Barkway Literary Festival
Saturday 25th September 2021

Venue: Village Hall

Schedule & Tickets Learn more

Jeffrey Archer - Alison Bruce - Dani Atkins

and children’s authors:

Chris Lloyd - Tamsyn Murray - Wafa’Tarnowska

Our exciting programme of bestselling authors has something for every taste! With Leigh Chambers of Cambridge 105 Radio kindly chairing events, they will talk about their life, new books and career. Come and meet them afterwards at the book signings, and bring your children to our great children’s events where they will be entertained by our wonderful authors!

Tickets are priced at £7.00 for adults and £5.00 for children. Adults may accompany children free of charge to the children’s author events, but must book a ticket as the Village Hall venue has a limit of 100 people.

Ticket sales will go live on: 1st July

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David's Bookshop of Letchworth will be in the Pavilion opp. The Village Hall with a large range of adult and children’s books on sale.

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Author Events


2.15 pm Village Hall: Local Author Event! Dani Atkins

Dani Atkins, best selling fiction writer whose latest moving novel, A SKY FULL OF STARS was published by Head of Zeus in February 2021. Dani will be in conversation with Leigh Chambers of Cambridge 105 Radio. This event will end with a question and answer session, and a book signing!

Dani Atkins is an award-winning novelist. Her 2013 debut Fractured has been translated into sixteen languages and has sold more than half a million copies since first publication in the UK. Dani is the author of four other bestselling novels, one of which, This Love, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2018.

Dani lives in a small village in Hertfordshire with her husband, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie. Follow Dani on twitter @AtkinsDani

A Sky Full of Stars (Head of Zeus, 2021)... A compelling family drama: Alex, Lisa and their young son Connor made a happy little universe. But when Lisa dies suddenly, their universe is destroyed. Alex is shattered by loss, and overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a single father to a six year old boy. Then Alex meets four strangers. Two men and two women, who never met Lisa, but whose lives changed profoundly because she died. As Alex hears their stories, he begins to realise the world may not be as cruel and senseless as it seems.

'Atkins writes with immediacy and compassion' Mail on Sunday

Dani’s new novel The Wedding Dress is published by Head of Zeus in February 2022.

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3.30 pm Village Hall: Alison Bruce

Described as one of the most adroit crime fiction practitioners in the UK, BarkwayLitFest are delighted to welcome award winning Alison Bruce to cover for Sophie Hannah, who has had to withdraw from this year’s event.

Alison’s nine crime novels, featuring DC Goodhew, are set in Cambridge and are based upon Alison’s experience of working with 7 police forces including the Metropolitan and Cambridgeshire forces. Her latest novel, The Moment before Impact, is described by Ian Rankin as 'tense, twisty, terrific!'

Alison was awarded a first in BSc (Hons) in crime and Investigation at Anglia Ruskin University which included subject areas such as: crime scene investigation, mass fatality incidents, fire investigation and forensic anthropology. Alison never underestimates her readers and aims to challenge them with expertly crafted plots, vivid characters and the kind of realism which will put them in the front row of an investigation.

This event will end with a book signing!

Tickets £7.00 Tickets sales will go live on: 1st July

Buy here

Festival highlight! Alison Bruce’s Writing Masterclass at 10.30 am in the Social Club


5.00 pm Village Hall: Jeffrey Archer

Bestselling author with sales of 275 million copies in 97 countries talks about his life and career. Jeffrey is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction, short stories, and non-fiction.

His novel Nothing Ventured, the first of the gripping William Warwick books, was published in 2019. Turn a Blind Eye, the third instalment, came out in April 2021:

‘William Warwick, now a Detective Inspector, is tasked with a dangerous new line of work, to go undercover and expose crime of another kind: corruption at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force. His team is focused on following Detective Jerry Summers, a young officer whose lifestyle appears to exceed his income. But as a personal relationship develops with a member of William’s team, it threatens to compromise the whole investigation’

Jeffrey’s latest novel Over My Dead Body is due for release in October 2021:,
Chairing the event: Leigh Chambers of Cambridge 105 Radio, who will invite questions from the audience at the end.

Tickets £7.00 Tickets sales will go live on: 1st July

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Alison Bruce’s

Have you ever wanted to become a writer? Now's your chance! Welcome to a Masterclass with bestselling crime author  Alison Bruce!

