The Stratford Literary Festival finished on Sunday after 8 days of superb events covering a full range of topics from politics to triathlons, Post Truth to #MeToo, Gromit to the opinions of Radio 2 listeners, poetry to the architectural wonders of the world.

With several thousand tickets sold, packed audiences and several sell out events, it confirmed its place as one of the highlights of the region’s calendar.

Craft and writing workshops, free events for pre-schoolers and children’s day on 29th April proved especially popular and the whole week rounded off with a Big Draw challenge which included the multi-million selling Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler, pitting his skills agent other illustrators include Emma Yarlett and Festival book award winner Camille Whitcher.

Comedian Harry Hill wowed the audience with his bonkers humour, and all three Aardman model making workshops sold out and had waiting lists.

“We have been thrilled by the response to the Festival this year,’ said Director Annie Ashworth.

‘The different events on offer drew a very varied audience and it was wonderful to see so many young people come along.  Though we will find a new home for 2019 if we have to, the ArtsHouse is the perfect hub for the Festival, and I hope very much that a way forward can be found so that we can return there next year. Our thanks go to the team there who handled the busy week with huge professionalism”

The Festival’s shorter winter programme will take place from 8th to 11th November and details will be announced in September.

All photography by: Rupert Barnes Photography

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