Deptford Literature Festival
open for booking


Deptford Literature Festival celebrates the diversity and creativity of Deptford and Lewisham through words, stories and performance. Deptford Literature Festival is run by Spread the Word with independent producer Tom MacAndrew, and takes place on Saturday 19 March 2022. 

The programme invites you to explore what literature means to us today in Deptford.  It features workshops, talks, walks and performances. All the Festival workshops are open to writers with all different writing experiences – from beginners to those with more experience. 

A special Deptford Literature Festival edition of TOKEN Magazine, edited by local writer Sara Jafari, featuring artwork and writing inspired by Deptford and Lewisham, is free and available to pick up at the Festival.

Come along and check out local literary talent and organisations; Deptford Literature Festival is for anyone who wants to have a go. 

There’s a special day of family and children’s activities run by Round Table Books for our younger festival goers. You can see the family and children’s lineup:

The majority of our events are BSL interpreted, and many of our events are free to attend. We have a number of free places available to Lewisham residents for those events where there is a cost for tickets. We want to make sure as many people of Deptford, Lewisham and beyond can access as much of the Festival as possible.

You can see the Festival’s latest COVID-19 protocol here.

See you there!

Deptford Literature Festival Saturday 19 March 2022 full programme – events for people aged 16+

When the Tide Goes Out with Ella Frears FULLY BOOKED
A guided walk & poetry workshop through Deptford Creek with Ella Frears
Times: 9am – 2pm / Location: Creekside Discovery Centre / Cost: £20 (free bursary places available by application)/ Access: BSL interpreted

The Food on Our Table: Stories of Home, Family and Community
Local writer Laura Barker will be taking up temporary residency in The Greenhouse in Deptford to meet staff and customers. Pop in and share your food memories and stories and pick up a postcard with some writing prompts to get your own creative juices flowing!
Times: 9.30am – 12.30pm / Location: Greenhouse Café / Cost: Free – no need to book, just drop-in! / Access: There is a ramp to get to the door but it is a bit steep so wheelchair users potentially might need some assistance – staff are happy to help.
More info:

Anna Sayburn Lane: Dead Men in Deptford Audio Walking Tour
Explore the history of Deptford’s waterfront and its impact on today’s literary scene, with author Anna Sayburn Lane.

Times: Sign up and receive a link just before the Festival takes place to the audio guide, map and transcription to take part in the walk at a time that suits you on the day. Cost: Free / Access: Walking tour is 3 miles. Available as audio, transcription and accompanying map.
More info and signup:

Youth First logoYouth First presents Film-in-a-day Screening
Throughout the day, a screening of a new film created by young people from Deptford aged 11-13 who have been working with filmmaker Mmoloki Chrystie and poet Cecilia Knapp to create a film-poem across just 24 hours. Delivered in partnership with Youth First.

Times: The film will be shown on loop throughout the between 10am – 4pm / Location: Deptford Lounge Room 1 /  Cost: Free – no need to book, just drop in / Access: Full wheelchair access, including accessible toilets. The film is captioned.

More info:

Jamie sits in their electric wheelchair. Behind them are bushes. They are wearing glasses and have dark red hair, and a red beard. They are dressed in a leather jacket, and look steadily at the cameraDissembling Nature with Jamie Hale 
Dissembling Nature unpacks the body and questions the natural, exploring disability, ecopoetics and climate change to understand the radical potential of the ‘non-normative’ body in nature writing.

Times: 10.30am – 1.30pm (including a 30 minute break) / Location: Deptford Lounge Room 2
Cost:£5 (free bursary places available by application) / Access: Full wheelchair access, including accessible toilets. BSL interpretation.
Book now:

SHEroes of Lewisham with Laila Sumpton
Do you know any SHEroes? Time to tell their stories through poetry!

Times: 10.30am – 12.00pm / Location: Deptford Lounge Music Room / Cost: Free
Access: Full wheelchair access, including accessible toilets / BSL interpretation

Female person with long brown hair, smiles, leans forward in pink dressThe Ordinary Is Extraordinary: Using the Senses to Write Better with Leone Ross FULLY BOOKED
A practical workshop designed to help you use touch, smell, sound, taste or sight to inspire and improve your sentences.

Times: 2 – 5pm / Location: Deptford Lounge Room 2 / Cost: £5 (free bursary places available by application)/ Access: Full wheelchair access (including accessible toilets). BSL interpretation.

Book now:

Matchstick Theatre Company logoMatchstick Theatre Company presents SE8 Collective’s Pieces of Eight FULLY BOOKED
An afternoon of drama, comedy and poetry that celebrates the people, places and stories of Deptford written by local writers.

Times: 1.30 – 3.00pm / Location: Matchstick Piehouse / Cost: Free / Access: Wheelchair access, including accessible toilet.
Book now:

a picture of a man in a white shirt smilinga woman with dyed pink hair resting her face on her arm at a tableLewisham Writers in Conversation
Join writers Sara Jafari and Caleb Azumah Nelson, making their mark on the literary world, for readings and discussion with Salma El-Wardany, around creating new work in Deptford and Lewisham.

Times: 3.30 – 4.30pm / Location: Deptford Lounge Main Hall / Cost: Free / Access: Full wheelchair access, including accessible toilets. BSL interpretation
Book now:

Livestream booking: 

a man speaking into a microphone

Inua Ellams’ R.A.P. Party 
Come chill at Inua Ellams’ Rhythm And Poetry Party, a nostalgic, no-clutter, no-fuss, night of hip-hop-inspired poems and favourite hip-hop songs. Ten poets and a DJ. That’s it. Come for the rhymes or come for the vibe. With support from the Albany and We Are Lewisham.

Times: 7.30 – 10.30pm / Location: The Albany / Cost: £5 (free places available by application)
Access: Full wheelchair access, including accessible toilets. BSL interpretation.

Book now:


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Published 26 January 2022