Petworth Festival Literary Week tickets go on sale today with top names on board!

After celebrating its 40th anniversary in style with a record-breaking summer, Petworth Festival now offers its Petworth Festival Literary Week, with tickets going on sale on Friday, October 5.

Artistic director Stewart
Artistic director Stewart

Artistic director Stewart Collins said: “The Petworth Festival Literary Week (Saturday, October 27 to Sunday, November 4), has been running since 2011.

“Starting as a weekend event, such has been the growth in demand for the festival’s literary events, for the first time the festival is proud to announce an extended programme that in 2018 runs to 27 events over eight days, giving audiences a chance to hear some of the UK’s favourite authors and poets talking about their work, giving readings and signing books.

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“And what a series of events Petworth has in prospect!

“Just two weeks before the nation as a whole marks the centenary of the ending of the First World War, the festival is opened by Michael Morpurgo who reads from one of the great First World War novels War Horse.

“His narration will be complemented by the songs written by John Tams for the acclaimed National Theatre production of War Horse and performed by Ben Murray.

“Over the following days there is no let-up as once again lovers of history, current affairs, food, sport, music, biography, poetry, screen writing, the outdoor world and, of course, fiction will have the opportunity to meet major authors.

“Book signings will as ever feature as part of each event, the festival once again working in close partnership with The Petworth Bookshop.

“Sebastian Faulks will be talking about his latest book, Paris Echo, whilst one of the most admired novelists of the last few generations – Fay Weldon – will also be bringing her wit and wisdom to the Petworth stage as she talks about After the Peace.

“History features prominently with Paddy Ashdown talking about the Second World War and, in the festival’s first visit to Seaford College, Max Hastings will discuss his brand-new blockbuster on the Vietnam War.

“With other events looking at the arts and performance, fans of rock ‘n roll are also in for a treat in the shape of an evening that features a film of the sensational David Bowie exhibition at the V & A followed by a talk and book signing by the show’s curators Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes.

“Indeed Bowie’s song Heroes is an apt description of many of this year’s Petworth speakers; high-achieving, fascinating writers discussing fascinating subjects including: Alan Titchmarsh, Julian Fellowes, Robin Ince, Andrew Adonis, Kate Williams, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Mark Austin, Henry Blofeld, Robin Knox-Johnston and many others.”

Stewart added: “The way our literary week has exploded into life these last few years has been tremendous for the whole area.

“But I am so pleased that we have been able to up the bar yet again for this coming autumn’s festival. Many sell-outs are predicted!”

From Friday, October 5, tickets can be bought online at,

Or you can phone the box office on 01798 344576 (Monday to Saturday 10am-1pm).

Alternatively, a booking form can be downloaded from the website and posted to the festival office: 151 Whites Green Lodge, Lurgashall, Petworth, GU28 9BD.