Wimbledon Bookfest Appeal

Wimbledon BookFest launches appeal

Wimbledon BookFest launches appeal

Wimbledon BookFest has launched a fundraising initiative to appeal for donations and secure future of the leading literary festival

The BookFest team had already spent many months curating an exciting programme for Autumn 2020 when the pandemic hit. It is currently developing an alternative model with partners including Merton Libraries, University of Roehampton, publishers and authors. The Robert Graves Poetry Prize has recently been launched, and further plans for the Festival will be announced soon.

Fiona Razvi, Festival Director said:

“Our spirits have been really lifted by the donations and messages of support we’ve received from the public. We still have some way to go to raise the funds that we need to continue, but the communities of Wimbledon and Merton have told us quite clearly that they value what the festival brings to the area and want us to go on. We very much hope that we will be here for them, providing a cultural offering to look forward to this autumn and in the longer term – when we will once again be back in the magical setting of Wimbledon Common.”




Like most arts organisations, Bookfest does not have cash reserves to fall back on. With next year’s festival dependent on income from the current year, Bookfest is looking to meet a £25,000 shortfall in order to keep going beyond 2020.

Fiona added “Overheads have been completely stripped back with our team now working on reduced or no pay. We’re applying to the limited funding sources available to the arts, but we still need to raise around £25k to keep going beyond Covid-19. The lockdown has had many awful and tragic consequences but it has also highlighted just how important culture is to us all and how it can help us to connect, lift our spirits and support our mental health”.

“The community has always so generously supported the Festival and we are asking now if you might be able to help us with a donation to ensure we are here beyond Covid-19. Please support our appeal if you can.”

A key date in the cultural calendar, Wimbledon BookFest has allowed audiences to engage with internationally bestselling authors such as Salman Rushdie, Adam Kay, Ben Okri and Kate Atkinson, and big names from the world of entertainment and sport including Graham Norton, Harry Hill, Yotam Ottolenghi, Nadiya Hussain and Shane Warne. Over 32,000 people participated in BookFest in 2019, and over 100 local sixth formers and members of the general public volunteered as stewards.


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Wimbledon BookFest is a registered Arts and Education Charity, with any profits made put towards funding the Word Up Education programme, which enables over 10,000 school children from over 100 state, independent and SEN school in Merton and across South London to take part in projects focused around literacy. Although the World Book Day event for over 1,000 school children at the New Wimbledon Theatre in March was cancelled, the annual Young Writers competition is still going ahead and has received a record number of entries.

Please donate via the Wimbledon Bookfest website or for more information on supporting their appeal contact