Friday 25th September

Grand Opening and Prize-Giving Ceremony
Friday, 25 September, 6pm, Havant Arts Centre 
The Festival kicks off with a Grand Opening ceremony at Havant Arts Centre. Winners of the poetry, short story and children’s competitions will receive their prizes from VIP guests, including Festival Patrons Dr Caroline Lucas MEP and the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Jackie Branson, and the Festival’s official Writer-in-Residence, Stella Duffy.  Everybody welcome!
Free Entry

Simon Brett

Friday, 25 September, 7.30pm, Station Theatre, Hayling Island,
The celebrated crime writer talks about his long and successful career including his Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter and Fethering series.
Tickets £6, includes £3 deposit on any book purchased on the night
Tickets available from Station Theatre & Hayling Island Bookshop
Hayling Island Bookshop: 023 9246 6620 Open 9am – 5pm, closed between 1pm – 2pm
Station Theatre Box Office: Open Mon – Sat, 10-12, 023 9246 6363
Wheelchair access by prior arrangement only

A Higher Education, Bench Theatre
Friday, 25 September, 7.30pm, Havant Arts Centre
Angela Pressland’s outstanding new play, the winner of the Bench Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Season Competition.
Tickets: £8 Concessions £6
Box Office: 023 9247 2700 /
Bench Theatre website –

‘The Journey through Adolescence’
Friday, 25 September, 7.45pm, Nineveh
Three authors talk about the special challenges of writing for and about teenagers.
Isabel Ashdown’s debut novel Glasshopper won the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition. Featuring a fourteen year old boy in 1980s Portsmouth, it was described by the competition judges Fay Weldon and Sir John Mortimer as ‘magnificent’.
Alex Bell was only nineteen when her first novel, The Ninth Circle was accepted for publication. Her third book, Lex Trent Versus the Gods is about a teenage cat burglar and is published in September.
Yong Pease is a Gosport-based author whose new novel Touch My Heart is a sequel to Brown Jade, a semi-autobiographical account of a teenager in 1950s Malaya.
Tickets: £4
Box Office: 023 9247 2700 /
Books available for sale and signing

Friday, 25 September, 7.45pm, The Bear Hotel (The Retreat)
One of the smash hits of last year’s Festival WriteInvite return with their unique live writing experience. £3 entry per head, a choice of three themes and twenty minutes’ writing time. The writers then read their story aloud and whoever wins the anonymous vote, scoops the pot! Come along and find your ‘voice’ – or just come for the experience!
£2 on the door, £3 to enter the competition, winner takes all!

Bench Theatre Cabaret
Friday, 25 September, 7.45pm, 10.00pm, Havant Arts Centre
Late night laughter with the stars of the Bench Theatre.
Free entry on the door