Internationally renowned authors Sarah Gristwood and Adele Parks will be amongst an eclectic line up of writers, poets and other contributors taking part in Cranleigh Arts Literary Festival, returning this spring after a five-year break.

Running for five days from Tuesday, 2nd- April, it features more than a dozen events including a wide variety of talks, workshops, storytelling for children, poetry readings and much more. 

Local author, Lucy Weldon, opens the festival with a programme of music, insights and readings on Robert and Clara Schumann, based on a story from her debut book Ultramarine, a collection of eleven short stories inspired by her many years based around the world. 

Also on Tuesday, biographer and historian Sarah Gristwood, whose many books include several biographies of the Tudors and other notable historical characters, talks about her latest book, Secret Voices: A Year of Women’s Diaries, published last month. It is a captivating collection of daily extracts from women’s diaries, looking back over four centuries to discover how women’s experience – of men and children, sex and shopping, work and the natural world – has changed down the years.  

Adele Parks will be a familiar name to her many fans. She is the author of 23 bestselling novels including the recent Sunday Times Number One hits Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck. More than five million English editions of her work have been sold and her books have been translated into 31 different languages. On Thursday, she will be interviewed about her work and answer questions from the audience.  

Joelle Tamraz was barely past twenty when she travelled to India in search of spiritual enlightenment. In Rishikesh, the home of yoga, she met an alluring older man who offered to teach her a secret practice. For the next 18 years she was controlled emotionally, financially, socially, and physically until she was finally able to break the cycle of abuse. On Friday, she will talk about her book The Secret Practice, a moving memoir of her time in India and beyond. 

Also on Friday, it is the turn of Cranleigh Writers who will be reading from their collected works and new anthology. 

On the final day of the festival, Cranleigh couple Chris and Denise Arthey tell of a life changing road accident and their remarkable recovery. Their book Highway 35 is a story of, hope, faith, love and perseverance. 

If you‘ve aspirations to become an author yourself,  four events will be of special interest. On Wednesday Daisy White and Lisa Brace will by running workshops entitled Creative Writing and How to Get Published. A panel of four crime writers will chair a Q&A session on crime writing on Thursday and on Saturday Kendra Smith will give a talk on romantic and commercial women’s fiction. 

Also on Thursday, Guildford Town Guides promise a fascinating insight into famous authors with connections to their town, including Lewis Carroll, CS Lewis, Agatha Christy and many more. 

Reading to your child from an early age can lead to a life-long love of literature and that is certainly something Danyah Miller and Hannah Summers aspire to encourage with their wonderful storytelling. 

On Wednesday afternoon Hannah presents Short Stories Tall Tales bringing classic, modern and original stories to life for 0-5 year in an exciting interactive show.  

Danyah, described by Michael Morpurgo as ‘one of the great storytellers’, will delight her young audience with an hour of fun and games on Friday, as they discover the contents of an unopened package. Based on a true story, just how The Show Must Go On ends will be decided by storyteller and audience together. Great fun for children and adults alike! 

Meet the Booming Lovelies on Wednesday evening. Trisha Broomfield, Sharron Green and Heather Moulson are poetically primed and eager to charm with verses on everything from nostalgia for the last century, to lost loves, the menopause and the joys and complexities of modern life.  

This article can give just a taste of activities during the festival so for lots of further information and details of how to book here