The WhitLit Festival was founded in 2014 by Whitstable native Victoria Falconer.
In a few short years, WhitLit has established itself as a popular annual festival in the arts and cultural calendar, attracting an audience of thousands from Kent, London and beyond. The festival presents accessible talks, performances and events inspired by books and reading whilst promoting Kent’s rich local heritage and talent. Its mission is to engage, entertain and educate all ages and interests, inspiring them to read, think and debate.
WhitLit is not a traditional literary festival simply showcasing well known names – though it has been very fortunate to welcome many established writers- but is a celebration of Kent’s cultural history through championing local authors and themes.
The festival has highlighted Kent authors through readings, play and talks with biographers, historians and family members from W. Somerset Maugham to Ian Fleming and Vita Sackville West.
In addition the festival has given many local writers and performers a platform to present their work (local poets, Whitstable Writing Group, Whitstable Women Writers, Kent Coast Theatre, Canterbury Yarners) as well as talks from local historians, photographers and experts. Local themes have included the magna carta, coal mining in Kent, the British seaside, suffragettes in the town, Kent smugglers, Whitstable historic walks.
WhitLit not only adds greatly to the cultural landscape of the town and county, with many creative, interactive and inclusive events, but community outreach has also featured prominently. Local school projects have included free talks and workshops for young people as well as on-going school projects with Swalecliffe CP School and Whitstable Community College English students. We have also partnered with the Whitstable Biennale.
WhitLit is a not for profit community interest company and operates on a very small budget with the support of local independent businesses. We are continually grateful to the many volunteers who help deliver the festival, and very appreciative to all of our authors and speakers.