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A Date for Your Diaries

The Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 2024 will take place from 10th – 18th May 2024, when we will again all meet up in Fowey for another interesting, entertaining, and fun-packed Festival in beautiful Cornwall.  The sun shone down on us for the whole of this year’s Festival, so let’s look forward to another sunny week in Fowey in 2024.


An Update on the Fowey Festival Short Story Competition of Adults 2023

We are delighted to tell you that the winning entry and the runner-up of the Fowey Festival Short Story Competition for Adults are now available for you to read on the Fowey Festival website.  

The challenge for this year’s short story competition was to write a story with the title I’ll Never Be Young Again, which was the title of Daphne du Maurier’s second novel, published in 1932.

This year the organisers received a splendid 68 entries.
The winner of first prize was Iqbal Hussain, who received his award of £250.00 from the much loved and highly acclaimed author of The Salt Path and two other novels, Raynor Wynn.  Raynor described Iqbal’s story as “the standout winner”.  The runner-up was Julie Evans, who won £100.00.

To read the two winning stories, please click here.    

Be sure to keep a look out for the theme of the 2024 competition, which will be announced at the end of the year.


An Update of the Fowey Festival Awards for Young Writers and Artists 2023

Children and young people from ages 4 to 16 were invited to enter the Fowey Festival Awards for Young Writers and Artists Competition 2023.  Entrants could write a poem, a short story or a factual piece, or they could enter a picture on the theme of Celebrations! 

There was a tremendous response from the youngsters of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with a total of 386 entries being sent in, either through their schools or individually. 

A list of the winning entries is on the Fowey Festival website.  Please click here.

The 2024 competition will be announced early in the new year, so keep a lookout for the announcement of next year’s theme.


A Round-Up of Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 12th – 20th May 2023

The 25th Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature has come to an end, and we thank everyone responsible for making the event such a great success.  The sun shone on Fowey for the entire Festival and a good time was had by all.  To read an article giving you highlights of the Festival, please click here. 


Fowey Festival Awards for Young Writers and Artists Presentation Day

Winners of the Fowey Festival Young Writers and Artists Awards Competition attended a workshop following their Awards Ceremony on Saturday 29th April.  At the workshop, led by Cornwall-based artist Sean Hewitt, the children created a beautiful collaborative piece of art which they called Lemon Sails.  To read more about the Awards Ceremony and workshop, please click here.

Lemon Sails

Lemon Sails will be displayed in Fowey River Gallery shortly and will be auctioned during Festival Week to raise funds for the Festival.



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 10th - 18th May 2024.  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 9th June 2023           Website by WesternWeb Ltd