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University of Winchester helps city’s first books festival become a success story

The first Winchester Books Festival, sponsored by the University of Winchester, has been pronounced a big success.

Organisers say that more than 1,200 attended events, held in a variety of venues around the city, including the University, over three days (21-23 April).

Festival co-founder Sophie Liardet said:

“We had good turnouts for all events and it was a real cross community festival using lots of different venues.

 “We couldn’t have done this without the support of university – staff, academics and students.”

Film production students from the University ­- Jack Robinson, Isobel Hood, Becca Lane, Tammo Foad and Jacob Lewis – filmed all the events. They are now editing a festival film due to go online next month.

Max Rimmer and Dominic Lambrechts, both studying Music and Sound Production at the University, helped with the sound at various festival venues.

“All the students were delightful,” said Sophie. “They were incredibly professional and really rose to the occasion.”

The University’s Business School hosted two events -­­­ Marc Morris talking about his latest work, The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England and Rebecca Abrams speaking about, Licoricia of Winchester: Power and Prejudice in Medieval England: The Rise and Fall of a Remarkable Jewish Businesswoman.

Dr Eric Lacey, Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics, took part in a filmed interview with Marc Morris before his talk for possible use in the archives of the University’s Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research. 

The University’s West Downs Auditorium was the venue for author and top lawyer Marina Wheeler to discuss her family memoir My Mother, Partition, and the Punjab.

Judith Heneghan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University, hosted a discussion, entitled How to Get Published, at the Milner Hall. The panel included Hampshire author Claire Fuller, who studied for her MA in Creating Writing at the University and received an honorary doctorate in October.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Sarah Greer, said: 

“We are delighted the festival was such a success.

 “A love of learning is at the heart of the University of Winchester and the festival has been a true celebration of the written word.  We look forward to next year’s event with anticipation.”

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