/ Sector News

Hillsborough Festival of Literature and Ideas, Friday 26 – Sunday 28 April 2019

The second Hillsborough Festival of Literature and Ideas takes place Friday 26 – Sunday 28 April 2019, with a diverse line-up encompassing poetry, prose, music, workshops and talks. Founded by The John Hewitt Society, the festival team have worked with novelist, journalist and broadcaster Ian Sansom to curate this year’s festival programme.

Highlights include James Runcie, creator of popular ITV drama Grantchester, acclaimed novelist Janice Galloway, founder of London restaurant Darjeeling Express and star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table Asma Khan, short stories from Wendy Erskine & June Caldwell and Wuthering Nights: An Ode To Kate Bush with musicians Alana Henderson & LARKS, the new project from Fiona O’Kane.

Collaborations with local groups throughout the year have ensured that community involvement is at the centre of this event, with participation and support from Historic Royal Palaces, local churches, bars and retailers.

This three-day book festival promises over 30 events, to provide visitors and residents with a new perspective on the picturesque Georgian village.

Hilary Copeland, General Manager of The John Hewitt Society, said, “The John Hewitt Society is delighted to return to Hillsborough for the second year of the Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas. The warm reception, enthusiasm for the idea and support from everyone in the village encouraged us to create another celebration of reading, writing, talks, music, and workshops, all taking place across the picturesque Georgian village.

“It has been a pleasure to work in collaboration with several partners over the past year to establish links with local residents and community groups across the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area, including Historic Royal Palaces, The Institute of Conflict Research, and with Poetry Ireland on our Writers in Schools programme.”

The festival also offers several events for children and families, including The Great Hillsborough Book Hunt, writing and craft workshops, and Writers in Schools visits in association with Poetry Ireland. The festival also brings to a culmination Historic Royal Palaces’ month-long celebration of the reopening of Hillsborough Castle.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature at Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “Visitors to the Hillsborough Festival of Literature and Ideas have much to look forward to this spring. We wish The John Hewitt Society and all those involved the very best of luck with this year’s programme and look forward to what promises to be a tremendous weekend of events.”

Ciara Hickey from Historic Royal Palaces, said “Historic Royal Palaces are very pleased to welcome back The John Hewitt Society & the Festival of Literature and Ideas to the beautiful town of Hillsborough. We are delighted to have increased our partnership with The John Hewitt Society this year and have programmed special literary events to coincide with our exciting new Easter offer, which explores some of the key characters from Hillsborough Castle over the past 300 years.  As part of this year’s festival we are also developing a special publication by NI based writers and local community groups which we will launch as part of the festival.’’

The festival is supported by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and is delivered by the team behind the John Hewitt International Summer School, a six-day festival of culture and creativity, taking place 22-27 July 2019 in Armagh.

  • Festival programme available at www.johnhewittsociety.org/events
  • For more information please contact Hilary Copeland, General Manager, The John Hewitt Society at hilary@johnhewittsociety.org or on 028 9032 4522.
  • The John Hewitt Society would like to offer special thanks to the Institute of Conflict Research, Historic Royal Palaces and No Alibis Bookstore for making this year’s festival possible.
  • Supported by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
  • The John Hewitt Society gratefully acknowledges the support of its principal funder The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.