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Festival Programme

Book festivals create an opportunity to hear authors you’ve read, and discover some that are new to you. To encourage you widen your reading horizons, we’re selling tickets for the whole day’s programme. There’ll be a break for lunch, and several places within five minutes’ walk where you can find a sandwich. We think you’ll enjoy your day at the Leiston Book Festival. 

Leiston Film Theatre are kindly managing our ticket sales. Follow the 'Book Tickets' links to their website where you can choose and book your seats.
Leiston Book Festival

Saturday 7th September 2024 | Leiston Film Theatre

Tickets Only £30

Adults: £30. Over 65's: £25. Under 18's: £10. All tickets include full day access to all of our sessions.

Tickets Only £30

Adults: £30. Over 65's: £25. Under 18's: £10. All tickets include full day access to all of our sessions.

Tickets Prices

Adults: £30. Over 65's: £25. Under 18's: £10. All tickets include full day access to all of our sessions.

Tickets now on sale 

Tickets are now on sale at Leiston Film Theatre, our venue has more than 200 seats.

Patrick Galbraith - Author - Leiston Book Festiva
Patrick Galbraith
Speaking at 10.00am

Patrick Galbraith grew up in Scotland and studied English literature at Bristol and University College London before dropping out to become a writer. He’s covered everything from naturism to butchers’ shops to the free party scene. He’s fascinated by the way that people and nature interact. He is a columnist for Country Life and The Critic and his work has appeared in The Times, The FT, and The Spectator. He is currently working on his second book, which explores the fight for land access.

Patrick Galbraith - In Search of One Last Song Cover
Tom Parfitt - Author - Leiston Book Festival
Tom Parfitt
Speaking at 11.00am

Tom Parfitt spent 20 years living and working in Moscow as a correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and the Times. His memoir, High Caucasus, recounts his 1,000-mile journey on foot across the northern flanks of the Greater Caucasus mountain range in southern Russia, passing over the shoulder of Mount Elbrus, across high-altitude pastures and through forests inhabited by bears and wild boar. The walk reveals a landscape scarred and haunted by the traumas of the past, from war in Chechnya to deportation and ethnic cleansing in Karachay, Balkaria and former Circassian lands.

High Caucasus - Tom Parfitt
Robert Ashton - Author - Leiston Book Festival
Robert Ashton
Speaking at 12.00pm

Inspired by the late George Ewart Evans Robert’s latest book Where are the Fellows who Cut the Hay has been described as’ an ode to rural life, charting traditions of the past, how they were lost and why we need to reconnect.’  Robert meets grandchildren of those whose stories Evans collected, and people who today, are bringing back almost forgotten ways as we all respond to the threat of climate change. Robert is also founder of the Leiston Book Festival.

Robert Ashton - Where are the Fellows who Cut the Hay - Leiston Book Festival
Richard Hawking - Author - Leiston Book Festival
Richard Hawking
Speaking at 2.00pm

Richard Hawking is the author of At the Field’s Edge: Adrian Bell and the English Countryside, the first critical monograph of Bell’s writing appraising his observations about the ecology, economy and culture of the British countryside. He is currently working with Slightly Foxed to compile and introduce a quartet of seasonal volumes of Bell’s A Countryman’s Notebook essays from his extensive archives. A Countryman’s Winter Notebook and Spring Notebookwere published in 2021 and 2023 respectively, with the Summer and Autumn editions published in May and September this year.

Richard Hawking - At The Field's Edge - Leiston Book Festival
Julia Blackburn - Author - Leiston Book Festival
Julia Blackburn
Speaking at 3.00pm

Julia  has lived in this part of Suffolk for more than thirty years during which time she  has written twelve books of  non-fiction, alongside a memoir, three volumes of poetry and two novels. She is currently working on a collection of random thoughts and essays which might be called Angels Dancing on a Pin. She is also, for the first time in ages, seeing what it is like to not aim to write every day.

Time Song - Julia Blackburn
Jules Pretty - Author - Leiston Book Festival
Jules Pretty
Speaking at 4.00pm

Jules Pretty is Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex. His sole-authored books include The Low-Carbon Good Life (2023), Sea Sagas of the North (2022), The East Country (2017), The Edge of Extinction (2014), This Luminous Coast (2011), The Earth Only Endures (2007), Agri-Culture (2002), The Living Land (1998), and Regenerating Agriculture (1995). 


He is former Deputy-Chair of the UK government’s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, and has served on advisory committees for BBSRC and the Royal Society. He was appointed A D White Professor-at-Large by Cornell University from 2001, and was Founding Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. He received an OBE in 2006 for services to sustainable agriculture, an honorary degree from Ohio State University, and the British Science Association Presidential Medal (Agriculture and Food) in 2015. He was appointed President of Essex Wildlife Trust in 2019, is Chair of the Essex Climate Action Commission, and was also a trustee for WWF-UK. This Luminous Coast was winner of New Angle Prize for Literature, and The East Country was winner of the East Anglian book of the year. He host of 80 podcasts and films (in the series Louder Than Words and Brighter Futures), and writes the series The Climate Chronicles at  

Jules Pretty - Sea Sagas of the North
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