Clevedon LitFest – What’s on

Stack of programmes for Clevedon LitFest

This year, I’ve been heavily involved in the organisation of Clevedon LitFest as part of the programming committee. As the festival approaches, here’s a run down of the events we’ve got going on for our June 2024 festival. To get tickets for any of these events, visit

Wednesday 5th June

7:00 pm – In conversation with Julia Bradbury – CURZON CINEMA

The festival opens at Clevedon’s iconic Curzon Cinema with TV presenter and author Julia Bradbury. Julia’s latest book, Walk Yourself Happy, focuses on the connections between nature and well-being. Julia’s nutritionist, Pauline Cox, who runs Clevedon’s Sow and Arrow, will host.

Thursday 6th June

7:00 pm – Under the Hornbeams – Emma Tarlo – BOOKS ON THE HILL

Anthropologist, writer and curator, Emma Tarlo, discusses her book all about her friendship with two men living in Regents Park, London. I feel like this fascinating look into the homeless community of London is a hidden gem of this summer’s programme.

Friday 7th June

4:30 pm – Becoming Elizabeth Taylor – Elizabeth Delo – BOOKS ON THE HILL

Poignant and thought provoking historical fiction.

Val, a widow living in Weston-Super-Mare, spends lonely evenings dressing up as the movie star Elizabeth Taylor. It seems to be a way of coping with the loss and sadness she has experienced in her life. One day, when Val sees a pram left unattended on the seafront, on a whim she kicks off the brake and walks away with it…

7:30 pm – Wild Visions, Untamed Myth – THEATRE SHOP

Epic tales of women taking their power whatever the consequences. Created and performed by storytellers Katy Cawkwell & Lucy Lill. As a fan of myth and folklore, this is my highlight of the festival. Clevedon’s Theatre Shop is the perfect venue for storytelling events like this and the performers have had fantastic reviews on their national tour.

Saturday 8th June

We’ve got a jam-packed day on Saturday, with events taking place at the Curzon, Theatre Shop, St John’s Hall and other venues around the centre of Clevedon.

9:30 am – Children’s Comic Art Masterclass – Kev Sutherland – ST. JOHN’S HALL

10:00 am – The Virtual Poets’ Walk – LIBRARY

A free drop-in session to learn about the new interactive app for Clevedon’s costal path.

10:00 am – Seasiders Heritage Mural documentary – CURZON CINEMA, STUDIO 44

A documentary look at the creation of Clevedon Town FC’s new heritage mural. Multiple screenings all day.

11:00 am – The Psychology of Supremacy – Dwight Turner – CURZON CINEMA

Dwight Turner is a psychologist and author and regularly speaks on topics of race, difference and intersectionality. I’m really excited to hear him speak on the subject of polarity, the impacts on society and individuals, and the routes to healing the divide. This is my do not miss of the festival; it’s not every day our little town gets to engage on such a wide-reaching subject.

1:30 pm – Football Landscapes of Europe – Dave Harry – RIFF CORNER

Talented local photographer Dave Harry launches his new photo journalism book.

1:30 pm – Writing Award Winning Short Stories – ST. JOHN’S HALL

Judy Darley interviews Keza O’Neill and Julie Davies about their award-winning stories. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions of these three super-talented local authors, so I highly recommend this talk to fellow writers and creatives, and anyone who loves to read great fiction.

3:00 pm – A conversation about Moral Injuries – Christie Watson – ST. JOHN’S HALL

Another hidden gem. Best-selling medical thriller author Christie Watson, herself a nurse for 20 years, discusses her book Moral Injuries, which will soon be a TV series!

You’re trained to save the lives of others. How far would you go to protect your own?

Ruthlessly ambitious Olivia, anxious perfectionist Laura and free-spirited risk-taker Anjali couldn’t be more different. Yet their friendship, which began on the first day of medical school, has kept them inseparable for twenty-five years. As wild all-nighters and exam pressures gave way to the struggles and joys of new motherhood and intense jobs, their bond remained unbreakable. Years ago they promised that nothing would come between them and that they’d do anything for one another, including burying one night they have never spoken about: a drug-fuelled university party that forced them to make a deadly choice that could still destroy them.

When an eerily similar tragedy strikes involving their teenage children, everything the three women have built threatens to shatter around them. And they are left asking: just how far can you stretch a friendship before it snaps?

4:30 pm – High Caucasus: On foot through Russia’s highest mountains – Tom Parfitt – ST. JOHN’S HALL

A unique opportunity to hear about an enthralling true-life journey.

7:30 pm – The Home Child – Liz Berry – THEATRE SHOP

Captivating poetry performance with live music accompaniment. Liz Berry’s The Home Child has received multiple awards, and this is an unmissable opportunity to see the performance in such an intimate venue.

9:30 pm – The Riff Corner CLF Takeover – Late-night open mic storytelling

Join the festival organisers and local poets, authors and creatives for Clevedon LitFest’s “afterparty” event at The Riff Corner. There will be drinks, storytelling, and a fantastic atmosphere!

Sunday 9th June

10:00 am – Poetry Workshop – Writing a mythological voice for today – THE LIMEHOUSE

A fantastic opportunity to stretch your writing muscles.

10:00 am – Walk the Poets’ Walk – MEET AT MARINE LAKE

Join the creators of the new Poets’ Walk app for an informal stroll along the coast path.

11:00 am – The Geology of Clevedon Pier – Stephen Sparks – THE PIER, PORTHOLE ROOM

Stephen Sparks, Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Bristol visits Clevedon’s famous landmark to talk about what the rocks on our coast tell about Clevedon’s ancient past. A must-see for science lovers!

12:30 – Poetry on the Hill – Open mic with special guest Melanie Branton – KABBALA STUDIO

This hugely popular afternoon open mic event has been selling out fast, so make sure you grab a ticket to come and hear local writers and our special guest perform their work.

2:30 pm – Save Me from the Waves – Jessica Hepburn – ST PETER’S HALL

Picking up once more on our emergent themes of the outdoors, wellbeing and adventure, Jessica Hepburn will be talking about her amazing achievements.

Jessica Hepburn is an unlikely athlete – she was labelled the ‘arty’ not the ‘sporty’ one in school. She hates exercise and believes the only reason to do it is for food, booze and box-sets on the sofa.

However, in her forties, following a succession of hard and sad life experiences she started to try and exercise her way out of heartbreak. She has now become one of the world’s most extraordinary endurance athletes. The first and only woman (currently) on the planet to have completed the ‘Sea, Street, Summit Challenge’ – which is to swim the English Channel, run the London Marathon and climb Mount Everest (which she calls Chomolungma – the mountain’s original Sherpa name). And possibly the only woman (although this can’t be officially certified) to have listened to eighty years and over 3,000 episodes of her favourite radio programme – Desert Island Discs.

4:00 pm – Live Music at Clevedon Community Bandstand – BANDSTAND

Enjoy a cocktail on the seafront and listen to the wonderful music line up arranged for us by the Bandstand. This is going to be the perfect finale to a fantastic festival.

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