Stroud Book Festival 2023 is Here!

Dear Festival Friends


Stroud Book Festival 2023 is here! We are thrilled with all your support for this year’s programme, and are much looking forward to welcoming Festival goers to all our events over the next week.

The Festival gets under way in style this evening with another sold-out Stroud Short Stories event at the Cotswold Playhouse. Then this coming Wednesday evening, we’ll be welcoming the one and only Tom Kerridge to Stroud Sub Rooms as we launch our core Festival programme. At the time of writing there were just a few tickets left, so if you’d like to come along, please act fast!

Whilst we love bringing famous names to Stroud, part of the fun and intrigue of a book festival is the opportunity to discover lesser-known writers for the first time. So if you’re still deciding which events to book, here are a few last minute suggestions which promise to be absolute gems:



Friday 10 November, 21.00-22.00 at Sub Rooms

There are times when I have to stop and think – 

did all of that really happen to me?

Irishman Paul Charles is one of the leading music agents on the planet. Over the past 40 years he has worked with some of the biggest names in music, managing the careers of Van Morrison, Ray Davies of The Kinks, Gerry Rafferty, The Waterboys and Dexys Midnight Runners, while acting as agent and confidant to scores of other artists: Tom Waits, Don McLean, Marianne Faithfull, Ronnie Spector…the list goes on.

In his unique memoir, “Adventures in Wonderland”, he tells his own story: how a music-mad youngster from County Derry got caught up in the allure of rock ’n’ roll and took to London in the heady days of the 1960s music revolution.

From the moment he fell in love with music when he heard The Beatles’ “Please, Please Me” to booking the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury for the past 30 years, he provides enthralling insights into the world, and the business of music.

Join us for some jaw-dropping insider stories, and an enthralling conversation between Paul and Peter van Hooke, music producer and drummer for bands including Mike & the Mechanics.



Saturday 11 November, 19.30-20.30 at Lansdown Hall

We carry on living and we tend to our garden one day at a time, one tree at a time.

Born in Kyiv when it was still a city in the Soviet Union, to a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother, Victoria Belim grew up in an ethnically diverse family in which her forebears lovingly tended their cherry orchard and rarely spoke of the trials they had suffered in the past. In her memoir, “The Rooster House”, described by SBF Programme Director Caroline Sanderson as a “Wild Swans for Ukraine”, she delves into the history of four generations of her family, and the harrowing secret at its heart.

We are thrilled to welcome Victoria – who joins us all the way from her home in Brussels – to Stroud. If you love memoir, family stories, and would like to better understand the roots of the current conflict in Ukraine, this is an event not to miss.



GRAND OLD OAK AND THE BIRTHDAY BALL with Rachel Piercey (Ages 5+)

Saturday 11 November, 10.00-11.00 at Lansdown Hall

One of the most truly beautiful and engaging children’s books we’ve seen this year is “Grand Old Oak and the Birthday Ball”, with delightful nature poems by Rachel Piercey and glorious accompanying illustrations by Freya Hartas. Full of nature facts & stats, there are 100 things for children to spot in Brown Bear Wood on every spread.

Author Rachel Piercey will be with us for an enchanting event for children aged five and over, celebrating both poetry and nature. Don’t miss it, especially if you love bears and trees.


You can find out about all our Stroud Book Festival events on our website, and buy your tickets online from You can also book by calling 01453 796880, or in-person at the box office at the Sub Rooms (Tuesday-Saturday, 9-4pm).

And a final reminder to follow us on social media for all the latest Festival updates.

Twitter: @bookstroud




Thank you so much for all your support, and see you very soon!

With love from

The Stroud Book Festival team x


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