Cambridge Literary Festival

One of the things I love most about writing for my blog and this column is the people I meet.  People who are getting on with their daily lives, have that light bulb moment and just go for it to create something wonderful in the city.  People like Cathy Moore, founder of the Cambridge Literary Festival.

Cambridge Literary Festival logo

Cathy first came to the city to read History at Newnham College and was only the second person from her Liverpool comprehensive school to make it to the University of Cambridge. She also loved English and books so after graduation, Cathy built a career in publishing before taking some time out to be with her young family.  A spell in teaching followed but Cathy returned to Cambridge and books, working part time in Waterstones and running their programme of events.  That’s where she met writer Ali Smith and as the two of them chatted about the Hay Literary Festival, they wondered why there wasn’t a similar event in Cambridge.

Cambridge Literary Festival
Image credit:  Chris Boland

Within months, Cathy had created Wordfest, doing everything herself and setting up twenty four events in three venues.  That was back in March 2003.  “There were about sixty literary festivals then”, Cathy tells me, “and now there are around four hundred in the UK, so we’re all in competition for the authors.”  Wordfest grew, events regularly sold out and initiatives like the debut writers panel made it truly a festival for writers as well as readers.  After gaining charitable status, Wordfest rebranded as Cambridge Literary Festival in 2014.  It now brings Spring and Winter festivals to the city as well as one-off events through the year and since 2017 has delivered the Wimpole History Festival in partnership with the National Trust.

These days, Cathy isn’t doing everything herself!  She and her small team have an office in Downing Place and they have strong support from patrons, media partnerships and sponsors.  A band of volunteer stewards welcomes the many thousands of festival goers and enables events to run smoothly for both authors and audiences.  More volunteers are always welcome so if you’re interested in giving your time (and enjoying some volunteer perks!), contact the team through the website.

Cambridge Literary Festival
Image credit: Chris Boland

 

Festival venues this year include several beautiful university spaces which are normally hidden from public view.  Refreshments will be available at most of these so you can grab a quick drink and a snack between events.  Heffers run a bookstall and there are author signings too.

I’m really excited for this winter’s Festival; it’s always a fun, buzzy weekend and the packed programme truly offers something for everyone, including a brand new Murder Mystery Musical from Sophie Hannah which sounds intriguing!  You’ll find details of what’s on and a booking facility through the Festival website at www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

 

This post is part of my “New in Cambridge” column in the November issue of Velvet Magazine.  Read more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

What’s on in November

As the nights draw in and the leaves crunch under our feet, it’s another busy month here in Cambridge.  This what’s on listing for November is by no means exhaustive but you’ll find an eclectic mix of events that have come to my attention.  Please get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event that I can add in.  And I’ll try to update through the month, so do check back when you can.

Autumn morning on Midsummer Common Cambridge
Autumn morning on Midsummer Common, image by Harriet Kelsall

1st    6pm  Parisian Women and the Nazi Occupation, uncovering their lives and their relationships.  Part of the Liberation Literature Lecture Series.  The Auditorium, Robinson College.  Booking essential.  http://www.clarehall.cam.ac.uk

2nd    7.30pm  Michaelmas Concert.  Vaughan Williams, Stanford and Beethoven.  Clare College Music Society.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3

3rd    Remembering the First World War.  Literature Cambridge Study Day.  Stapleford Granary, CB22 5BP  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk  Read more about Literature Cambridge here

3rd    1pm  Voices and Viols, Laments of the Renaissance.  Carissimi, Gibbons, Weelkes and Byrd.  Erasmus Chamber Choir with Cambridge University Consort of Viols.  St. Clements Church, Bridge Street, CB2

6th    Translation as Music, Music as Translation.  Part of Women, Languages and Translation in the Italian Tradition Conference.  Talk 4.50 – 5.30pm.  Concert 6 – 7pm Bach, Chopin and Brahms.  Clare College.  Advance registration required on womenandtranslation2018@gmail.com

