Wimbledon BookFest, London’s leading arts and culture festival, announces 2023 line-up with community and big ideas at its heart 

Wimbledon BookFest, London’s leading literary festival, returns for its sixteenth year this autumn with 10 days of thought-provoking, inspiring and entertaining events focussed on culture, community and global connection.

Mikaela Loach, Clive Myrie, Ben Okri, Steve Backshall, Peter Frankopan, Annie MacManus, Wes Streeting, Anne Enright, Afua Hirsch, Kate Mosse and Janice Hallett feature in a stellar line-up of literary stars, celebrities, politicians, sports personalities, historians, economists and academics, with the festivals celebrated school’s programme featuring appearances from Cressida Cowell, Stephen Mulhern, Sathnam Sanghera, SF Said and Katherine Rundell. Rick Stein will appear at a special post-festival event at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

Community and inclusivity are central to Wimbledon BookFest’s ethos and this year its calendar of educational programming is celebrated with a raft of new initiatives and partnerships including the Merton Libraries Partnership which will see festival events taking place across the Borough. This includes events in Wimbledon, Mitcham and Merton Libraries, the ‘Merton Big Read’ that runs from July-October with 500 free copies of Moshin Hamid’s The Last White Man made available for residents, a new Literacy Champions programme funding 800 tickets to BookFest for state schools in Mitcham, a Young Stewards initiative and £10 tickets for Under 25s.

Partnerships and connections across borders are also a focus of the 2023 programme with Festival Director Fiona Razvi drawing on her own heritage to forge unique links between BookFest and the prestigious Lahore Literary Festival. This will bring a strand of events featuring South Asian creatives including broadcaster Aasmah Mir and artist and fashion designer Osman Yousefzada to the BookFest community. BookFest will also host Iran – Woman Life Freedom, a panel event at the Festival and an exhibition of art from female protestors from Iran to be shown at libraries across Merton during the Autumn.

Fiona Razvi, Festival Founder and Director says:

‘We are incredibly excited to be announcing the line-up for our 2023 edition. Wimbledon BookFest is broad reaching in its ambitions this year and includes a new international partnership with Lahore Literary Festival alongside an extension of our projects working with Merton Libraries. There is a massive appetite for cultural engagement, and festivals like ours play such an important role in bringing communities, and generations, together to discuss ideas and perspectives in our ever-changing world.  Whether your interest is in crime fiction, history, AI, the state of politics, climate change or the future of our oceans, there is something for everyone at this year’s BookFest’.

Wimbledon BookFest 2023 will take place across the Borough to ensure accessibility for all, with venues to include Wimbledon Library, Wimbledon High School, New Wimbledon Theatre, Merton and Mitcham libraries.

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