Newham Word Festival bringing literary fun to borough

PUBLISHED: 18:34 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:34 25 February 2019

Julian Clary will be taking part in the Newham Word Festival. Picture: KPPR

Julian Clary will be taking part in the Newham Word Festival. Picture: KPPR


The Newham Word Festival is set to return to the borough at the end of the month, showcasing artists, authors, poets and illustrators at over 70 events.

Running from February 25 to March 11, people have the opportunity to take part in debates, performances, readings and storytelling sessions, almost all of which are free and suitable for families.

The festival, now in its second year, is taking place after receiving grants from stakeholders including the Arts Council and Newham Council.

Among the events is a session with comedian and entertainer Julian Clary, who is launching his latest children’s book, The Bolds Go Wild.

Julian said: “The Bolds story is something I made up as a child and the stories can go on and on if anyone wants me to, they’re all in my head. They’re all milling around.

“I used to make up stories as a child, and I created this fantasy about the neighbours being hyenas.”

Eastlea Community School is one of many schools in the borough set to organise trips for students to the festival.

Headteacher Stephen Gillatt said: “As a school we are teaching our students to love the written word and get their creative juices flowing.

“These fantastic events give our students the chance to work with highly accomplished artists who will help to broaden their literary horizons.”

Other events taking place include an evening with award-winning journalist Kate Thompson, in conversation with author Melanie McGrath, and a talk from Duncan Barreett, who will share the true story behind the fiction of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.

Cllr Charlene McLean, cabinet member for community neighbourhoods, said: “Newham Word Festival is a celebration of how words can empower, educate, challenge, inspire and entertain. It also showcases our wonderful libraries, at a time when many in other boroughs are under threat.

“We want as many of our residents as possible to make full use of our libraries, and access the wonderful world of words, which enrich individual lives and the whole community.”

A full programme of events, including dates, times and venues for each, is available at

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