Trinity Literary Festival



Bobby Nayyar (1997) was born in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1979. He read French and Italian at Trinity College, Cambridge. He has been published in the Mango Shake and Too Asian, Not Asian Enough anthologies, and journals including Wasafiri and Aesthetica.

Boyd Tonkin is a writer, journalist and critic who re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2001 and judged it each year until 2015. For many years the Literary Editor of The Independent, he then became the paper’s Senior Writer and Art Critic. He studied English and French literature at Cambridge University, and lectured in literature before becoming an award-winning magazine journalist, and freelance writer and interviewer for The Observer.

Helen studied MML at Trinity and entered the world of publishing after completing an MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes. She worked for a literary agency for several years before entering the world of foreign rights and held positions selling translation rights for Usborne and Orion Children’s books before joining Atwood Tate, a specialist publishing recruitment agency in 2010.

Hugh Thomson (1979) is a writer and film-maker who believes strongly that the world is not as explored as we like to suppose.

Julia Eccleshare is a writer, broadcaster and lecturer, and the Guardian’s children’s books editor. She is a judge of the Branford Boase first novel prize and was a judge for the Whitbread Children’s Book prize in 2001. She won the Eleanor Farjeon Award in 2000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to children’s books.

Adrian Poole is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity College.

Richard Charkin is President of the International Publishers Association and Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. He is responsible for Bloomsbury’s general publishing activities throughout the world. He is also a non-executive director of the Institute of Physics Publishing. He is Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals in Doha. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Frankfurt Book Fair and President of the Book Society.

Sam Angus studied English at Trinity and writes historical novels for children.

Simon Rees was born in 1958, and educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge, matriculating in 1976.

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories. In 2014, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than fifteen countries. In September 2016, her second Poirot novel, Closed Casket, will be published.


10:30 am

Tea & coffee on arrival

11:00 am

Opening Plenary:​ ​Hugh Thomson (1979) In Conversation with Professor Adrian Poole (1967)

Tea & Coffee

12:10 am

Journalism panel chaired by Boyd Tonkin (1974): Gate-keepers or taste-makers? Reviewers and editors in the age of infinite opinion. ​

1:10 pm

Lunch - During which you will be able to visit the bookshop, take stroll around the grounds or listen to poetry from Simon Rees (1976)

2:00 pm

Afternoon Elective

Sophie Hannah (Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts, 1997-1999​) & Boris Starling (1988): Writing wrongs. Why does crime fiction have such enduring appeal?
Samantha Angus (1986) and Julia Eccleshare: Once upon a time is forever. The New Golden Age of Children’s Literature.
3:00 pm

Tea & coffee

3:15 pm

Closing Plenary on Publishing

Richard Charkin (1967) & Helen Speedy (1999): Freedom to Publish - Today's Reality
4:15 pm

Closing remarks

4:30 pm



Kings Weston House is a Grade 1 listed building that was completed in 1719 and designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, who also designed Blenheim Palace.


If driving, the address for sat nav is:
Kings Weston House
Kings Weston Lane
BS11 0UR