Arundel Literary Festival – Friday 8th March

Daytime sessions in the Red Room 8th March

A whole day of readings, talks, presentations, discussions and opportunities to get involved with creative writing at all levels.

Tickets options are
– £20 for an all day ticket (all 8 sessions throughout the day)
– £12 for a half day ticket (either the 4 sessions 10-2 or the 4 sessions 2-6)
– £5 per session on the day, not bookable in advance

All tickets subject to availability. We will try not to allow changes to the programme to occur, but things happen, and your understanding in that circumstance is appreciated 🙂

In the Red Room

10:00 – 11:00

Stephanie Norgate, a poet with three collections who ran the MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University for many years, gives a close reading of the poem The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry. Join the discussion and find out about this American eco-poet and farmer (born 1934).

Copies of the poem will be provided and there is no need to read ahead.

11:00 – 12:00

5 members of the Red Door Poets,the London based a group of widely published poets who meet weekly behind a red door to workshop poems together, Chris Hardy, Gillie Robic, Katie Griffiths, Tom Cunliffe and Mary Mulholland, will each read and then invite Open Mic readings from the floor (bring your own poem – one only please – if you’d like an Open Mic slot).

12:00 – 1:00

In her talk Italian connections – taking it one poem at a time, poet and translator Caroline Maldonado leads us through Italy, telling how she came across poetry about a Renaissance woman poet murdered in an honour killing, peasants in post-war Southern Italy, and 21st century refugee children in flight, and translated these poems into English. She’ll explore what’s lost or found in translation when a poem travels from one language to another and will also read from her 2022 poetry collection Faultlines (Vole Books) a response to her 20 years living part-time in Le Marche, an earthquake-prone area of central Italy.

1:00 – 2:00

Jane Winter, author, poet and human rights activist, has spent five years researching and writing Rupert Brooke, a mythical construct. Over a hundred years after his death, Brooke is primarily portrayed as a war poet and hero, and a romantic lover, yet in reality he was none of these things. She will discuss the many different vested interests that have helped construct the contemporary myth.

2:00 – 3:00

When writing fictional accounts of real lives, what degree of fabrication is permissible? This question is considered by Oliver Hawkins long-retired Dean of Higher Education at Northbrook College, Sussex, archivist to the Meynell Family Papers at Greatham, Sussex, and lecturer on literary, architectural and local history topics, along with Jude Hayland, published novelist of fiction set in the recent past. Jude is about to embark on writing a novel set during WW2 and faces the challenges of basing her fiction on research rather than her own lived experience. They consider a range of writers whose novels have included real figures given actions, thoughts and emotions which rely on the author’s own imagination and invention.

3:00 – 4:00

Innovative writer Chris Warren-Adamson and adventurous artist Michael Joseph compare creativity in art and writing. Michael is influenced by his past as an engineer, inventor and airline pilot and follows his own creative path switching between drawing, painting and sculpture. Chris Warren-Adamson is a writer who formerly worked in child welfare, as practitioner, Government adviser, and academic. Currently he is preoccupied with long pieces that combine prose and poetry. Using readings and images they discuss the process they go through, including taking risks and working with the unpredictable.

4:00 – 5:00

Roger Morgan-Grenville, author of several books on environmental and wildlife subjects, has collaborated with His Grace the Duke of Norfolk to write the story of how the farm of Peppering on the Norfolk Estate has been renatured. Their talk will describe how changes, including fields being divided up with hedgerows and trees, and the land being manured rather than fed with artificial fertilisers, resulted in a rapid increase in wildlife and biodiversity. The Return of the Grey Partridge – Restoring Nature on the South Downs will be hot off the press, publication day being Feb 29th this year.

5:00 – 6:00

Sir Charles Burrell, co-owner of the Knepp estate and Dr Tony Whitbread, Chair of Sussex Wildlife Trust,  will discuss rewilding as an important way of  restoring nature , based on the experience of Knepp, its successes and the learning that can be gleaned. Isabella Tree has written two books on the subject , the first, ‘Wilding’ , tells the story of the Knepp rewilding from 2003 to 2018 and the other ‘The Book of Rewilding’, co-authored with Charles Burrell, is a practical guide to rewilding at a smaller scale.

Both together raise issues now being more widely debated and put into practice in a variety of settings.

See also…
Thursday daytime sessions 10am – 6pm in the Red Room – click here for full details
Saturday daytime sessions 10am – 6pm in the Red Room – click here for full details

Evening concerts 7:30pm – 10pm
Thursday evening concert 7:30pm in the Red Room – click here for full details
Friday evening concert 7:30pm in the Red Room – click here for full details
Saturday evening concert 7:30pm in the Red Room – click here for full details

In The Studio

Character in prose with Jude Hayland & Marie Johnston

10:00am – 1:00pm : £20

Creating characters on the page that convince, bringing authenticity to a story’s protagonists, is a given for any writer of fiction. But how? In this practical workshop we will explore a diversity of original and dynamic methods and techniques aimed at enhancing characterisation in all fiction.

For beginners to experienced writers.

Maximum of 10 participants, please book in advance.

Generating new poems, improving drafts with Katie Griffiths and Mary Mulholland

2:00pm – 5:00pm : £20

For experienced poetry writers, this Red Door Poets’ Workshop will be run as two halves. The first half, led by Katie, will focus on generating brand new poems on themes inspired by March, the month named after Mars, the Roman god of war, and address how conflict can be written about in poetry. In the second half Mary will use her toolbox of ideas on form, titles, line breaks, e.t.c. to help participants edit their own writing and find a way to breathe new life into a poem that isn’t working.

Participants should bring a notebook and pen, and a draft of a poem already written which they don’t feel is working yet, preferably (not too long, ideally up to 20 lines ) so we can work at it.

All other materials will be provided.

For experienced writers.

Maximum of 10 participants, please book in advance.

In The Green Room

Orientation desk explaining what’s available and when.

Ticket office taking cash and card payments.

Book stall selling signed copies of each contributor’s books. Cash and cards accepted.

Breakout area serving tea and coffee. Bring your own buns!


Arundel Literary Festival is kindly supported by Arundel Town Council.

If you’d like to be involved in any way with the day as a volunteer please email

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