Creating a Festival

About our founders

Winchester Books Festival is a Community Interest Company. It was founded by three friends who have a mutual love of books: Sophie Liardet, Sian Searles and Louisa Symington.

The aim of the Festival is to celebrate the best of writing and books in the City where one of the UK’s best loved and most celebrated writers, Jane Austen, lived and died.

Play Video

“We are delighted again this year to be sponsoring the Winchester Books Festival, and helping both to celebrate our talented local authors and to welcome many other fantastic authors to the city. A love of learning is at the heart of the University of Winchester and this is such a special way to encourage people to enjoy the written word. We wish the second Winchester Books Festival well and look forward to it becoming an integral part of the cultural life of our city”

Professor Sarah Greer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester
Play Video

Festival sponsor

“We are delighted again this year to be sponsoring the Winchester Books Festival, and helping both to celebrate our talented local authors and to welcome many other fantastic authors to the city. A love of learning is at the heart of the University of Winchester and this is such a special way to encourage people to enjoy the written word. We wish the second Winchester Books Festival well and look forward to it becoming an integral part of the cultural life of our city” – Professor Sarah Greer, Vice-Chancellor

Event sponsors

“Reading is one of life’s great pleasures. Literature can inspire, enrich, and connect communities. We are immensely proud to be able to support Sophie and Sian for creating this spectacular and significant cultural event for the community in and around our great city.”

“Winchester is the closest city to Bombay Sapphire Distillery, so it is our home city and at the Distillery we love to support the local community and what better way to do that than through the Winchester Books Festival.’ – Anne Brock, Master Distiller & Gin Category Director, Bacardi

Play Video

“Paris Smith are proudly sponsoring the Winchester Book Festival 2024, where the wisdom of words comes alive. In tandem with this celebration, we are honoured to support acclaimed author Liz Earle and the launch of her new book, ‘A Better Second Half: Dial Back Your Age to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life.’ Wellbeing is top of the agenda at Paris Smith which makes this alignment perfect. Let’s turn the pages together and explore the boundless possibilities of living a life filled with vitality, health, and joy.”

Sponsored Events:

“As an award-winning, independent healthcare business in Winchester, REMEDI HEALTH is proud to play an important role in the local community and excited about the Winchester Books Festival 2024. We are passionate about informing and empowering individuals to make great choices to be the best and healthiest versions of themselves and are therefore delighted to be supporting the presentation by Liz Earle, ‘A Better Second Half: Dial Back Your Age to Live a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life.’”

“We are very pleased to be supporting the brilliant Winchester Books Festival, which is an important event for the local community and is enjoyed by many. We are very much looking forward to getting involved.” – Robert Tottle

Festival supporters

“The Arc is delighted to support Winchester Books Festival by hosting events in our multi purpose cultural venue”

“The Grange winery are delighted to both support and be part of the Winchester Books Festival 2024. Literature is woven into the fabric of this city and the festival has crafted an incredible sense of community for all. We look forward to seeing the success of this fabulous and inclusive event grow and marvel at all the brilliant people who have put their hearts and souls into putting it together”

“For the second year we are delighted to host the Winchester Books Festival 2024 in the beautiful and historic Milner Hall. The Books Festival brings communities together to celebrate a love of books”.

P&G Wells

“P&G Wells has been Winchester’s independent bookshop for nearly 300 years. We are delighted to be supporting the return of a local independent books festival, now in its second year and set to become a key feature of Winchester’s cultural calendar.”

“We are thrilled to be supporting Winchester Books Festival as Ticketing Partner for the 2nd year, as well as hosting a number of the events at Theatre Royal Winchester. This festival is a great addition to the cultural scene of Winchester.”

“Winchester BID is delighted to be supporting Winchester Books Festival. This event appeals to people of all ages and brings people into the city to celebrate the joy of books. We’re excited this year to see the inaugural Children’s Book Festival and are proud to support both events.”

“With Winchester Cathedral’s rich heritage in literature and the arts, we are delighted to support the Winchester Books Festival and bring the world of books and the joy of reading to a wider audience.”

Alison Evans, Chief Operating Officer Winchester Cathedral

“Winchester College is delighted to be supporting the Winchester Books Festival for the second year running. Broadening horizons and engaging culturally across the city is at the very heart of the school’s ethos, we are proud to be hosting a number of the extraordinary speakers that Winchester Books Festival bring to Winchester.”

Keep up to date about the latest events and announcements for the festival

Sign up to get the latest information on our events