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.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death on Monday 4th March of Barbara Large MBE, Founder, and for 34 years Director, of the Winchester Writers’ Conference. In the mid-80’s Barbara wanted to gather a supportive community of writers, editors, agents and publishers in one place to produce great writing. Under her Directorship the Writers’ Festival weekend and week-long workshops that followed saw up to 500 delegates and 70 speakers gather annually to share their knowledge and love of writing. Known for her unfailing energy, her charm and old-fashioned courtesy, her incredible ability to harness enthusiasm in even the most dispirited writer and her knowledge of every aspect of writing, publishing and who to contact, Barbara’s expertise won her countless friends and fans. In addition to the Writers’ Festival, she also founded the Hampshire Writers’ Society in 2011 and Creative Words Matter – bringing those who know about writing together with those who want to write. She retired from the Winchester Writers’ Festival in 2014.
Her death leaves a space in the world that will be filled in time with good memories and so much gratitude for a unique and very special lady.
Barbara left a legacy in the Winchester Writers’ Festival that continues to support, promote, encourage, educate and inspire writers at every stage in their journey. We will be collecting tributes to Barbara for her family. If you would like to share how Barbara touched your life, please send your stories to Sara.firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Barbara’ in the title.
Booking is now open!
Please ensure that you carefully read the programme and terms and conditions and make note your choices before booking.
To read the full Festival programme in a magazine format, click HERE
To read the programme in a full-page, printable format, click HERE
To book, please visit our ‘How to Book and Terms and Conditions‘ page
This year’s Festival Keynote, ‘Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise’ will be given by award-winning children’s author Katherine Rundell. Katherine will explore how children’s books ignite, and can re-ignite, the imagination; how children’s fiction, with its unabashed emotion and playfulness, can awaken old hungers and create new perspectives on the world.
Katherine Rundell spent her childhood in Africa and Europe. After completing a degree in English and a doctorate on John Donne, she is now a full-time writer and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where she studies Renaissance literature and climbs old buildings at night. Katherine has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the Costa Children’s Book Award and has been shortlisted for many others. In 2017 she was selected as one of Hay Festival’s Hay30 influential young thinkers to watch. Her latest brilliant story for children, The Good Thieves, publishes in June 2019.
The Best of 2018 anthology of first-place winners, including their adjudications, is available for purchase HERE
£7.95 includes postage and packing