Wimbledon BookFest expands its year-round programme

Wimbledon BookFest has expanded its year-round programme with new events announced in collaboration with local partners including King’s Arts, New Wimbledon Theatre, Merton Libraries and the University of Roehampton.

An inclusive celebration of books and culture, Wimbledon BookFest’s year-round community-focused calendar of special events aims to broaden audience reach and offer cultural access for all.

Bookfest’s June events include talks at King’s Arts with speakers Rt Hon Theresa May, MP, Rev. Richard Coles and Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Venki Ramakrishnan. June also sees a special pop-up event at New Wimbledon Theatre as tennis legend Sue Barker launches her memoir Wimbledon: A Personal History.

This summer also sees a series of inclusive literary and cultural events run in partnership with Merton Libraries and funded by Arts Council England. These events include free storytelling workshops in Mitcham, Manga workshops for teenagers in libraries across the Borough and the return of the Merton Big Read, a shared reading scheme which aims to connect the local community through books and stories.

In a new partnership with award-winning children’s theatre, Polka Theatre, Wimbledon BookFest has programmed events to celebrate the power of storytelling with picture book authors Tọlá Okogwu, Jonny Duddle, Benji Davies and Debi Gliori as part of the Big Dream Festival on 28 and 28 September.

In addition, the Introduction to University Day with Principle Sponsor University of Roehampton, a highlight of the Festival’s celebrated year-round Education Programme, will take place on Wednesday 22 May. Hundreds of sixth formers from local state schools will be invited to experience undergraduate life and attend an inspiring lecture programme with speakers including Subhadra Das, Tatton Spiller, Nicky Hayes and Dr Kathryn Harkup, with every student attending receiving a book funded by the Festival.

Fiona Razvi, Festival Founder and Director said:

“As a charity, Wimbledon BookFest is committed to broadening cultural access, and we have partnered with exceptional local arts organisations in Merton and beyond to expand our year-round programme and widen our reach into the community. As well as taking our existing audience on a journey to discover new voices and venues, we hope that our inspiring summer events will engage new audiences of all ages across the Borough.”

Wimbledon Bookfest’s annual Autumn festival will run from 17-27 October in venues across Central Wimbledon.

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