Words in Walden Festival

Since 2006, when we launched our first Words in Walden Festival to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Harts Books opening in Saffron Walden, our Festival has become an eagerly awaited event in the town's calendar. Each year we bring some of the country's most highly-acclaimed speakers and thinkers to the town as well as providing a public platform for the best of our local writers.

We aim to offer, over the course of a month, an eclectic mix of topics and viewpoints. Poets, novelists, philosophers, politicians, historians, biographers, academics, explorers, scientists, medics, musicians, comedians, critics and cooks have all been warmly welcomed by our audiences.

Our simple philosophy is to bring together the very best speakers and the very best audiences in intimate spaces where they can really get to know each other, and all can share a very special and memorable experience.

Our aim for the future is to continue to do more of the same, but always exploring new opportunities and ideas. 

We're always delighted to receive suggestions for future speakers and events and would love to hear from you, either by email, or post on our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Why our speakers love Words in Walden ...

'I've been to many literary festivals over the years, but Words in Walden is in a class of its own. You all made me feel so welcome that it felt more like a fireside chat than “a talk”'.

'Thank you for looking after me so well (which is rare) and so stylishly (which is unheard of).'

' … a splendid evening - lovely audience, excellent interviewer. I enjoyed it immensely …'

' … a terrific evening. The questions were excellent, the place packed, the audience warm and generous and you were so kind in all that you did. You run a wonderful ship.'


What our audience says ...

'Well, what an amazing evening with @chrisbeardshaw for @wordsinwalden. Fascinating! Thank you all. :-)'

'The Spring programme was fabulous, so much variety ... thanks for working so hard ... and what an amazing selection you have for us, again!'

'We often plan other trips, etc., around Harts festival dates'

'Congratulations on such an impressive line-up, very much looking forward to it!'

Words in Walden Picture Gallery