Free Word Festival, London – 16 September – 9 October 2009

Not a digital event as such, but Kate Pullinger will be talking at the opening event, and there will be lots of interest to writers of both the print and electronic variety!


The Free Word Centre, the UK’s first house of literature, literacy and free expression, will open with a three-week extravaganza celebrating the written word, with debates, talks, readings and workshops beginning on September 16th 2009.

The festival goes on until until October 9th 2009 with highlights including an Arvon event presenting new writing from four of today’s most talented and innovative writers: Kate Pullinger, currently working on Flight Paths; Rick Gekoski, whose book Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir was recently published; Julia Bell, taking on campus novel Wise Up!; and Jake Arnott, whose most recent novel is The Devil’s Paintbrush.

There will also be practical advice for aspiring writers as The Literary Consultancy invites you to join them for an insight into the publishing industry and the opportunity to talk about your works-in-progress and how to move your ideas forward with the guidance of literary experts, while other events will get you out and about as poet John Hegley will lead a stroll around Free Word’s literary Clerkenwell neighbourhood.

If you would rather stretch your mind than your legs, head for the debates, ranging from the place of theatre in society to the purpose of picture books, and the worth of words, with input from Tiago Bartolomeu Costa, one of Portugal’s leading cultural commentators, Children’s Laureate and internationally acclaimed author and illustrator Anthony Browne, award-winning authors and illustrators Emily Gravett and Catherine Rayner, and South Bank Centre Artist in Residence Lemn Sissay.

The miscellany of wordy riches have been put together by Free Word and the Centre’s nine resident organisations: Apples & Snakes, Arvon, ARTICLE l9, Booktrust, English PEN, Index on Censorship, the Reading Agency, The Literary Consultancy and Dalkey Archive Press.

All events are free but places must be reserved. The events are held at Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA.

To reserve a place, please contact Free Word on: 0207 324 2570 or email: bookings [at]
For further information, please visit