7th    5 – 9pm  Late at the Fitzwilliam: Feminist Takeover.  Fitzwilliam Museum  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/calendar/events

9th (until 12th Dec)   10am – 6pm Metamorphoses & Other Prints, an exhibition of art works by David Brown.  http://www.clarehall.cam.ac.uk

9 – 10th  Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film.  Winstanley Theatre, Trinity College.  http://www.CambridgeUkrainianStudies.org

9th    7pm  West Road Remembers, a remembrance concert.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3

10th    3pm  History of Tango.  Talk and dance demonstration by Cambridge Tango Academy.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.cambridgelivetickets.co.uk

10th    3.15pm  O Nata Lux.  London Oriana Choir.  Monteverdi, Vaughan-Williams, Britten, Andrew, Hagan and Dale.  Queens’ College Chapel.  Free entry.  http://www.londonoriana.com

10th    7.30pm  Pujol Plays Tango.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.pujolcambridge.com

10th    7.30pm  A Farewell to Arms, an evening of music to reflect on war and peace.  Fairhaven Singers.  Queens’ College Chapel.  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

10th    8pm  The Seraphin Chamber Orchestra.  Mahler and Schubert.  Emmanuel United Reformed Church, CB2  http://www.seraphinchamberorchestra.com

11th    8.30pm  An evening of new choral and orchestral music to commemorate the WW1 armistice centenary.  The Phoenix Choir and The Phoenix Ensemble.  Great St Mary’s Church, CB2.  http://www.adcticketing.com/armistice or tickets on the door

12th    7.45pm  Science meets Faith: Issues concerning palliative and end of life care.  Dr Stephen Barclay.  Wesley Church, CB1

13 – 27th    Cambridge International Jazz Festival  http://www.cambridgejazzfestival.info

14 – 17th    Cambridge Beer Festival.  University Social Club, Mill Lane, CB2  http://www.cambridgebeerfestival.com

14 – 26th    Cambridge Music Festival  http://www.cambridgemusicfestival.co.uk

16th    7.30pm  A Courtly Garland.  Orpheus Britannicus.  Grossi, Handel, Finger and Torelli.  Trinity Hall, CB2  http://www.trinhall.cam.ac.uk/news-events/events

17th    The North Pole Ice Rink opens.  Parker’s Piece, CB1.  http://www.thenorthpolecambridge.co.uk

17th    11am – 4.30pm  Sustainable Fashion Festival.  St Barnabas Church, Mill Road, CB1  http://www.circularcambridge.org/fashion.  Read more here

17th    8pm  Trinity Singers Concert.  Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle.  Trinity College Chapel.

17th    7.30pm  Raise your Voices Cambridge.  A variety of musical styles and songs, raising money for Church Urban Fund.  Great St Mary’s Church, CB2  http://www.raiseyourvoices.org.uk

18th    11am – 4pm  Naomi Davies Art Winter Open Studio.  Cake, carols, cards, gifts and paintings.  151 Hobart Road, CB1 http://naomidaviesart.co.uk/winter-open-studio-on-18-november/

18th    5pm  Christmas Lights Switch On.  Market Square, CB1

23 – 25th    Cambridge Literary Festival  http://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

24th    8pm  Enchantment and Passion.  Delibes, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian.  Cambridge Graduate Orchestra.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3.  http://www.cambridgegraduateorchestra.com

29th – 1st Dec    Cambridge Made Christmas Fair.  St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, CB2   Facebook: Cambridge Made Christmas Fair 2018  Read more about Cambridge Made and last year’s Christmas Fair here

30th    6 – 8pm  Pots for Poverty.  Charity sale raising funds for Jimmy’s Night Shelter.  The Locker Cafe, King Street, CB1.  Read more about last year’s Pots for Poverty here

30th    6 – 9pm  Late at Kettle’s Yard.  Kettle’s Yard, CB3.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/late-at-kettles-yard

Autumn colour in Trumpington Street Cambridge
Autumn colour on Trumpington Street