This year’s Guernsey Literary Festival, which finished on Sunday, has been hailed as ‘an outstanding success’ by its festival director, Claire Allen.

Over the two weeks of the festival, more than 80 events, most featuring writers and speakers from the Channel Islands, UK, Ireland and USA, were organised to celebrate the joy of books, writing and big ideas and, including the education, community and outreach programmes, more than 10,000 people attended.

‘It’s been an amazing two weeks,’ says Claire Allen. ‘The feedback from audiences, speakers and other participants has been unbelievably positive. We’ve had over 20 sell-out events, including Michel Roux, Martin Sixsmith and Louise Minchin at St James.’

And Sir Terry Waite KCMG CBE, the Festival’s honorary chairman, said, ‘Guernsey can be proud of the Literary Festival. Each year it grows from strength to strength and has become a vital part of the cultural life of the Island. I am honoured to be associated with it.’

Russia expert Martin Sixsmith, who talked about his book Putin and the Return of History was full of praise for book festivals in general and the Guernsey Festival in particular.

‘I was delighted to speak at the Guernsey Literary Festival. I love doing these events as it gives me the opportunity to put my views across but also to hear the views of the audience. One of the most important parts of these talks is the questions at the end.

‘It’s always remarkable how many intelligent, interesting and perceptive questions come from the audience. We very much enjoyed our visit and having a sell-out audience of 500 people definitely makes you want to come back again!’

Louise Minchin said, ‘Thank you so much for such a fun 24 hours. I loved it all!’ while best selling novelist John Boyne said, ‘It’s my first time here but I’m definitely coming back! Thanks to the festival and the wonderful audience for coming out on a sunny day.’

Claire Allen paid tribute to the work of those involved in planning and organising the Festival, all volunteers, and all those who helped as stewards and drivers to get the writers and speakers to and from their events.

‘The universal comment we’ve received is the warmth of the welcome and the quality of the organisation, which is down to the team of volunteers involved,’ she said. She also paid tribute to the many sponsors and partners, without whom the Festival would not be able to exist.

The Guernsey Literary Festival also organised the Guernsey International Poetry Competition, judged by international poet Paul Muldoon, which had a record 3,000 entries from all over the world. The winner, Iona Roisin, flew in from Finland for the presentation during the Festival.

There was a record entry of more than 1,000 in the WriteStuff writing competition for Bailiwick pupils. All four of the UK judges came to the island to take part in the Festival and the WriteStuff presentation.

The Festival also organised 21 events in local schools with visiting authors, as well as a community and outreach programme with events taking place in the prison, residential homes and the Town Church.

Next year’s Guernsey Literary Festival takes place from 28 April to 4 May 2025.

The Festival would like to thank the following festival sponsors for their support:

Butterfield, BWCI Group, C5 Alliance, Carey Olsen, Dorey Financial Modelling, Guernsey Arts, Guernsey Post, Hiscox, Investec, the John Ramplin Charitable Trust, Julius Baer, Kirkwood Properties, Mourant, the NED Forum, Rawlinson & Hunter, Rothschild & Co, Specsavers, St Pierre Park Hotel, TPA, Vive La Vallette and Walkers.

For more information on the Guernsey Literary Festival visit:                                                                                               

Quotes from visiting writers and speakers about 2024 Guernsey Literary Festival

‘Guernsey can be proud of the Literary Festival. Each year it grows from strength to strength and has become a vital part of the cultural life of the island. I am honoured to be associated with it.’
Sir Terry Waite KCMG CBE (Honorary Chairman of the Guernsey Literary Festival)

‘I came here to one of the Guernsey Lit Fests and I thought it was enchanting. The number of great names you’ve got here both big and small is just fabulous.’
Peter James

‘My first impression of Herm is just mind blowing. I’m almost speechless which is a very rare occurrence. The oysters are pure in taste and not too salty – they were almost sweet – incredible.’
Michel Roux

‘A fantastic afternoon in Guernsey taking part in the Guernsey Literary Festival. It’s my first time here but I’m definitely coming back! Thanks to the festival and the wonderful audience for coming out on a sunny day.’
John Boyne  

‘I would like to thank you for your generous hospitality, wonderful company, and thoughtful organisation for making our two-day stay in Guernsey such a memorable one. I was touched by the fact that you offered seats to sixth-form students at a paid event. As much as business and finance needs to learn how to tackle climate change, the younger generation is the one that must see that a brighter future is possible.’
Akshat Rathi

‘Thank you for putting on such a special festival.’
Bryony Gordon

‘I had such a great time! The festival was so brilliantly organised and everyone was super friendly and welcoming. Writing and swimming are two of my favourite things, so it was truly perfect! Thanks for everything you did to make us all feel so comfortable and welcome!’
Emma Gannon

What’s really lovely about meeting people face to face is that is that when they have read your book and they’re inspired by it, they’ve enjoyed it and it’s made them laugh, that’s very rewarding.’
Sarah Beeny