Words by the Water is delighted to be returning this year. The festival is now being led by Leah Varnell (formerly a Director of Ways With Words) in partnership with  Lucy and Gwenda Matthews of Bookends

The book festival has been a feature on the Keswick calendar for well over twenty years and 2024 sees an exciting new adventure with Words by the Water in partnership with the independent Keswick bookshop, Bookends and Theatre by the Lake. The festival is a place to come together and share ideas, learn and discover. WBTW is delighted to be working with our new partners and look forward to building the future of the festival.

Also thanks to ...

Catherine Fairfield of Appletrees Guest House
The Heads, Keswick

George at Merienda
10 Main Street, Keswick

Words of Welcome from the Presidents of Words by the Water

Words by the Water is delighted that Melvyn Bragg is once again lending support to the long - established festival. “I am thrilled that the festival is returning against the odds after a number of challenging years. It has been a very difficult time across the board in the arts and it is important for Cumbria that cultural events such as Words by the Water continue and thrive.”

He is joined by his daughter, priest and writer, Marie-Elsa Bragg, as co-president for the second year. Marie-Elsa has spoken many times at the festival and has become increasingly involved with securing the future of the festival. “I am looking forward to continuing in the role of president and know that the festival has a bright future. Leah and the team have lots of innovative and exciting plans moving forward and also will continue to deliver thought-provoking and interesting talks at Words by the Water. I am delighted to be part of the project as the festival grows and moves from strength to strength.”