Our 2023 line-up will be announced shortly. Continue reading below to find out more about last year’s festival.

2022 Authors

Andre Mangeot

André Mangeot’s poetry has appeared in the Spectator, New Statesman, Times Literary Supplement and has won many competitions, including the 2019 Robert Graves Prize. His latest collection, Blood Rain (Seren, 2020) combines the personal and the public to touch on some of the major challenges now facing the planet & has been described as as “a thought-provoking book for turbulent times”. As a member of poetry ensemble The Joy of Six he has performed at festivals across the UK and in New York.  He also writes fiction and has published two books of short stories: A Little Javanese and True North (Salt) and recently completed a novel. He lives in Cambridge.

John Henry Phillips 

Bury St Edmunds born John Henry Philips is an author, archaeologist and filmmaker. A chance meeting with a D Day veteran led him to search for a shipwreck and to his latest book The Search, a moving true story of a devastating time in history, an unlikely, life-changing friendship and a quest to honour a wartime home and family lost over seventy-five years ago.

Linda Regan

Linda Regan is an actor best known for her roles in Hi-De-Hi!, the Carry On films, The Bill and Birds of a Feather. She is also a prolific and best selling author of gritty crime novels all set in South London where Linda grew up and where, in her words, crime is pretty tough. Her most recent book, The Burning Question, is the eighth in the DCI Banham series and reunites readers with detective duo DCI Paul Banham and DI Alison Grainger as they search for the link between a chain of suspicious arson attacks fatally targeting young women.

Linda meticulously researches her books but recently this got her into an unexpected brush with the Law. She had been shadowing a Met Dog training team and as a result there was cocaine on her shoes which a police dog smelt at Canary Wharf Tube Station. 

Jenny Uglow

Jenny Uglow OBE FRSL is a distinguished biographer, historian, critic and publisher who has written biographies of George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Hogarth, Thomas Bewick, and Edward Lear amongst others.  She has been awarded the Hawthornden Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Hessell-Tiltman Prize and many of her books have been short listed for the Whitbread Prize, the Baillie Gifford Prize (formerly the Samuel Johnson Prize) and the Duff Cooper Prize for Non-fiction. She also compiled the first edition of The Macmillan Dictionary of Women’s Biography about which she said: “I embarked on the Macmillan Biographical Dictionary of Women in a fit of pique because all reference books were full of men: it was a mad undertaking, born of a time when feminists wanted heroines and didn’t have Google.

Jenny’s biographies have been particularly praised for their vivid, detailed recreation of the time and place in which their subjects lived and nowhere more so than in her latest book, the beautifully illustrated Sybil and Cyril – Cutting through Time, the story of Sybil Andrews and Cyril Power. Sybil Andrews was an outstanding artist best known for her ground breaking stylised linocuts portraying daily rural and urban life.  She was born in Bury St Edmunds in 1898 where her family had an ironmongers (Andrews & Plumpton) in Guildhall Street and she often used the town as her subject. A rare tapestry made by her is in the Cathedral and Moyses Hall holds a number of her linocuts and paintings. The Sybil Andrews Academy on Moreton Hall is named after her.

This event is generously supported by the Bury Society.

Nicola Upson and Mandy Morton

Real life partners Nicola and Mandy both write crime novels but of very different genres.  Nicola writes historical crime fiction featuring Josephine Tey, a real-life crime novelist. Her latest novel Dear Little Corpses is set in Suffolk at the beginning of the Second World War when many children were evacuated from the cities. 

“The obvious subject matter at the time that it was written, which was in the early days of lockdown, was separation. It was difficult to write about, but very easy to imagine. All the fear and uncertainty of a world on the brink of a war and also the pain of separation. That was very real to us,” said Nicola.

Mandy Morton writes crime novels to make you smile. Her No. 2 Feline Detective Agency series is set in an alternative cat world, which is much like our human one, with the exception that there aren’t any police in the picture. They feature Hettie Bagshot, a long-haired tabby cat whose whiskers twitch at the first sign of a mystery, and her best friend Tilly Jenkins. They are brimming with puns, food, and fun but also solid mysteries, many of which are by no means as cosy as you might expect. In Mandy’s latest book, The Cat and the Pendulum, Hettie and Tilly are called in to investigate Agatha Crispy’s stolen manuscript. 

Nicola was born in Bury St Edmunds and is a Patron of the Festival. She started as an arts journalist and writer and she originally planned to write a biography of Josephine Tey, a complex and multi-talented woman who had fascinated Nicola for many years. However, in the end, Nicola decided to tell Tey’s life through a series of fictional murder mysteries, which is the genre she is best known for these days. Nicola’s novels draw on all the much-loved conventions of the Golden Age writers and are underpinned by sound historic research, though she gives her stories a very contemporary twist.

Nicola has been long and short listed for the CWA Gold Dagger Award and the CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger.

Mandy Morton began her professional life as a musician with Cambridge folk rock band, Spriguns. Her songwriting formed the basis of six albums during the 1970s and early 1980s, when she toured extensively with the band and then as a solo artist both here and in Scandinavia. More recently, she has worked as a freelance arts journalist for national and local radio, specialising in making music and theatre documentary. She is the co-author of a non-fiction theatre book, In Good Company. It was after retiring from her broadcasting career that she started writing her novels, spurred on by Nicola. PD James called them ‘Original and intriguing… a world without people which cat lovers will enter and enjoy.’