Alison is a bestselling crime writer and is currently working on the UK's largest policing professionalism contact. An author with first hand experience, dealing at the coalface of crime. In this masterclass for writers and aspiring writers, Alison will teach participants:

  • how to massively increase your chances of success
  • how to change incorrect, unhelpful and limiting beliefs
  • how to thrive in the face of the psychological and emotional challenges that life as a writer brings with it
  • what to do when you feel scared, confused, overwhelmed or stuck - in order to feel better, make progress and solve whatever problem you're facing
  • how to retain full control over your writing dreams and journey, instead of giving your power away to the first agent who shows interest in you
  • how to make sure your dreams and your definitions of success and failure, aren't working against you
  • and how to be your best and most powerful ally and advocate, throughout your writing life

Tickets for this Masterclass are £20, available now from Ticketsource 1st July

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Children's Events


Tamsyn Murray is coming! Event suitable for 5-12 years

10.00 am start Duration 1hr 15 mins approx

Best selling author of Completely Cassidy and Tanglewood Animal Park series (published by Usborne), this event will bring smiles to everyone’s face!

Award-winning children's author, Tamsyn Murray, talks about how she became an author, what her top talent is and reveals some of the crazy things her dog has eaten over the years (photos of pants not included). Focusing on her Tanglewood Animal Park series and the Completely Cassidy books, Tamsyn is guaranteed to get kids giggling.

Tickets £5.00 Entry free to adults accompanying children
Tickets sales will go live on: 1st July

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This event will finish with a book signing!

"Tamsyn has a fantastic sense of humour and is brilliant at getting her audience engaged and joining in. I wouldn’t hesitate to book her again." Lindsey Blake, Director - LibraryLive Ltd

"She enthralled the whole school. We look forward to having Tamsyn back to see us again!" Wormley Primary School, Hertfordshire


Children and adults event! Chris Lloyd’s quiz show comes to Barkway!

11.30 am start Duration 1hr 15 mins approx.

Author of bestselling ‘What on Earth Happened’ (published by Bloomsbury, 500,000 copies sold to date!) and ‘Absolutely Everything’, Chris’s books aim to satisfy every child’s curiosity about history, nature, science - and absolutely everything!

Venue: Village Hall
Tickets £5.00
Entry free to adults accompanying children

Tickets sales will go live on: 1st July

Buy here

Fire up your family’s brain power with our brilliant interactive virtual quiz for ages 8–108, hosted by quizmaster Christopher Lloyd, who is also the editor of the “Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia: What We Know and What We Don’t".

The multiple-choice quiz consists of eight rounds, packed with questions that test both your general knowledge, and your memory and speed at answering. All participants will remain anonymous unless they win a quiz round.

The overall winning team that triumphs in the ninth and final round will be crowned “Britannica Quiz Champions” of The Barkway Literary Festival! They will also receive a free signed copy of the “Britannica All-New Children’s Encyclopedia”, which has 416 colourful pages of mind-boggling facts, data and illustrations, sure to captivate the most digitally dependent of children (and adults!).

Participants will need an internet-enabled tablet or smartphone to participate in the live quiz!

Read about Chris here: Christopher Lloyd - What on Earth Publishing What On Earth? Books (

This event will end with a book signing!

Chris Lloyd in action!


Local author event! Suitable for children 9+ and adults Award winning Wafa’ Tarnowska

invites you to a world of wonderful stories, both real and imagined from the Middle East...

The author of Arabian Nights (Barefoot Books) and Amazing Women of the Middle East (Pikku Publishing) will read one of her fabulous stories in her inimitable style. She’ll talk about her fascinating life, which started in Lebanon, and about what inspires her children’s books. The session will include a Q&A and a competition to win a copy of Wafa’s beautiful book!

1.00 pm start Duration 1hr 15 mins approx. Venue: Village Hall

Wafa’ Tarnowska was born in Lebanon and lived through the conflict there, leaving finally to study at the University of Melbourne. She has lived in Dubai, Poland and is now settled in Letchworth, where she writes children’s stories, translates for the BBC, and subtitles documentaries, including BAFTA winner ‘For Sama’ (2019). Her life is extraordinary (she should be in her book!) , and her story telling is enchanting.

‘If I could step outside my door today and buy one book, this is the one that I would choose. Such a good book!’ Books Go Walkabout (Amazing Women of the Middle East, published by Pikku Publishing, 2020)

Tickets £5.00 Entry free to adults accompanying children
Tickets sales will go live on: 1st July

Buy here


David's Bookshop

David's Bookshop of Letchworth will be our bookshop for the Festival. They will be selling a fantastic range of adult fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, as well as our event authors’ books.

Venue: the Pavilion opposite the Village Hall.

Visit website


Refreshments will be available in the Pavilion, opposite the Village Hall.

Catering shared between; Blossom, a family business aiming to provide quality barista coffee, tea, cold drinks and bakes and The Tea Pod, specialists in sweet and savoury crêpes plus hot and cold drinks.


07801 349731

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