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9 Things not to miss at Stroud Book Festival

Stroud Book Festival has a knock-out lineup this year, from the award-winning writer Michael Morpurgo and TV entrepreneur Mary Portas to bestselling author Kate Mosse. Want to know what to make a beeline for? Here's our pick from the 30 fantastic events going on.


We adore a boutique book festival at Muddy so we were beyond excited to hear that the brilliant Stroud Book Festival is BACK.

Coming to venues around Stroud from 3 – 7 November, expect five fabulous days of talks, workshops and performances for all ages that will inspire, inform and entertain in equal measure.

Founded in 2016 by author Jamila Gavin, the Festival has grown from a small local gathering to an event topping 4,500 people in 2019. The first five years played host to the likes of Lemn Sissay, Julia Donaldson, Ian McEwan, Kamal Ahmed, Joanna Trollope and Prue Leith. Back stronger than ever after a brief pandemic hiatus, there are some unimissable authors in this year’s lineup.

Want to see who’s on the celebrity clipboard this year and what to book? Clear your diaries for our pick of the talks right here.

Best for families – Michael Morpurgo The Butterfly Lion

What? 35 million books sold, need we say more? Beloved author and former Children’s Laureate Sir Michael Morpurgo joins Stroud Book Festival to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his much-loved story The Butterfly Lion. One not to miss. Tickets £8.

When? Sat 6th November, 12–1pm, Subscription Rooms, Stroud (Ages 7+).

Best for teens and young adultsStuart Lawrence Silence is Not an Option

What? Teacher, mentor and motivational speaker Stuart Lawrence, who has campaigned tirelessly against racism since the murder of his brother Stephen Lawrence in 1993, offers inspirational tools and advice both to adults and to young people looking to create a better future for themselves and their peers. Tickets £10.

When? Thurs 4th November, 7–8pm, Lansdown Hall, Stroud (Ages 12+).

Best for littlest festival-goersLydia Monks What the Ladybird Heard

What? Storytelling, live drawing and a crime-busting ladybird – what more can you ask for from a children’s event? Author and picture book illustrator Lydia Monks takes us on a journey to discover what exactly the ladybird heard. Tickets: £5.

When? Sun 7th November, 2.30–3.15pm, Subscription Rooms, Stroud (Ages 3-6).

Best for thrill(er) seekersFriday Night Thrills with Melanie Golding and Clare Mackintosh.

What? For binge-readers of thrillers and psychological suspense, look no further than Friday Night Thrills with bestselling authors Melanie Golding and Clare Mackintosh, who will talk about their work, and explore why thrillers are a mainstay of the fiction bestseller lists! Tickets: £10.

When? Fri 5th November, 8.30–9.30pm, Subscription Rooms, Stroud.

Best for nature lovers Anita Sethi, I Belong Here

What? During the pandemic, many of us who are lucky enough to live close to nature have embraced the joys of walking in the wild like never before. Anita Sethi discusses how walking has helped her heal and empowered her to speak out about societal injustice. Her book is a a powerful blend of memoir, nature writing and activism, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing. Tickets £10.

When? Sun 7th November, 12–1pm, Subscription Rooms, Stroud.

Best for budding activistsJay Griffiths Why Rebel

What? In the spirit of Extinction Rebellion and in the face of our unprecedented (yet predicted) climate emergency, Jay Griffiths calls for urgent action in her passionate and poetic manifesto. Tickets £10.

When? Thurs 4th November, 8.30–9.30pm, Subscription Rooms, Stroud.

Best for entrepreneursMary Portas Rebuild: How to thrive in the new Kindness Economy

What? “People. Planet. Profit. In that order.” Mary Portas discusses how we’ve been doing business all wrong, and how in order to thrive we need to shift to a Kindness Economy. Tickets: £10

When? Sat 6th November, 4–5pm, Subscription Rooms, Stroud

Best for eco-evangelists – The Extraordinary Book that Eats Itself by Penny Arlon and Susan Hayes

What? Most books are designed just to be read, but not this one. Every page transforms into a project that helps the environment and recycles the book in the process. In this combined event and workshop, meet the authors who will give you brilliant ideas for small things you can do to make a difference, from making your own pine cone bird feeder to take home, along with an eco-badge to help spread the word. Tickets: £5

When? Saturday 6th November, 2pm – 3pm. Subscription Rooms, Stroud.

AndThe hot ticket talkEveryday Acts of Care by Kate Mosse and Madeleine Bunting

What? A truly unmissable event with critically acclaimed and best-selling authors Kate Mosse and Madeleine Bunting, which aims to illuminate the discussion around our attitudes to caring for the elderly and vulnerable, both as a nation and as individuals called on to look after others. Tickets: £10

When? Sat 6th November, 2–3pm, Subscription Rooms, Stroud

Want to see the full line up and book? Head to and book tickets here.

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