The Greenwich Book Festival returns for its fifth year this June

The Greenwich Book Festival returns for its fifth year on June 13-16 with its “strongest line-up yet”.

This summer’s programme for book lovers, young and old, is shaped by the themes of social activism, different perspectives and women’s voices.

Headliners Michael Palin will deliver a presentation about his book Erebus: The Story of a Ship; activist and musician Billy Bragg will discuss what actions we can take to protect democracy; while former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman and Women’s Prize short list nominee Diana Evans join a panel celebrating the launch of New Daughters of Africa Anthology.

The line-up for families includes Cressida Cowell, the multimillion-selling author of How To Train Your Dragon, offering tips on becoming a writer;

The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler delivering a live-drawing session themed around kindness; and Robin Stevens celebrating Murder Most Unladylike’s fifth anniversary.

London-themed books and local authors are also showcased in the festival programme, with a tribute to Andrea Levy, acclaimed as a chronicler of the Windrush generation; conservation campaigner and author Bob Gilbert leads a Greenwich nature walk; and writer Caroline Crampton offers a rare perspective on London from the Thames itself with a talk on her non-fiction debut The Way to the Sea: Forgotten Histories of the Thames Estuary.

The festival is hosted by the University of Greenwich at the Old Royal Naval College.

Patricia Nicol, Greenwich Book Festival Director, said: “Soon after moving to Greenwich in 2010, I was struck by the idea that these magnificent Thameside buildings would make a wonderful backdrop for a festival of words and ideas.

The University of Greenwich enabled that dream to become a reality. “The aim has always been to create an event that works for all ages and backgrounds and that celebrates London, reflecting its energy, eclecticism and diversity.

“This is our fifth festival and it feels our strongest line-up yet.” Mark O’Thomas, vice chancellor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the university, said: “This year, there is a huge range of activities planned – from sessions with high-profile authors to free lectures from our professors.

“I am particularly excited about the poetry and play readings as well as all the family-friendly events. “We are very much looking forward to welcoming book lovers and their friends and families to our beautiful Greenwich campus.”

To find out more about the event, go to

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