Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2023

Welcome to the Winter Weekend 2023 programme. You can purchase individual tickets for in-person live events or, if you are unable to come to Hay, you can watch the festival from your own home with an Online Festival Pass.
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Event C5

Writing Workshop with Tiffany Murray

 Hay Castle - Clore Learning Space

An exclusive one day writing workshop exploring story writing, exploring themes from your own life and memories. If you have the urge to write but don’t know where to begin or have made a start but need fresh impetus to push on through to the end of a draft, this day is for you. Drawing on fiction and memoir, we will play with the toolbox a new writer needs: character, story, structure, and setting. Tiffany will lead you through practical writing exercises, and the day will be supportive, productive, creative, and fun.

Tiffany Murray’s memoir, My Family and Other Rock Stars is published by Little Brown in 2024. Her novels Diamond Star Halo, Happy Accidents and Sugar Hall, have variously been shortlisted for the Wodehouse Bollinger Prize and received the Roger Deakin Award for nature writing. Tiffany has been a Hay Festival Fiction Fellow, a Fulbright scholar, and a Senior Lecturer. Her series, ‘Hulda’s Café’ is available on BBC Radio 4.

The workshop is for adults only, and is limited to 12 people.

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Event 15

Suzanne Heywood talks to Francine Stock

Wavewalker: Breaking Free

 St Mary’s Church

When she was just seven, Suzanne Heywood’s parents took her and her brother on what was meant to be a three-year voyage around the world. In reality, the family spent the next 10 years living through storms, shipwrecks, reefs and isolation. Heywood and her brother had little formal schooling, missed out on friendships and found their safety put at risk, with no state showing an interest in their welfare.

Longing for stability and an education, Heywood fought her parents, earning an interview at Oxford University aged 17 and returning to the UK. Join Heywood as she shares the story of her extraordinary childhood, and how she went on to gain a PhD at the University of Cambridge and find success in her career.

Heywood is now a chief operating officer of Exor, and the author of the Sunday Times bestselling book What Does Jeremy Think? and Wavewalker: Breaking Free.

She talks to writer and broadcaster Francine Stock.

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Event 18

Afua Hirsch talks to David Olusoga

Decolonising My Body

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

What is beautiful? How do we define beauty? And are our individual ideas of what is beautiful stripped away by collective notions? Prompted by getting her first tattoo at the age of 40, broadcaster and writer Afua Hirsch embarked on a journey to reclaim her body from the colonial ideas of purity, adornment and ageing she absorbed while growing up, recounted in her new book Decolonising My Body.

Gain a better understanding of the link between beauty and politics, and liberate yourself from mainstream beauty standards that aren't serving you as Hirsch talks about her personal experiences and more.

Hirsch is a bestselling writer, journalist, presenter, professor and broadcaster. She is the author of Brit(ish), which won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction. A former barrister, she has also worked in international development. She was the co-presenter of Samuel L. Jackson's major BBC TV series Enslaved in 2020. Hirsch is a columnist for the Guardian and appears regularly on the BBC, Sky News and CNN.
Hirsch is in conversation with historian, writer and broadcaster David Olusoga.

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Event 21

Helen Rebanks talks to Louise Minchin

The Farmer’s Wife

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

In The Farmer’s Wife: My Life in Days, Helen Rebanks takes readers from the farmhouse table of her grandmother, through a journey of self-discovery and into the rural Lake District home she now shares with her husband James Rebanks, four children and a plethora of animals.

In discussion with journalist and television presenter Louise Minchin, Rebanks shares stories about her life, loves and work, honestly and intimately meditating on the power of domestic life and encouraging us all to increase our appreciation of the natural world.

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Event 26

Louise Minchin and Lee Craigie talk to Ava Glass

Extraordinary Adventures

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Join television presenter Louise Minchin and bike racer Lee Craigie for a celebration of women who have done extraordinary things.

Craigie is one of Scotland’s great bike racers, and tells the story of her life in her book Other Ways to Win. Growing up in Glasgow, she skipped French lessons after discovering the freedom of cycling, heading into the Campsie Fells to see just how far she could ride. Craigie recounts epic adventures along the Tour Divide, Silk Road and the Highland Trail 550, as well as key moments in her career, including representing Great Britain at the World Championships. Through it all, she examines themes of friendship, loss, identity and the power of the outdoors, reminding us that there is more than one way to win at cycling – and life.

Journalist Minchin, who served as chair of judges for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023 and is a World Championship Triathlete, celebrates the remarkable women who inspire her in her book Fearless. Embarking on adventures across the world, including free diving under the ice in the dark in Finland with the first female to swim a mile in the Antarctic Circle and swimming from Alcatraz with two teenage sisters who have braved the shark infested waters over 70 times, Minchin shows that extraordinary women, although little recognised and celebrated by our media and in our conversations, are everywhere.

Minchin and Craigie talk to author, former civil servant and journalist Ava Glass.

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Event 33

Nigel Owens talks to Paul Abbandonato

The Final Whistle

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Join Welsh legend and Rugby World Cup Final referee Nigel Owens as he shares the story of his phenomenal career. He offers behind-the-scenes insights into a sport that captivates millions. Owens has officially hung up his whistle, but not before winning a world-record 100 caps and reaching the pinnacle of the refereeing world.

The sport’s first openly gay personality, Owens opens up about his experience coming out in the macho world of rugby union and overcoming homophobia to become one of the best-loved figures in rugby.

Owens speaks about his memoir The Final Whistle with multi-award winning sport journalist Paul Abbandonato, head of sport for Wales Online and the mainstream Welsh newspapers.

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Event 36

Kate Humble talks to Gavin Plumley

Where The Hearth Is

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Kate Humble examines her own experiences and expectations of what is meant by home in her book Where the Hearth Is, and considers the views of others living uniquely, extraordinarily and happily.

As the world of work changes for some people – meaning less time spent in offices and traditional work spaces – Humble discusses how it’s more important than ever to feel happy, healthy, productive and content in our homes.

Humble has been presenting programmes and writing articles and books for the last 20 years. In 2007 she and her husband Ludo Graham moved to a smallholding in Wales and in 2011 set up Humble by Nature, a rural skills school on a working farm in the Wye Valley.
Humble is in conversation with cultural historian Gavin Plumley, author of A Home for All Seasons.

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