The innovative Litfest is being delivered by Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) and funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Lisa Jewell is the number one New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including ‘The Family Upstairs’, ‘Then She Was Gone’, as well as ‘Invisible Girl’ and ‘Watching You’. Her novels have sold more than 10 million copies internationally and have been translated in over 25 languages. Her latest novel ‘None Of This Is True’ was released on July 10th
Joining Lisa Jewell is Dorothy Koomson - an award-winning, global bestselling author of 18 novels, known as the ‘Queen of the Big Reveal’.
Her emotional thrillers have connected with readers all over the world and are regularly Sunday Times bestsellers, selling more than 2.5 million copies in the UK alone and have been translated into more than 30 languages. Dorothy featured on the 2021 Powerlist as one of the most influential Black people in Britain, appeared in GQ Style as a Black British trailblazer, and was a judge for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction. 2023 marks Dorothy’s 20th anniversary as a published author. A special anniversary edition of her debut novel, ‘The Cupid Effect’, has been published by Headline. Her latest novel, ‘My Other Husband’, is out now in paperback, and her next book, ‘Every Smile You Fake, will be published in hardback in February 2024.
The event is also championing local authors, with a showcase event at Lockmeadow Entertainment Centre with readings and workshops across Maidstone primary schools, Kent Library and History Centre, Waterstones, The Archbishop’s Palace and Maidstone Museum.
Festival Director, Jodi Eeles said:
“The team is delighted to be attracting a diverse mixture of International best-selling authors as well as home-grown local talent. We have tried to keep the offering diverse in terms of genres and audiences – and it’s been hard not to run before we can walk for a first festival. The interest we have had so far has exceeded our expectations.”
Cllr Claudine Russell, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Arts at MBC said:
“We are excited to be putting on this event for Maidstone and it’s wonderful that such big-name authors are signing up to the first festival. The planning of the festival is bringing together those who love and champion books and that collaboration is being reflected in the line-up.
“We have a fantastic county library, museum and some beautiful spaces to use in the town centre, so this years’ theme ‘A sense of place’ is very fitting.”
“Also, it isn’t too late for primary schools within the borough to enter the competition to win a free author visit. Please do encourage your schools to enter and don’t miss out.”
Participating schools could win a visit from top children’s authors such as Jack Meggitt-Phillips (The Beast and the Bethany series), Janelle McCurdy (Mia and the Lightcasters), Eve Wersocki-Morris (The Bird Singers and The Wildstorm Curse), A.M. Howell (The House of One Hundred Clocks and Mystery of the Night Watchers), Tọlá Okogwu (Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun), J.C. Clarke (Spellboda) and Gianna Pollero (Monster Doughnuts series).
To enter the draw, simply email email@example.com with the details of the school’s main contact for literacy and the preferred year group (KS2 only) to receive a visit from an author. The deadline to enter is Friday 14 July and the winning schools will be announced on Monday 17 July.
To keep up to date with festival news, please subscribe to the newsletter on the website Maidstone LitFest | literary festival and be the first to know when tickets have been released and new authors announced.
Maidstone Litfest is set to be launched at the prestigious Maidstone Museum on 28 September when guests will have the chance to meet various authors taking part in the events programme.