Cuckfield Bookfest 2021

October 8th, 9th and 10th.

During the long dreary months of lockdown in January and February we dreamed of being able to put on a live festival in October. Boris Johnson’s roadmap doesn’t reach as far as the autumn but there is a feeling that
restrictions will lift gradually over the next months and that it will be possible for people to meet again with other people by October. No doubt some restrictions will remain but we can’t sit on our hands and wait to see.

We are daring to hope that Cuckfield Book Festival will be live again and are beginning to plan the programme. There will probably be fewer events and some of the sessions previously held in smaller spaces may have to be curtailed. We will of course follow the advice and guidance of the government that will no doubt continue to be forthcoming at regular intervals. The artistic director of a literary festival not unlike Cuckfest in terms of size said recently:

‘I think having some kind of live festival is crucial, though, after a year’s absence. Festivals don’t just rely on audiences but on an army of local volunteers and a groundswell of local support and these both need the sustenance of a live festival buzz to keep them going.’


Cuckfield Bookfest 2021


Cuckfield Book Festival is entirely dependent on sponsorship and donations for funding, and on ticket sales. Several local individuals and companies have generously supported us since 2017 and enabled us to expand the programme. Many people gave us donations during Cuckfest 2020 and grateful thanks to them again. If you would like to donate now, please click HERE

Big Book Group

We do have one piece of exciting news!  The book for the Big Book Group for Cuckfest 2021 is The Year Without Summer by Guinevere Glasfurd.

One event, six lives, a world changed:
Looking at a turning point in history, The Year Without Summer takes a climate catastrophe and explores how this moment impacted on class politics, scrutinises exploitation and injustice, and gives voice to those previously silenced in a historical novel that is prescient to our times, and future.

First published in hardback in 2020 and now in paperback, it was praised by many reviewers:




As usual, the author will be coming to the festival, talking about her book and answering questions. So if you are planning the programme for your book group for 2021, please do consider adding this fascinating book to it. It will feature on Sunday 10th October.

More news to follow soon plus details of the children’s festival, to be held again in the Old School, Cuckfield, on Saturday 9th October.

We do hope this is the first of several positive newsletters and that there will be a live festival in 2021. Many thanks for your continuing interest and support.

Sheila Mortimer
Head of Programming