Literature festival returns to give writers from diverse backgrounds spotlight


A literary festival committed to platforming authors from marginalised backgrounds has said giving lesser-heard writers a voice has never been more important.

The Primadonna Festival is returning for its sixth instalment in July, offering a weekend jam-packed full of workshops, stalls, and panels featuring a diverse range of authors.

Started by 17 “founding Primadonnas” in 2019, the festival highlights authors from all sorts of backgrounds and gives them a lively platform to show off their latest works.

This year will feature guests such as actor and comedian Doon Mackichan, award-winning essayist Sinéad Gleeson, and comedian Helen Lederer.


Festival director, Alice Hardacker, who took on the role in April, described the weekend as one “to fall in love with.”

She hopes people feel inspired and supported by what they see at The Primadonna Festival, which was created as a space where people from all walks of life can feel included and welcomed in the world of books.

The lineup deals with everything from sex-writing to growing your own writing community, but it also offers an opportunity for aspiring writers to network with publishers and editors, and therefore the chance to walk away from the “weekend of joy” with their first book deal as numerous people have in the past.

‘Happiness’ is the theme for this year’s book festival, with Ms Hardacker saying people need books for a sense of escapism and getting new perspectives in a year that has had “a lot going on for a lot of people.”

They will have a ‘happiness disco’, which Ms Hardacker summarised as “a playlist full of bangers” for people to let loose to, and a bee meadow where they can treat themselves to massages and facials.

Ms Hardacker said a comment from a previous festival-goer which has stayed with her described it as “the world as it should be for the weekend.”

The festival is from 26 to 28 July at The Food Museum in Stowmarket, Suffolk, with tickets already on sale at the Primadonna website.