Lewisham Literary Festival launched

Something’s stirring down in Hither Green….

Everybody reads, whether it’s War and Peace, the Metro over a fellow passenger’s shoulder or an advert. We want to put on a Literary Festival that’s less ‘literary’ and more ‘festival’ – not serious-faced, chin-strokey readings, but something for people to enjoy.

The first Lewisham Literary Festival begins next month, and has unveiled its programme. Most of it takes place at St Swithun’s church hall in Hither Green Lane, although there’s a couple of events taking place in nearby libraries and elsewhere.

Highlights include a bookswap where you get in free with homemade cake (“A Victoria sponge from Sainsburys will get you nowhere”), a clutch of children’s events, a session on independent magazines featuring former Smoke editor and new Greenwich blogger Matt Haynes (welcome, Matt), an illustrated talk about the Docklands with historian Fiona Rule, and a night of performance poetry.

Proceeds will go to the Hither Green Hall and Arts Society and the Jimmy Mizen Foundation. It’s worth noting how the festival got its funding – through Lewisham Council’s local assemblies, in which local people can vote on causes to receive small sums of money from a fund set aside by mayor Steve Bullock. Through this system, the Lewisham Literary Festival got a leg-up from the Lewisham Central ward assembly a few months back. There’s no equivalent in Greenwich, sadly.