After a challenging year for the arts sector, Marlborough LitFest will return from September 30 – October 3 in a new live/online format.

There will be a varied programme of events for different ages and genres, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry events, its 10th Golding Speaker and the annual Big Town Read.

LitFest also has a new lead festival sponsor on board – Sarah Raven, the Online Garden Store, which has its headquarters in Marlborough. The 2021 line-up includes: Elif Shafak, Colm Tóibín, Sathnam Sanghera, Mick Herron, Jonathon Porritt and Gill Hornby, covering themes from memoir, nature, climate change, politics and history, and culminating in a festival finale from LitFest patron, Sir Simon Russell Beale.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Sathnam SangheraSathnam Sanghera

The box office opens on 2 September, for more information:

In addition, more than 100 local schoolchildren will be entertained by award-winning children’s author, Tom Palmer, as part of LitFest’s annual free schools programme.

A large selection of other events for children and young people are planned, including a literary-themed debate at the Town Hall held by St John’s Academy.

Marlborough LitFest chair, Genevieve Clarke, said: “It’s brilliant to be back with an exciting line-up of big literary names, first-time novelists, hard-hitting non-fiction, workshops and children’s activities. We’re also making 13 events available online so that we can reach a wider audience.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Gill Hornby's Miss AustenGill Hornby's Miss Austen

Festival programmes are available from The White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough, or view online at The box office opens on 2 September.

Marlborough LitFest has partnered with Swindon-based video creative agency, StreamWorks, in order to livestream events from the Town Hall so that the festival can reach as wide an audience as possible.