The Lightbox literary festival is to significantly expand in size and will be renamed the Woking literary festival from 2019, after two successful years and a recent cash injection from Woking council. The festival was launched in 2017 and will run over 10 days at the Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking.

Two Woking Writers Circle members, Catherine Rogan and Greg Freeman, were involved in the 2017 festival, Catherine interviewing author Nicola May and Greg compering three hours of open mic poetry plus special guest poets. Greg was back at the Lightbox festival earlier this year, compering four hours of poetry on behalf of Write Out Loud Woking, an open mic poetry night which now meets each month at the Lightbox. In its press release the Lightbox said that “the festival’s hugely successful collaboration with Write Out Loud Woking continues to bring performance poetry and the spoken word to audiences across Surrey”.

The 2019 festival will run from 23 April to 2 May. Louise Musgrove, festivald  director, said: “We have had a wonderful first two years, with great authors and big attendances, and are looking to expand on that with the ambition to become an important festival in the literary calendar. In the past we have approached authors ourselves and asked if they’d like to attend but we are hoping that publishers will want to pitch their authors, both well-known and up and coming, to us in future. After all, we sell a lot of tickets and a lot of books. All attending authors will be paid a fee and travel expenses will be covered. We’ll also give them some nice grub while they are here.”