2017 Penzance Literary Festival

July 5-8

2017 Uncharted Waters

Launching our 2017 programme, we’re delighted that three of the most distinctive voices in contemporary British fiction will be joining us in Penzance this July.
And over the coming weeks we’ll be introducing you to all the other wonderful writers and performers who’ll be setting sail with us on our journey into Uncharted Waters.

Stella Duffy

After 12 years, two-time CWA Short Story Dagger winner Stella Duffy returns to crime fiction with The Hidden Room, a gripping novel of psychological suspense. “Nobody turns the screw of tension tighter than Stella Duffy, giving it a final twist that left me gasping.” Val McDermid

Stella Duffy has written fifteen novels, over sixty short stories, and devised and written eleven plays. She has twice won Stonewall Writer of the Year and twice won the CWA Short Story Dagger. HBO have optioned both of her Theodora novels for a TV mini-series. In 2016 she was awarded the OBE in for Services to the Arts.

Stella is Co-Director of Fun Palaces, the campaign for community at the heart of culture, with an annual event every October. Fun Palaces are proud to have two Cornwall Ambassadors, partnering with FEAST and Cornwall Museums Partnership  www.funpalaces.co.uk


Tim Pears

From the prize-winning author of In the Place of Fallen Leaves comes The Horseman, a pastoral novel about an unexpected friendship between two children, set in Devon in 1911.

Hallucinatory, beautiful and suffused with the magic of nature, this tale of an unlikely friendship and the loss of innocence builds with a hypnotic power. Evoking the realities of agricultural life with precise, poetic brushstrokes, Tim Pears has created a masterful, Hardyesque pastoral novel. The first in a dazzling new trilogy, The Horseman is his greatest achievement.

Tim Pears is the author of Wake Up (Bloomsbury, 2002), In a Land of Plenty (adapted into a major BBC TV series in 2001) and A Revolution of the Sun. He lives in Oxford with his wife and children.


Cynan Jones

With its taut narrative and wincingly visceral portrait of a man locked in an uneven struggle with the forces of nature, Cynan Jones’s new novel, Cove, is a powerful work from one of the most distinctive voices in British fiction.

Out at sea, in a sudden storm, a man is struck by lightning. When he wakes, injured and adrift on a kayak, his memory of who he is and how he came to be there is all but shattered. Now he must pit himself against the pain and rely on his instincts to get back to shore, and to the woman he dimly senses waiting for his return.

Cynan Jones was born near Aberaeron, Wales in 1975. He is the author of three previous novels, The Long Dry (winner of a Betty Trask Award, 2007), Everything I Found on the Beach (2011), and The Dig (2014), a chapter of which was shortlisted for the 2013 Sunday Times/EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. He is also the author of Bird, Blood, Snow (2012), the retelling of a medieval Welsh myth.

The Litfest Blog


We’ve now launched a blog on the Litfest website, to share some of our literary finds as well as updates on the Litfest itself. What really goes on behind the scenes? Does what happen in the Acorn stay in the Acorn? Find out in our new blog, with updates at least every two weeks.