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Lavenham Literary Festival

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A warm welcome to our website, and we cannot wait to welcome you back in person as you come to our beautiful medieval village for the 2022 Festival which runs from Friday November 18 to Sunday November 20.

How wonderful, after these difficult years, to engage again in person with  authors, and we already have an exciting range of speakers booked.  Making a welcome return to the Village Hall is our 2021 Festival Dinner Speaker Alan Johnson.  Alan has turned from major politician, and memoir-writer to writing crime fiction. On Saturday we have historian Tracy Borman and best-selling novelist Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in conversation with her husband Paul Venables whose voice will be familiar as Jakob in The Archers.  Poet Wendy Cope will be reading and discussing her work.  Andrew Lownie will also be joining us on Sunday 20 November as will the Natural History writer Patrick BarkhamSimon Edge author of Anyone for Edmund? will speak at the Guildhall on Friday evening. Lady Colin Campbell is the author of a London and New York Times bestselling biography of Diana Princess of Wales, and has written on Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, The Queen and Prince Phillip and Meghan Duchess of Sussex. Previously, Royal biographer Andrew Lownie spoke at Lavenham Literary Festival about his book on the Mountbattens, and his latest best-selling book The Traitor King is on Edward VIII.


LLF logo in wood

Lavenham Literary Festival 18-20 November 2022

At a glance 

10.30 am – 4 pm Creative Writing Course 
with Tom Henry Swan Hotel, High Street CO10 9QA. 

5 - 6 pm Simon Edge Lavenham Guildhall, Market Place CO10 9QZ. 

6.45 onwards Festival Dinner with Kate Humble 
Swan Hotel, High Street CO10 9QA. 

The following events are held in Lavenham Village Hall, Church Street CO10 9QT.

10 - 11 am Tracy Borman 

11.30 – 12.30 am Kate Sawyer with Lisa Brennan 

1.30 – 2.30 Rachel Joyce and Paul Venables 

3 – 4 pm Wendy Cope 

4.30 – 5.30 pm Dr Roopa Farooki with Catherine Larner 


10.30 – 11.30 am Alan Johnson with Lesley Dolphin 

12 – 1 pm Andrew Lownie 

2 – 3 pm Patrick Barkham 

3.30 – 4.30 pm Lady Colin Campbell with Andrew Lownie

Tom Henry


Simon Edge

Kate Humble

Tracy Borman

Kate Sawyer

Lisa Brennan

Rachel Joyce

Paul Venables

Wendy Cope

Dr Roopa Farooki

Catherine Larner

Alan Johnson

Leslie Dolphin

Andrew Lownie

Patrick Barkham

Lady Colin Campbell

Alan's second crime novel will be published in September.

Acclaimed poet Wendy Cope will be reading and discussing her work.

Rachel Joyce will speak in conversation with her husband Paul Venables whose voice will be familiar as Jakob in The Archers.

Author, Tudor historian, and broadcaster Tracy Borman will be speaking on Saturday 19 November.

Simon Edge author of Anyone for Edmund? will speak at the Guildhall on Friday evening

Lady Colin Campbell will be in conversation with Andrew Lownie about her books and life.


Andrew Lownie's latest best-selling book The Traitor King is on Edward VIII

Roopa Farooki is a writer and junior doctor for the NHS.  She is the author of six novels which have been translated into over a dozen languages and has an Arts Council Award for her writing. She also won the Junior Doctor Leadership Prize for her work during the Covid pandemic.

Everything is True is the story of Roopa’s first forty days of the Covid-19 crisis from the frontlines of A&E, as struggling through her own grief at losing her beloved sister to breast cancer she battles for her patients’ and colleagues’ survival. Working thirteen-hour shifts she gives an unflinching insider’s account of medicine in the time of coronavirus. Heartbreaking and honest, it is a powerful and evocative account of working through the pandemic.

Norfolk-based Patrick Barkham writes for The Guardian on natural history. His latest book is Wild Green Wonders.

The 2022 Festival Dinner Speaker at the Swan Hotel on Friday 18 November will be none other than Kate Humble.

Farmer, best-selling author, activist, entrepreneur and one of the UK's best-known TV presenter, Kate  became known especially for presenting programmes such as Springwatch & Autumnwatch, Lambing Live and most recently the hit C5 series Coastal Walks and Escape to the Farm with Kate Humble.

Kate has written many books about nature and about her travels, and in Spring 2022 her first Country Cook Book will be released.

Creative Writing Course
£45 in The Swan. 

All other sessions
£12.50 In the Guildhall and Village Hall. 

Booking opens Tuesday 30 August



(Click through to Events) 

By phone: 01284 758000 

In person at Apex Box Office, 

Bury St Edmunds. 

tickets        TICKETS



tickets      TICKETS




TICKETS                      tickets

Festival Dinner 

£80 only through The Swan Hotel at Lavenham. 

Booking opens Tuesday 6 September at Noon

To book tickets, please email functions@theswanatlavenham.co.uk and include your telephone number where possible. 

Please note that tickets are restricted to 2 per booking and that emails sent before 12 o’clock will not be valid.  It will be possible to call in at the Swan after 12 to ask Reception for help, although we strongly recommend the email option if possible. 

The Swan will respond to your emails in strict order of receipt with an indication of whether or not your application has been successful.

Lavenham Buildings

Some quotes about past festivals:

Tracy Borman: This is my favourite Festival! I relished the chance to return to beautiful Lavenham, and this year’s Festival was even better than ever (if that’s possible!). It was wonderful to see so many people in the audience, and everyone I spoke to afterwards was lovely.

John Higgs: “A brilliant Festival. I enjoyed every moment of it!”

Toby Buchan: Lavenham Literary Festival gets some marvellous speakers and a lot of richly-deserved support, and I know just how much care and thought goes into the organisation of the event.”

Kate Mosse: One of my favourite events. I just love coming back to Lavenham.”