2018 Writers' Festival - 15-17 June
Festival booking opens Tuesday 19 February
Patrick Gale announced as Keynote Speaker

Please visit the COMPETITIONS page for video announcements of the winners of our nine writing competitions.

The Winchester Writers’ Festival provides inspiration, support and unparalleled networking opportunities for creative writers working in all forms and genres. Our three-day weekend is packed full of workshops, talks and one-to-one appointments with over 70 literary agents, commissioning editors, authors, poets and publishing experts.

Booking for the 2018 Winchester Writers’ Festival is now closed.

New agents and an editor have joined the Festival and have one-to-one appointments available for new bookings.

Isobel Akenhead is Associate Publisher at Bookouture. Isobel has worked with a wide variety of bestselling women’s fiction and crime writers. She is seeking the best in women’s fiction, romance, romantic comedy and crime thrillers.  She will be giving one-to-ones on Friday and Saturday.

Lorella Belli is no longer able to attend the Festival.  Alexander Cochran, literary agent at C+W, has taken over her appointments, and is now fully booked.

Jemima Forrester, literary agent at David Higham Associates, is looking for commercial and upmarket fiction, crime and thrillers, psychological suspense, accessible literary fiction, women’s fiction and speculative/high-concept novels, as well as non-fiction innovative cookery, popular culture and lifestyle projects.  She will be giving one-to-ones on Saturday.

Penny Holroyde is a literary agent at Holroyde Cartey, a new agency she launched in 2015.  She is looking for brilliant stories, uniquely narrated for children of all ages.  She will be giving one-to-ones on Friday.

Debbie Taylor will now be giving a Saturday Talk titled ‘Climbing the Publishing Ladder with Independent Publishers and Magazines’ (this replaces the previously advertised talk ST28).  Debbie is founder and Editorial Director of Mslexia, the UK’s best-selling literary magazine.  Her books include My Children, My Gold (Virago), The Fourth Queen (Penguin) and Herring Girl (One World).

Click HERE to view the programme in a Magazine format

Click HERE to view printable large print programme


We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker for the 2018 Festival is best-selling novelist Patrick Gale.  You don’t have to attend the Festival to come to the Keynote Address on Saturday, 16 June at 9:00.  Tickets cost £12 and include coffee.  Tickets available until Friday, 15 June.

Book Here for tickets to Patrick Gale’s Keynote Address

Patrick’s most recent novels include A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through – which is set in Winchester – the Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller Notes from an Exhibition and the Costa-nominated A Place Called Winter. His recent TV screenplay, Man in an Orange Shirt, was commissioned as the centrepiece of the BBC’s 2017 ‘Gay Britannia’ season.

Patrick’s career as a novelist began shortly after he graduated from Oxford University with the publication of his first two novels on the same day in 1986. Since then he has published a further 13 novels, several collections of short stories, novellas and a biography of the writer Armistead Maupin. His fiction is celebrated for its wit and warmth as well as its exploration of loss, regret and psychological complexity. As Armistead Maupin has commented: ‘Few writers have grasped the twisted dynamics of family the way Gale has. There’s really no one he can’t inhabit, understand and forgive.

The Keynote, titled ‘Patrick Gale: A Life in Writing’, begins at 9am on Saturday 16 June and this year takes the form of a conversation with Festival Director Judith Heneghan, with Q&A with the audience and an opportunity to meet Patrick and have books signed over coffee afterwards.

The full Winchester Writers’ Festival 2018 programme will be announced in mid-February and will be available to view  on this website.

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Visit the 2017 Festival page for a write-up on last year’s Festival.


Lemn Sissay at the Winchester Writers’ Festival



Judith Heneghan, Festival Director with Lemn Sissay MBE and Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester










The Best of 2017 anthology of first-place winners, including their adjudications, is available for purchase HERE

£7.95 includes postage and packing