Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the festival dates?
The festival starts on Thursday 3 October and ends on Sunday 6 October. See the full programme on the What’s On page.
2. How do the authors’ sessions work?
Each author either introduces themself or is introduced by a moderator (or interviewer). They then may read a page or two of their book to give the audience a flavour of it and then discuss it with the moderator. The last 15 minutes of the session consists of questions from the audience. Sometimes the author talks alone and describes their book and how it came to be written.
3. Are there any events for children?
Yes, on Saturday October 5, there are four events for children at the Old School in Cuckfield. The first at 10.30am is for younger children and lasts for 45 minutes. Each children’s event is an activity session so no time to get bored! The last one, at 3.00pm, is for 9-13 years.
4. Do adults accompanying their children have to buy a ticket?
Yes, everyone attending (except under 12 months) requires a ticket.
5. What is the policy on 16-24 year olds for the adult sessions?
Providing places are available on the day, we offer you tickets at £5.00 each (instead of £10). These are only available at the door, for cash or cheque.
6. Is photography permitted?
No photography is allowed in either the adult or children’s sessions.
7. Is it necessary to have read the books featured?
No, absolutely not. It might be interesting to do so for the Big Book Group but not by any means essential.
8. Can I volunteer for the festival?
Yes, volunteers welcome. Please email via the contact page for information
9. What type of volunteering is required?
Stewarding at the events, acting as ‘buddy’ for a speaker, using the roving microphone, helping with catering, generally answering question, picking up from the station etc.
10. What is parking like in Cuckfield?
The car parks are shown at the back of the programme. For the children’s events, there is a small car park by the Old School approached via Church Platt (RH17 5LA). If using the Broad Street Car Park on Saturday 5 October, a disc is required. This can be obtained from several village shops (indicated on the board in the car park). We will have a few available for £1 each at the Queen’s Hall. There is usually on street car parking in the village.
11. Are there facilities for people with disabilities?
There is disabled access in the Old School and in the Queen’s Hall downstairs only – there is a lift upstairs but only to the museum, not the event venue. There is no disabled access to the Hayloft in the Talbot.
12. Is it possible to buy books?
Yes. Waterstones will be selling books and the authors will be happy to sign any you purchase.
13. Are there eating opportunities in Cuckfield?
Yes, there are coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants throughout the village. We will be offering simple refreshments at the Queen’s Hall and the Old School.,
14. Is there an ATM in the village?
Yes, both Co-Ops (one at either end of the village) have one.
15. Anything else to do in Cuckfield?
It’s a delightful village with several clothes shops, a saddlery, antiques and a candy store amongst others. Holy Trinity Church is an outstanding 13th century building with a beautiful Kempe-decorated ceiling. If you are interested in local history, head for Cuckfield Museum (upstairs in the Queen’s Hall) with excellent collections. Lots on dinosaurs and there is also a memorial on Whitemans Green that marks the site of the discovery of Iguandon.
16. How is the Book Festival funded?
We rely on the generosity of local companies and individuals for sponsorship and this year we are particularly grateful to Hurstpierpoint College, Adelphi Holdings, Cumnor House Sussex, The Talbot and Ockenden Manor. If you are interested in sponsoring us in the future, please contact us. Ticket sales obviously help to fund us so the more tickets we sell, the happier we are.
17. How is the Book Festival organised?
There is a board of four people (Elspeth Chasser, Sheila Chasser, Sue Laing and Sheila Mortimer) who form a Community Interest Company (CIC) registered with Companies House. This means that the Book Festival is entirely focussed on providing benefit to the community, local businesses and the authors who come. The main job of organising the festival is done by a management team, led by Sheila Mortimer. The team takes care of programming, finance, social media, the children’s programme, catering, marketing and volunteers.