Writing in The Spectator in August, Andrew Marr said: ‘I’ve been regretting the absence of the physical book festival not least because my own book Elizabethans comes out in October … I want to talk abut it relentlessly. Virtual conversations don’t have anything like the tension and excitement … Zoom lacks oomph.’

That’s exactly what the organisers of Cuckfield Bookfest felt as we wrestled with the problem of whether or not to have a physical book festival in these extraordinary times. Finally we compromised and have organised a one-day festival plus the ever-popular literary quiz the night before.  

On Saturday 14th November there will be five events at the Queen’s Hall, Cuckfield. Those appearing are Gavin Mortimer with Alan Judd, Kate Mosse with Kate Harris, Toby Young with Peter Guttridge, Damian Barr with Julian Worricker and Allie Esiri with two actors, Annette Badland and Hugh Ross,  reading from Allie’s latest poetry anthology A Poem for Every Winter Day. The literary quiz will also be at the Queen’s Hall, on the evening of Friday 13th November.  

For those concerned about COVID security, we want to assure you that current local and governmental COVID-19 regulations will be adhered to at all times during Bookfest. Social distancing and hygiene measures will be arranged and enforced and all risk assessment requirements will be prioritised and met for the protection of everyone involved. Further information will be available on our website nearer the time.


For those concerned about COVID security, we want to assure you that current local and governmental COVID-19 regulations will be adhered to at all times during Bookfest. Social distancing and hygiene measures will be arranged and enforced and all risk assessment requirements will be prioritised and met for the protection of everyone involved. Further information will be available on our website nearer the time.

Obviously Cuckfest 2020 will not be like the three previous festivals – the audience won’t exceed 45 people, there will be no supper at Ockenden Manor, no refreshments, no children’s events, an hour between each event to allow for sanitising and none of the slightly chaotic coming together of lots of festival groupies.   But one of the people asked to come said:

‘…delighted to learn that the book festival will go ahead. That is wonderful, and I think it so important in these strange times that we find ways to share and celebrate wonderful writing.’

We do hope you agree that this is the right spirit, that you will feel confident about your safety and that you will come to enjoy Cuckfield Book Festival. Each talk will be filmed and in the days that follow the festival, will be available to watch on YouTube.

For tickets  (£10.00 each) go to ticketsource.co.uk/cuckfieldbookfest . In the event of a second wave of coronavirus and we have to cancel, or any other related problem, we will refund tickets. For more information, check out the website. www.cuckfieldbookfest.co.uk . Any questions, please contact [email protected]