Cuckfield Bookfest Authors 2021

We are delighted to announce the following Authors who will be joining us for this year’s book festival.

Cuckfield Bookfest 2021
©Laurie Fletcher

Mel Giedroyc

Mel Giedroyc has been entertaining the nation for nearly 30 years so we are very delighted that she is coming to Cuckfield Bookfest on Saturday 9th October. Comedian, writer, actor and presenter, Mel has now written her first novel, The Best Things, a story of a family on the brink – and finding a way back. This is bound to be a wonderfully lively and entertaining session.


Cuckfield Book Festival 2021

Professor A.C. Grayling

Professor A C Grayling was booked for the 2020 Cuckfest so we were delighted when he agreed to come this year instead. In the meantime, he has just published another book – The Frontiers of Knowledge. A remarkable history of science, life on earth, and the human mind itself, this is a compelling and fascinating tour de force, written with Professor Grayling’s verve, clarity and remarkable breadth of knowledge.

Cuckfield Bookfest
Cuckfield Book Festival
Andrew Lownie Cuckfield Bookfest
© Nina Hollington

Andrew Lownie

Sunday Times bestselling author Andrew Lownie will join us at the festival and talk about his latest book which examines the years following the abdication of Edward VIII when the former king was kept in exile.

Traitor King: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor In Exile reveals the true story behind the German attempts to recruit the Duke as a British Pétain; the efforts, by Churchill in particular, to cover this up; the reasons why the Duke, as Governor of the Bahamas, tried to shut down the investigation into the murder of a close friend, and shines light on the relationship between the Duke and Wallis, revealing it to be far from the love story it is often assumed to be.


Ian Williams Cuckfield Bookfest



Ian Williams

We are delighted to welcome Ian Williams this year and look forward to hearing about his book Every Breath You Take – China’s New Tyranny.

This book by the award-winning journalist examines the extraordinary rise of the Chinese surveillance state, and supporting interviews and first-hand accounts highlight the ruthless efficiency with which the government can now act. There are implications too for the rest of the world: how to deal with an increasingly strident, aggressive Beijing as is one of the biggest and most urgent challenges facing the West in what has become a technological Cold War.

Cuckfield Book Festival 2021
Cuckfield Book Festival 2021
Sussex Book Festivals




Amanda Smyth

Amanda Smyth is Irish-Trinidadian and was born in Ireland. She spent long summers in Trinidad with her mother, who told her the true story of the Dome fire of 1928 that led to one of the worst oil disasters in the history of Trinidad’s oil business. This tragic tale inspired Fortune.

Smyth has created a thrilling, gripping, moving book about love, desire, and making something of one’s life set in the lush tropical beauty of Trinidad in the 1920s.


  West sussex Book Festivals
©Marcus Bastel 2020

Monique Roffey

Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born writer. Her books have been shortlisted for the COSTA Fiction Award, the Orange Prize and the Encore Award, and she won the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature. She is a Lecturer on the Novel MFA at Manchester Metropolitan University and has also taught creative writing and mentored emerging writers in Trinidad for several years, for COSTAATT, the OCM Bocas Literature Festival, and privately in Port of Spain.

Monique will introduce us to her latest book – The Mermaid of Black Conch. This dark and extraordinary love story between a fisherman and a mermaid torn from the sea was Costa Book of the Year 2020.



Cuckfield BookFest 2021
Book Festival Sussex

Cuckfield Book Festival 2021

© Bill Waters

Caroline Lea

Caroline Lea grew up in Jersey and gained a First in English Literature & Creative Writing from Warwick University.

Her 2019 novel The Glass Woman was shortlisted for the HWA Debut Crown, and is a gothic tale set amidst the Icelandic witch trials, dubbed an ‘Icelandic Jane Eyre’ by The Sunday Times.

Caroline will be joining us to talk about her new book The Metal Heart. Based on the true story of the building of the Orkney Wedding Chapel during the Second World War and set in a vanishing world of myth and superstition, this is an astonishing novel about an island community torn apart by the arrival of outsiders.


Sussex Book Festival





© Adrian Harvey

Claire Fuller

Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1967. She gained a degree in sculpture from Winchester School of Art, but went on to have a long career in marketing and didn’t start writing until she was forty. She has written three former novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize, Swimming Lessons, which was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award, and Bitter Orange.

She joins us to discuss Unsettled Ground – a thrilling novel of resilience and hope, of love and survival, that explores with dazzling emotional power how the truths closest to us are often hardest to see.

Sussex Book Festival
Sussex Book Festival

Cuckfield Book Festival 2021

© Adrian Scottow

Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Laura Shepherd-Robinson worked in politics for nearly twenty years before re-entering normal life to complete an MA in Creative Writing at City University. Blood & Sugar, her first novel, won the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown, was a Waterstones Thriller of the Month, and a Guardian and Telegraph novel of
the year.

From the brothels and gin-shops of Covent Garden to the elegant townhouses of Mayfair, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Daughters of Night follows Caroline Corsham, as she seeks justice for a murdered woman whom London society would rather forget.


Daughters of Night

Cuckfield Bookfest Tim Marshall


Tim Marshall

Tim Marshall’s global bestseller Prisoners of Geography showed how every nation’s choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Since then, the geography hasn’t changed, but the world has.

In his new book The Power of Geography, Ten Maps that Reveal the Future of Our World, Marshall explores ten regions that are set to shape global politics in a new age of great-power rivalry. Find out why Europe’s next refugee crisis is closer than it thinks as trouble brews in the Sahel; why the Middle East must look beyond oil and sand to secure its future; why the eastern Mediterranean is one of the most volatile flashpoints of the twenty-first century; and why the Earth’s atmosphere is set to become the world’s next battleground.


Tim Marshall Author

Cuckfield Bookfest 2021

© Axel Hasslenberg

Juliet Nicholson

Juliet Nicolson is the author of two works of history, The Great Silence: 1918–1920 Living in the Shadow of the Great War and The Perfect Summer: Dancing into Shadow in 1911, and a novel, Abdication.

As the grand-daughter of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson and the daughter of Nigel Nicolson she is part of a renowned and much scrutinised family and the latest in the family line of record-keepers of the past.

She will be introducing us to her new book Frostquake which explores the frozen winter of 1962 and how Britain emerged a different country.



Cuckfield Book Festival 2021



Philip Collins

Journalist Philip Collins has spent years writing speeches for high-profile politicians and big corporations. During the course of this side of his career, he realised that almost all business writing has become dreary, boring and incomprehensible. But this wasn’t always the case.

In To Be Clear, he explores why and how business writing has declined and provides a style guide for clearer, more concise writing.

His book is a call to arms, urging businesses to stop using the language of nonsense and start using language that has clarity and meaning. It’s a lucid, entertaining and practical guide for anyone who cares about language to help them improve their communications and thus also their business practices.


Cuckfield Village Events

How can I help?

Cuckfield Bookfest is a non-profit making Community Interest Company and as such relies on sponsorship, donations and ticket sales to provide a stimulating festival.  If you would like to make a donation, please click on the link below.