Ways With Words
Ways With Words was founded in 1991 by Kay Dunbar and Stephen Bristow.
Beginning with a 7-day festival at Dartington Hall in Devon in 1992 the organisation has grown and developed and now runs three major festivals of words and ideas in the UK each year, as well as courses based in Umbria, Italy for writers, painters and people wanting to learn a bit of Italian.
En route Ways With Words has run festivals for children, weekend festivals in Bath, York, Bury St Edmunds and Bournemouth and specialist events for the Friends of the National Maritime Museum, the Jane Austen Society and the Thomas Hardy Society.
In February 2019, the founding directors started on a process of ‘succession’ and have brought in Leah Varnell, who was formerly General Manager and Festival Curator, as Managing Director with overall responsibility for the running of the business.
Kay Dunbar remains as a director taking on a predominately consultative role. Stephen Bristow similarly takes on a consultative role but with responsibility as Finance Director.
Ways With Words has always existed to promote both the written and the spoken word. We want to bring people together in beautiful surroundings to make contact with writers, journalists and experts in various fields – to talk, to argue, to listen, to engage and to learn.