Way With Words literary festival returns to Southwold this November

Southwold, with its distinctive lighthouse is one of the most beautiful towns on the Suffolk coast

Southwold, with its distinctive lighthouse is one of the most beautiful towns on the Suffolk coast and will be hosting the Way With Words literary festival from November 4-8 - Credit: Archant

Ways With Words, Suffolk’s festival of words and ideas, returns to Southwold this November with a packed programme of high profile speakers.

Ways With Words had been a regular feature of the Suffolk cultural calendar for many years but was forced to postpone 2020’s event when, like so many organisations, it was forced to call off the scheduled festival because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

But now, Ways With Words is returning to the Southwold Arts Centre from November 4-8, bringing a glittering selection of fantastic speakers to the coastal town, including novelists, biographers, historians, political commentators, journalists and comedians.

Suffolk resident and author Esther Freud will be discussing her latest novel at Southwold's Way With Words Festival

Suffolk resident and author Esther Freud will be discussing her latest novel at Southwold's Way With Words Festival - Credit: Way With Words Festival

British novelists Deborah Moggach, Alison Weir, Esther Freud and Salley Vickers all feature in the line-up discussing their latest novels. Former journalist and now writer of fiction and non-fiction Gavin Esler will discuss the future of Britain.

Guardian journalist Luke Harding joins the festival to discuss the on-going struggle the West faces with Russia and Rory Cellan-Jones, former technology correspondent for the BBC, will talk about the political and cultural impact of the smartphone.

Comedian Natalie Haynes, known for Stand Up for the Classics on Radio 4, explores the women of Greek myths and Robin Ince, comedian and host of The Infinite Monkey Cage, argues why we should all be falling in love with science.

Long-serving broadcast journalist Gavin Esler will be one of the leading speakers at the Southwold Way With Words Festival

Long-serving broadcast journalist Gavin Esler will be one of the leading speakers at the Southwold Way With Words Festival - Credit: Way With Words Festival

And there are homegrown literary stars too: Robert Jellicoe shares the lost voices of Southwold culture, while artist Tessa Newcomb explores her longstanding relationship with Suffolk.

Most Read

“We are here to celebrate books, literature, culture and ideas, and it feels wonderful to be returning to Southwold” said Leah Varnell, director of the festival. “It was devastating to cancel the festival last year. The impact on the arts generally has been profound.”

Leah confides that Ways With Words isn’t out of the woods yet. ”There is a very real question mark hanging over our future. We need our Southwold festival to be well supported to give the festival the best chance of survival in these challenging times.”

Ways With Words at Southwold Arts Centre will run from Thursday November 4 to Monday November 8. Tickets are available online or phone 01803 8678373. Catch-up streamed tickets are also available which will enable audience members to access talks 24 hours after the event for four weeks. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter