Official welcome to this year’s Marlborough LitFest by founder and author Mavis Cheek

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Welcome to our third Marlborough Literature Festival.

Fiction is sometimes overlooked at festivals so we are delighted to bring to you a programme that contains much that is new and exciting in the world of authors’ imaginations.

To highlight Marlborough’s long connection with Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize winner, William Golding, and in collaboration with his family, each year there will be a Golding Author. We are proud and delighted that our first in this category is Howard Jacobson, 2011 winner of the Man Booker Prize and writer of consistently great fiction. Seriously funny might be a phrase coined to describe him.

Howard opens the Festival followed by Michael Frayn, Iain Banks, Aminatta Forna and a delightful tea with Capuchin Classics, a small publishing house dedicated to reviving neglected classical fiction. We have also collaborated with the Society of Authors to bring to you the winner of the 2012 McKitterick prize – for authors publishing their first book when they are over forty.

The Festival’s range this year is as wide as ever, including detective fiction, first novels, comic and serious writing, fiction for children and young adults, a nod to non-fiction with books about bicycles and swimming and visits to Libanus Press to see the world of fine book production at first hand. Of course – since it is the bicentenary of the birth of one of our greatest ever writers of fiction, there will be a talk on Charles Dickens.

On Sunday evening, to round it all off, we are delighted that the modestly brilliant poet Simon Armitage has agreed to leave his beloved Yorkshire and head for Marlborough. A terrific finale. All in all, our festival continues to fulfil its undertaking to bring you the best of writers and writing and we look forward, very much, to seeing you there.

With best wishes, Mavis Cheek