Every good story has a beginning

Wimbledon BookFest began in 2006, when two friends – Fiona Razvi and Tony Kane – decided to combine their shared passion for literature, culture and education to create a local, annual arts festival. 

Over a series of brainstorms involving coffee and the occasional strong beverage, BookFest was born. 

Its goal was to bring leading authors, thinkers, scholars and entertainers from the world of literature, arts, politics, sport & entertainment to the heart of Wimbledon. 

Over 10 days at the beginning of Autumn it would host talks and events designed to engage a wide cross-section of the community, deliver education projects for schools and young people and always do so in inclusive, affordable and engaging ways.  

Audience members clapping Audience member smiling, holding books and a drink

The story so far…

In its first year, Wimbledon BookFest had 1,000 visitors. Today it’s recognised as one of the UK’s leading literary festivals.  

We’re proud to host more than 100 events at every festival that attract audiences of 20,000+ as well as 10,000 South London schoolchildren from across nine London boroughs. 

The next chapter?

As a not-for-profit arts and education charity we wouldn’t exist without you, our supporters.  

Almost half of our income is from ticket sales, which have yet to return to pre-Covid levels.  

As we look to rebuild our audiences we continue to look for new sponsors, grants and friends. 

BookFest’s next chapter will also see our Festival Hub move from Wimbledon Common to central Wimbledon where we will use Wimbledon theatre spaces and Wimbledon High School to host our events.  

We are also delighted to be the lead delivery partner in a new Merton Libraries Programme, funded by Arts Council England where we will working with libraries across the borough to run author events, writing workshops and a borough-wide Big Read.  

We hope you’ll join and support us on the next part of our journey.  

It promises to be a page turner. 

Find out how you can donate to us!