Daphne du Maurier Daphne du Maurier

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Dates for your diary


Fowey Festival 7-15 May 2021



The Awards for Young Writers and Artists 2021 competition launches today -

11th January 2021

The Awards for Young Writers and Artists 2021 competition is launched today and this year's theme is Stepping Through a Door. Fowey Festival invites children and young people to create their own original story, poem, or picture and enter their competition to become the Fowey Festival Young Writer or Young Artist of the Year, 2021.  For full details go to: https://www.foweyfestival.com/competitions-and-awards/awards-for-young-writers-and-artists/




Fowey Festival Short Story Competition For Adults 2021

Fowey Festival has launched its Short Story Competition for 2021.  As we come to the end of what has been a very challenging year, the idea of writing a short story could provide a welcome distraction and get your creative juices flowing.  The theme for this year’s competition is “Breaking Point”, based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story collection The Breaking Point, written at a time when her life was particularly challenging.

Whatever the competition title conjures up for you, be it a humorous tale or one of a serious nature, the Fowey Festival would love to read your story!

The entry fee is £10, which goes towards supporting the future of the Festival.

The competition will open for entries on 7th December and close on 7th March 2021. Entries are to be no more than 1,500 words.

For full information about entering the competition, the entry form and terms and conditions, please click here: https://www.foweyfestival.com/competitions-and-awards/short-story-competition-for-adults/




Michael Portillo



We are delighted to announce that Michael Portillo’s event has been rescheduled from 2020. He will now be joining us at the 2021 Festival. For more information and to book tickets click here: https://www.foweyfestival.com/event/michael-portillo/




Our donations page is still open at:


The du Maurier Festival Society Registered Office: 74 Lostwithiel Street,  Fowey, Cornwall, PL23 1BQ
Company Limited by Guarantee No.7719529     Registered Charity 1143916




December 2020: The Fowey Festival’s first-ever fundraising online auction has been a great success. The board of trustees send thanks to all those who got involved, by either donating items for the auction lots, or bidding – or both! The last 24 hours saw some frantic bidding, which was hugely exciting to watch and take part in.  The whole of the Festival Team very much appreciates the generosity of everyone who took part.




There will be no Literary Festival in Fowey in 2020

2nd July 2020: The 2020 Fowey Festival, which was initially postponed from May until September because of the Covid-19 pandemic has been cancelled.  The Fowey Festival Board of Trustees have been monitoring the situation throughout the past months, but have now, with heavy hearts, announced that the Fowey Festival will not take place this year.  Work continues on the 2021 Festival, scheduled for 7th – 15th May.  Meanwhile, please stay safe and well everyone, and we look forward to seeing you at the Fowey Festival in 2021.


Fowey Festival 1997     


A literary festival has taken place in Fowey for many years, the first being The Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature in May 1997.  This was a community initiative which had the full support of the du Maurier Browning family and was timed to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Daphne’s birth. 

From then on it became a tradition that 13th May, Daphne’s birthday, would always be included within the dates of the festival.

That first festival provided the pattern for the future, with du Maurier-related walks, exhibitions, talks, plays and music events.  There was a national one-day conference on the subject of Daphne du Maurier and the Romance of Place, with speakers including Avril Horner, Sue Zlosnik and Helen Taylor. 

This was repeated on a much bigger scale in 2007, to celebrate Daphne du Maurier’s centenary, when a three-day international conference was held and concluded with a visit to Ferryside for all the delegates.

Over the years that followed the Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature grew, under the direction of a small team of people from Restormel Borough Council led by Jonathan Aberdeen.  The centrepiece of the festival was a beautiful festival village, built on land belonging to Fowey Community College just beyond Fowey Hall Hotel. 


When the festival in Fowey began it was a rare and special event, which thrived through the good years of the 2000s.  But, as the decade drew to a close, a huge range of literary festivals all over the country gave people a greater choice of venue, and politics and the recession began to play their part in what was to become quite a struggle for survival. 

With the inception of a unitary authority in the county, Cornwall Council could no longer justify supporting the du Maurier Festival in isolation; funding was reduced and shortly after ceased. However a local group of enthusiastic people got together, incorporated themselves into a charity and the Fowey Festival of Words and Music was born. 

The festival became an altogether smaller event, located in various venues around the town, and, despite misgivings from many people, both local and visitors, has proved in the last few years to be very successful and financially sound.

The festival is gently growing in strength and content, under the direction of Brenda Daly and its board of trustees, and is enjoyed by all who come.  



The formula is still one of walks, exhibitions, talks, workshops, plays and music events but also includes an Art Trail, which gives local artists the opportunity to open their homes and studios to show their work.  Another popular addition in the Secret Gardens Programme, through which local people open their gardens to festival goers.  The festival also always makes a point of focusing on events to include children. 

In 2016 the name of the festival was tweaked slightly, to reflect more accurately what the festival does, and became the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature.  Despite Daphne du Maurier's name no longer being in the festival title she is still a vital part of the proceedings.

We can now confirm that the dates of the next Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature are 7th - 15th May 2021.  We will being you news of what you can look forward to and link you with the festival website, so that you can be completely up to date with all festival news.


Last updated 17th January 2021           Website by WesternWeb Ltd