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More in this section Conferences and Festivals


Andrew Motion at R:Fest Creativity DayPrudence Chamberlain at POLYply Rachel Piercy reading at RFest RHUL archive item Aerial view of Founders Building North Quad at RHUL

The Runnymede International Literary Festival aims to encourage a love of literature within the community. Organised by Royal Holloway in association with the Runnymede Literary Association and Runnymede Borough Council, events include a programme of lectures and workshops on the Royal Holloway campus in Egham, a series of readings from Professional writers and Royal Holloway MA Creative Writing students and a 'Creativity Day' for local schoolchildren.

For details of the next R:Fest programme, visit the Runnymede International Literary Festival homepage.

R: Fest 2018

Click to view the programme for R:Fest 2018

R: Fest 2016

There were three main themes for the 2016 festival: the centenary of World War I; the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth; and the human rights theme that was part of the celebration of the Magna Carta last year.

The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth was celebrated by a reading of Henry IV, Part I organised by Harry Newman and by a lecture on the real Henry IV by Dr Catherine Nall.

Click to view the programme for R:Fest 2016

R:Fest 2015: Magna Carta

Sealed 800 years ago in Runnymede, the Runnymede International Literary Festival 2015 marked the celebration of the Magna Carta with a series of public readings and discussions, which particularly examined its relevance in contemporary society. 

Speakers  included Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, former British Ambassador to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, Professor Peter  Hennessy, Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield and Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London, amongst others.

Click to view the programme for R:Fest 2015

R:Fest 2014

Marking the 100th anniversary of World War One, the 2014 Runnymede International Literary Festival's series of public readings and discussions were inspired by the Great War.

Sir Andrew Motion, Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, said: “More than any other conflict, the First World War is credited with creating some of the finest literature ever written, which is as poignant today as it was both during the war and immediately after it.

“It is very fitting that this year’s Runnymede International Literary Festival, now in its ninth year, acknowledges the centenary of the First World War in this way and we hope the public will enjoy and learn from the expertise we have here at Royal Holloway.”

Click to view the programme for R:Fest 2014

R:Fest 2013 

The theme of the 2013 festival was ‘Science Fiction, Science Fact.’ The programme included talks by academic staff around the theme of 'The Body and Medicine', and a series of readings of published work and work in progress by novelists and poets. In addition, there was an exciting month-long programme of creative writing workshops available for schools, including a full day at Royal Holloway's Egham campus on Wednesday 13 March.

Festival Director, Professor Robert Hampson, said: “Last year's festival was the most successful I can remember. We had large audiences at all the events, and they were wildly responsive. The quality of the work read this year was particularly high – from our own students as much as the high profile authors. I know the event will continue to grow and flourish year on year.”

The gallery below shows images of the creative workshops with local schoolchildren and of readings by poets and novelists. Look out for the video, coming soon!

Click to view the programme for R:Fest 2013

The gallery below shows images of the creative workshops with local schoolchildren and of readings by poets and novelists. 


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