Welcome to Cuckfield Book Festival!

2021 Festival Dates

October 8th, 9th & 10th

Tickets on sale NOW and selling out fast!

Tickets on sale NOW

Book early to avoid disappointment

Looking forward to

Cuckfield Bookfest 2021

Cuckfest 2021 is our fifth book festival so something to celebrate after over a year of limited opportunities for listening live to authors talking about their books. We’re planning a packed couple of days plus a day of events for children.

This year the supper at Ockenden Manor is not taking place but the legendary literary quiz, compiled by local book enthusiasts, is scheduled for Friday night in the Queen’s Hall where more people can be seated. There will also be an elegant afternoon tea at Ockenden – the perfect gift for someone special.

The range of authors coming is eclectic, varied and entertaining. The programme is now complete and will be distributed locally in the next few weeks. It is also available to view online below.

Tickets are on sale now!

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Cuckfield Bookfest

Cuckfield Bookfest Lineup

Festival Supporters

Hurstpierpoint College is heading the list of generous sponsors so far as our Platinum Supporter so a big thank you to them.  Adelphi and Cumnor House Sussex are our Gold Sponsors and our Silver package has been generously supported by Ockenden Manor. For a full list of our wonderful supporters please click here.

Cuckfest is entirely dependent on ticket sales and sponsorship and almost entirely run by volunteers. For more information on how to support the festival, please contact info@cuckfieldbookfest.co.uk

Afternoon Tea at Ockenden Manor

Ockenden ManorTranquil, elegant and indulgent, that  is Ockenden Manor in Cuckfield and  afternoon tea there will be the perfect way  to spend Sunday afternoon. Limited to  just 30 people, it makes a wonderful gift  for someone who deserves to be spoiled.  Tea consists of a delicious selection  of sandwiches, scones with clotted  cream, cakes and various blends of tea,  accompanied by a glass of Ridgeview  sparkling wine. 

And the icing on the cake will be the  presence of Annette Badland, an award winning actress recently appearing in  Strike, Criminal 2, Ted Lasso and as the  pathologist Fleur Perkins in Midsomer  Murders. Annette will be reading a  selection of poems, reminiscing about her  acting career and answering questions. 

Tickets are £39.50 each and are only available by contacting

Book Club

For enthusiastic book club members, we have chosen The Year Without Summer by Guinevere Glasfurd. The book tells the story of a fateful year when temperatures fell and summer failed to arrive as the result of a cataclysmic eruption in Indonesia. Lives both ordinary and privileged were changed forever.

We do hope book clubs will add this title to their programme for 2021 and come along to hear Guinevere talk about it.

Cuckfield Bookfest 2021

Cuckfield Bookfest 2021      ©Stefano Masse
Guinevere Glasfurd was born in Lancaster and lives near Cambridge with her husband and daughter.

The Year Without Summer has been longlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2021.

Children’s Bookfest

Saturday 9th October – Old School Hall, Cuckfield

There is so much in store for children and their families during the Children’s Bookfest. From interactive quizzes and colouring to rhymes and dress-up, there will be much to entertain children of all ages. Adults are free but must book a ticket and supervise their children at all times.

With four authors joining us there is a great range of books and events for children all the way from pre-schoolers up to those 12 years of age. Local author Sally Symes will kick off the proceedings on Saturday morning with her fun and enchanting activities for under fives.

Rhymes with Symes

Sally SymesBring your wriggly little people along for some finger-wiggling giggle-time with Sally Symes! There’ll be rhymes and wriggles and dressing up too – with a suitably sleepy ending to finish off the session. Perfect for book-mad children of five and under.

Sally Symes is successful local author and we are delighted to welcome her to this year’s Bookfest. She has worked for many years as a designer of children’s books before turning her skills to writing them too. Her collaborations with Nick Sharratt have won many awards including The Educational Writers’ Award for The Gooey, Chewy Rumble Plop Book and The Southampton Favourite Book to Share Award for Something Beginning With Blue. She was a Senior Editor at Campbell/Macmillan Children’s Books for over four years and now works as a freelance writer and book designer for children aged up to 10 years.

Other authors joining us for the Children’s Bookfest include Cath Howe, Helen Peters and Andrew Pettie. Click here for more information or to book.

Poetry Competition

We are also running a Poetry Competition which is open to all children from Reception to Year 6. The theme is The Environment and is kindly sponsored by Author, TV Presenter and comedian, Mel Giedroyc.

Winners will be announced on 9th October at the festival and there will be prizes for each year group.

Click here for more information on how to enter.

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 for £25 per person

Not only will you be supporting the festival, but also you will have the advantage of a three-day early booking slot, ensuring you don’t miss out on tickets.


Terms and conditions apply. Subscription is for 2021 Cuckfield Bookfest event.