2018 festival: Programme

2018 Flamstead Book Festival

View or download the print programme as a pdf from here (in new tab/window) – or read on … You can click on the author’s name in the text for a short biography.

At each book session, typically you can listen to the author, have a chance to ask questions, and, if you would like a copy of the featured book, buy it from Harpenden Books and have it signed while you meet the author.

All seats are unreserved except for the gala evening 



20.00-21.00: drinks from approx 7.30pm for talk to start at 8.00pm
venue: Church; tickets: £10 with glass of wine

Alan Smith: Heads Up book cover

Former England, Arsenal and Leicester striker Alan Smith will be talking about his autobiography Heads Up, out just in time for Books in the Belfry, with award-winning sports journalist Ian Ridley.

There will also be the chance to quiz Smith, now a Sky Sports co-commentator, on Arsene Wenger’s successor at The Emirates, his tips for the new Premier League season and the inevitable post-mortem on England’s World Cup results.


SARAH VAUGHANAnatomy of a Scandal

20.00-21.00: drinks from approx 7.30pm for talk to start at 8.00pm
venue: Church; tickets: £10 with glass of wine

Sarah Vaughan: Anatomy of a Scandal book cover

Best-selling novelist Sarah Vaughan will be in conversation about how she got into writing and the success of her topical thriller Anatomy of a Scandal.

The book has been compared to the psychological novel Apple Tree Yard, televised earlier this year, and if you enjoyed that you will love her gripping page-turner.

Asking the questions – and trying not to reveal the twist – will be journalist Vikki Orvice.



12.30-13.30 Workshop
age guide: 13 upwards; venue: Church; tickets: £6.00

Top book blogger Katherine Sunderland hosts a workshop for beginners upwards.

Whether you are a Slummy Mummy, want to be the next Zoella or simply run a small business or organisation that needs to increase its online and social media profile then come along to pick up valuable tips.


venue: Church; tickets: £10.00 with voucher for tea or coffee

Helen Pankhurst: Deeds not Words book coverHelen Pankhurst is the great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst.

She will be talking about her famous family, her role as a consultant on the film Suffragette which starred Meryl Streep as Emmeline and her new book Deeds not Words published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the suffragettes’ great victory – the passing of the Representation of the People Act which first gave women the right to vote.

Afternoon Tea

venue: Marquee in the churchyard

Refreshments including cream teas will be served in the marquee in the churchyard. This is where you can exchange your vouchers for a tea or coffee.

CLARE MULLEYThe Women who flew for Hitler

venue: Church; tickets: £8.00

Clare Mulley: The Women who flew for Hitler book cover
Back by popular demand, historical biographer Clare Mulley makes a welcome return after her well-received session at our debut Festival in 2014.

She will be talking about her new work The Women Who Flew For Hitler.


Gala Evening
Love, Life and Laughter

18.45-22.00 (approx): reception from 6.45pm for performance to start at 8.00pm
venue: reception at Church; performance at Village Hall;
tickets: £20 with pre-show canapés and glass of wine; seats: reserved

Love Life and Laughter logoFlamstead’s very own actor-in-residence CLIVE HAYWARD is joined by fellow West End performers NICOLA KEEN, MALCOLM MCKEE and MICHAEL WINSOR for a special evening of song, dance and sketches.

Packed with showstoppers including work by Noël Coward, Gilbert & Sullivan, Rodgers & Hart, Lerner & Loewe and Cole Porter, it is guaranteed to end Books in the Belfry 2018 on a high.

Seats (in the Village Hall) will be numbered and reserved. They will be allocated from the front in order of booking – in blocks per booking so your party should not be split up. The earlier you book the better the seats!

Tickets are on sale from June 11th. View the Tickets page for information about how to buy them in advance.

The programme is believed correct at time of publication, but please continue to check the website for any changes or further information.