What is Primadonna?

Primadonna is a book festival for people who don't think book festivals are 'for them'

Ours is. 

At Primadonna we put on a weekend of talks, workshops, performances and FUN every summer in the beautiful setting of the Food Museum in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Our lineup offers something for everyone: alongside our programme of conversations, round tables and interviews, we have live music, comedy, food, drink, DJs and therapies alongside three days of workshops to nourish the mind, body and soul. And a wellness area for anything that these don’t manage to heal or calm. 

Our line-up gives prominence to women, Black and Asian artists, the LGBTQIA+ community, working class and disabled people: everyone is welcome at Primadonna. As well as familiar names, we give emerging talent a chance to shine: so you’re as likely to see the next big thing (we had Bernardine Evaristo before she won the Booker and Self Esteem before she won, well, everything) as a household name (Sandi Toksvig is a regular; Betty Boo came in 2022).

More than that, we want to change the way books and publishing work, by spotlighting voices from the margins and offering money-can’t-buy opportunities for you to come and get advice for your own writing. Our USP is that we change lives: you can come to Primadonna and leave with a book deal – you wouldn’t be the first. 

But even if you’re not a writer, there’s so much on offer for you to enjoy: it’s a weekend of books, big ideas and alternative entertainment that will enlighten, entertain and uplift you. It’s really not to be missed. 

Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what some of our previous guests have said about us…

June Sarpong

The mission of the festival is one that is dear to my heart and also crucial for the publishing industry and society at large. Without gender equality in literature so many important stories go untold and so many vital voices go unheard. Primadonna aims to plug this gap whilst also unleashing a powerful wave of untapped female talent.

Bernardine Evaristo

I took part in Primadonna and loved it. It’s a wonderfully inclusive festival for women writers, open to everyone, based in a beautiful countryside setting. Very special.

La Roux

I loved it! Very chill and very lovely!

Abi Morgan

This was my first time at the Primadonna Festival and I was thrilled to be invited. I was excited by the focus on female talent, the mix of writers, comics and musicians and all in such a beautiful and intimate setting.

Michele Roberts

Thank you very much for inviting me to the glorious festival. I had a wonderful time. You have created something shining like a beacon!

Katy Brand

Congratulations to all who made the inaugural Primadonna festival happen at the weekend. It was a superb event and I hope the first of many! Viva la diva! 

Who are we? We are the Primadonnas…

The festival is the brainchild of a group of women – the ‘Primadonnas’ – from publishing and entertainment. The Primadonnas come from many different backgrounds but share a passion for arts and culture, and for making it available to all. 

We thought there was space for a book festival that shines a spotlight on artists that aren’t on the programme at more mainstream events, and one that blends the best of book and music festivals – with really nice toilets!

Primadonna’s mission is to create a space for all kinds of writers, readers and anyone interested in exploring ideas … and having a lot of fun. Somewhere to be part of a community, to escape the everyday, and to imagine better worlds.

We’d love to see you this summer in Stowmarket. Why not make it a date?