Programme for Ealing Book Festival announced

Image above: Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman to talk at the inaugural Ealing Book Festival

Two former children’s laureates, a Booker prize-winning novelist and a former Rolling Stone among those headlining “stellar line-up”

Ealing Book Festival 2024 have announced details of its first ever programme, which will feature talks by internationally renowned authors including Lauren Child, Jacqueline Wilson, Eleanor Catton, Bill Wyman, Sathnam Sanghera, John Boyne and Kathryn Hughes alongside a wide range of other events including walking tours and a children’s poetry competition.

Images above: Lauren Child, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Eleanor Catton, Bill Wyman, Sathnam Sanghera, John Boyne

The inaugural festival, celebrating and promoting the joy of reading and the art of writing, will take place between Thursday 11 and Sunday 14 April 2024 at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, partner of the Ealing Book Festival. The programme includes:

  • Former children’s laureate Lauren Child introduces her latest heart-warming and beautifully illustrated story in the Clarice Bean series.
  • Former children’s laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson discusses her new book The Girl Who Wasn’t There.
  • Eleanor Catton, the Booker Prize winner talks about her new book Birnam Wood.
  • Former Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman talks about his extraordinary career which began with gigs at the legendary Ealing Jazz Club, and recounts his experience growing up in London during World War II.
  • Sathnam Sanghera, author and journalist whose award-winning works include Empireland and The Boy with the Topknot discusses his new book.
  • John Boyne, critically acclaimed novelist, author of several books including the international bestsellers The Boy in Striped Pyjamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, talks about his new book Earth.
  • Award-winning historian Kathryn Hughes who, in Catland, unravels the history of how Victorian and Edwardian Britain fell in love with cats.
  • Broadcaster and Director of the Soane Museum, Will Gompertz, journeys into the minds of great artists for his new book See What You’re Missing.
  • Celebrated political commentator Daniel Finkelstein shares the experiences of his parents during the Second World War with leading historian Roger Moorhouse who tells the story of The Forgers.
  • ‘Why Spies?’ brings together leading writers Charlotte Philby (granddaughter of Kim Philby), Charles Cumming and Alex Gerlis on a panel to discuss why espionage fiction remains so popular and compelling.
  • In ‘Out of Sri Lanka’, poet Seni Seneviratne brings to life the long neglected national literature of the island’s turbulent history.

Image above: Pitzhanger Park – the venue for the festival

Response to “exciting” programme has been “remarkable” say organisers

The programme will also include:

A new Ealing walking tour will offer insights into the history of Ealing as a source of literary and cultural inspiration, taking in literary icons such as Agatha Christie and the author of the Billy Bunter series, as well as highlights from the world of film, rock music and opera.

A children’s poetry competition on the theme of ‘Where do I Live?’ which invites young writers to get creative and offers an opportunity to win prizes and have work shown at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery. Details to enter are here: ealingbookfestival.com/poetry- competition

The 2024 festival programme will take place at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, the beautiful, restored house of architect Sir John Soane which sits in the Regency grounds of Walpole Park in central Ealing.

“With its stunning architectural features and gorgeous views over the park it is the perfect home for creativity, inspiration and imagination” say the organisers.

Catherine Jaquiss, Chair, Ealing Book Festival, said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer such an exciting programme for the inaugural Ealing Book Festival. The response from everyone has been remarkable and we are working hard to ensure an inspiring and diverse experience for book enthusiasts and cultural lovers alike which reflects our vibrant and diverse borough.

“On behalf of all those involved we would like to thank Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, our founder sponsor Savills, Ealing Council Small Grants, the Freshwater Foundation, St Benedict’s School, the University of West London, and our other event partners, advisers and volunteers.”

Tickets are on sale now at pitzhanger.org.uk

For more information on the full programme, to volunteer or to get in touch about sponsorship opportunities visit ealingbookfestival.com