David Baddiel CREDIT Steve Best - Xavicus Media

The likes of David Baddiel, Adam Henson, Ed Stourton, Marina Hyde, Will Gompertz, Clare Mackintosh and Simon Sebag Montefiore will be gracing the Chipping Norton Literary Festival this weekend.

The fun starts this Friday as the tenth Chipping Norton Literary Festival celebrates in style with a stellar line up of famous authors and big names.

Edward Stourton CREDIT Colin Thomas

“It’s going to be a very special year for us and our audiences,” festival director Jenny Dee says. “We continue to punch above our weight with the range and reach of the writers we attract, and are so heartened that they continue to love coming to Chippy and taking part,”

Will Gompertz

And what a line-up the organisers have in store with a dazzling array of authors, children’s events and writers’ workshops, running from 27-30 April.

David Baddiel is headlining events at The Theatre Chipping Norton, with his new perspective on atheism, The God Desire.

Adam Henson.

Also appearing at the Theatre over the weekend will be BBC journalist Ed StourtonCountryfile presenter Adam Henson, top journalists Marina Hyde and Sebastian Payne talking about the recent extraordinary years in UK politics, and art expert and raconteur Will Gompertz.


Marina Hyde CREDIT Matt Crockett

If history is your thing, then book to see Simon Sebag Montefiore (The World, a Family History), BBC favourite Greg Jenner with his family event You Are History and listen to Mensun Bound’s vivid account of the search for Shackleton’s boat Endeavour.

Mensun Bound CREDIT Esther Horvath, Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust_National Geographic.

Nature lovers will enjoy meeting Richard Smyth, who has written about finding wild things with his kids, Lev Parikian who is celebrating the miracle of flight, or attend Nicola Chester’s Wild Writing workshop. 

Fiction lovers can relax with Mike Gayle and Milly Johnson – who has sold millions of books of her romantic fiction worldwide – explore dysfunctional families with award-winning novelists Charlotte Mendelson and Meg Rosoff, peer into dystopian fiction with Costa Prize winner Clare Fuller and Katherine Bradley, and meet the best-selling authors of the future in the Festival’s regular New Voices slot.

Clare Mackintosh CREDIT Heledd Roberts

There’s also a special appearance by Clare Mackintosh, the festival’s original founder and best-selling crime novelist, will be introducing her new series set in Wales, one her return to Chipping Norton where she once lived. 

As always there is an eclectic mix of talks to stimulate our minds in myriad directions, from alternative funeral director Ru Callender to engineer Roma Agrawal, rock star photographer Chris Floyd, gardening-in-pots expert Harriet Rycroft and food historian Pen Vogler.  And festival-goers can explore their emotional depths with talks on grief, the demonisation of middle-aged women, sleep, and diagnoses. 

imon Sebag Montefiore © Marcus Leoni_Folhap

The children’s festival as usual promises lots of participation and fun. It will feature favourites such as storyteller Lucy Walters, illustrator Yuval ZommerVarjak Paw writer SF Said and author Lissa Evans.

If you want to write, too, there’s a range of writers’ workshops covering getting started, finding your voice, working with a literary agent. And there is a chance to pitch your ideas to a literary agent in one-to-one sessions held at The Fox pub on the Friday and Saturday.  

Chipping Norton Literary Festival runs from 27-30 April 2023. Tickets are available from www.chiplitfest.com and 01608 642350.