The dust has now settled on the Felixstowe Book Festival 2023 which ran from 16 to 25 June. It was a huge success. Returning for the 11th year, there were talks, readings, book signings and workshops; with plenty to entertain adults and children alike. As soon as the 2023 programme was finalised, the FBF Book Club resumed, meeting at Cuppa Café.  The Club’s focus is always on those writers attending the Festival; helping to maintain the Festival’s profile locally and generating some extra ticket sales.  The Book Club will reconvene as soon as the programme for 2024 is announced.

Just before the Festival Weekend there were several book-themed events:  Orwell Lady River Trips whetted the appetite with their cream tea cruise hosted by Louis de Bernieres – a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. A record 13 teams participated in the quiz, which was supported by local businesses, raising over £700, the library hosted Lily Graham and her compelling novel “The last restaurant in Paris” and Martin Newell and the Hosepipe Band completed the week with a curtain raiser of music and poetry.

The Festival was launched by Meg Reid in 2013 as a celebration of “Books by the Sea”.  The main venue is now Harvest House (previously the Felix Hotel which opened its doors in 1903).  Authors and audiences alike love the festival’s unique, intimate, and welcoming atmosphere.

Book events are followed by book signings and chances to meet the authors. There’s always a mix of genres; fiction, non-fiction and poetry and events for children.  Award-winning fiction and non-fiction authors rub shoulders with debut writers. The Festival’s hard-working patrons Esther Freud and Terry Waite are regular supporters, and their events always attract good audiences.

The weekend itself was a triumph of programming with well-known names such as Rachel Joyce and Robin Ince enjoying sell-out audiences.  Local interest events such as the anniversary of the 1953 floods, HMS Beehive and a discussion of the work of Ronald Blythe also attracted a lot of attention.

The FBF volunteers played a huge part towards the success of the Festival and all 40 members of the team wish to be involved again in 2024. The visitor feedback has been extremely positive with comments such as “…. for me it was far and away the best one I have ever attended…”

For information about next year’s festival or to offer suggestions as to content for 2024 please contact from September onwards.

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