derek Owusu from Stormzy’s #MerkyBooks.

Plus, the Comedy Women in Print Prize founder Helen Lederer will chat to this year’s winner, Nina Stibbe.

The full line-up and programme is available at www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

The new website launches Friday, October 16 with tickets on sale Monday, October 19.


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