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Dartmoors Literary Festival
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The beautiful market town of Chagford will host the fourth Chagword Literary Festival over the weekend 22 – 24 March 2019, so make a date in your diaries now


We had over 120 entries for the adults section of the competition and 60 for the children’s. The quality throughout was very high, making the judging very difficult. However, we are delighted to announce the winners:

  • 16 plus: first prize – Jo Currie; second prize – Jackie Taylor; highly commended – Chris Waters
  • 12 – 15: first prize – Benjamin Bowles; second prize – Zak Thorpe; highly commended – Claudia Riley
  • 8 – 11: first prize – Oscar Barrau; second prize – Katie Ann Bartlett; highly commended – Monty Pealing
  • 5 – 7: first prize – Birdie Emanuel Martin; second prize – Alec Smilie; highly commended – Chloe Bifani

Programme front coverCHAGWORD 2017 IS NOW OVER!

A huge thank you to all our speakers who came from the four corners of the country to entertain and inspire us. And thank you too to our enthusiastic and appreciative audiences who also came from wide and far to participate and contribute to the weekend. As Hisham Matar says “what makes a literary festival is its audience and you  are blessed with such fantastically keen and intelligent audiences . . . it’s a very special festival”



Wizard of words MATT HARVEY and the master of rhythm  PHILIP CLOUTS, accompanied by Marcus Vergette on double bass and Coach York on drums.

* SOPHIE HANNAH, who drew  us into a world of mystery, menace and murder with help from her latest Hercule Poirot novel.

* SHAUN HILL, Michelin-starred chef, who shared with us “things I have learned from 50 years at the stove”

* ALICE OSWALD – winner of the 2016 Costa Poetry Award who read from and talked about her new collection, ‘Falling Awake’

*  KATE ADIE – who entertained and inspired us with many experiences and anecdotes and lessons from her life as a news correspondent

* MAX PORTER – winner of The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser and Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award for his debut novel, ‘Grief is the Thing with Feathers’ who talked about his work, inspiration and the influence of Ted Hughes’ poetry.

* Double BAFTA winner, PETER MOFFAT and MARNIE DICKENS, BAFTA Breakthrough Brit (2016) who discussed the challenges and rewards of writing for the small and large screen.

* HISHAM MATAR who read from and talked about his brilliant new memoir, ‘The Return’

* MICHAEL MORPURGO accompanied by songman, BEN MURRAY  who told the deeply moving story of young Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, from his book ‘War Horse’,

* PATRICK GALE who explored in depth his much praised latest novel, ‘A Place Called Winter’ as part of  The Great Read

And for children at the festival: –

JASON BERESFORD who entertained with some hilarious storytelling and interactive fun

and SIMON JAMES internationally renowned children’s author, who introduced his hot-off-the-press book, told stories and drew pictures

A big thank you to our Business Sponsors and Friends of the Festival, without which the festival couldn’t have happened , especially  Helpful Holidays, our principal sponsors, the Arts Council, England for their generous support and  The Three Crowns, our partner hotel.


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Chagword is grateful to the following for funding the 2017 festival: