All about the committee...

Jenny Aston: Festival Photographer

Jenny, along with Mike, will be photographing throughout the festival. You will see us rushing from event to event and grabbing pictures of the atmosphere along the way.

Jenny has photographed Chipping Norton Literary Festival for the last 3 years, and enjoyed every moment. Throughout the rest of the year she runs her busy photographic practice providing local businesses, charities and private clients with their visual resources.

Please contact us for images; or call on 07908 816421

Angela Caiger: Treasurer

ChipLitFest's Treasurer and all round financial supremo. 

Becca Connor: Festival Secretary

Hailing originally from Gateshead in the North East, Becca made Chipping Norton her home 4 years ago. After a rather longer than intended stint in customer services, Becca realised that she really wanted a career in publishing, following various fascinating and inspirational talks and workshops at ChipLitFest 2016.

She currently works as an Editorial Assistant for Routledge, working on academic sports books, and is thoroughly enjoying learning the ropes in a fast-paced, creative environment. Having been a huge fan of ChipLitFest since her sister introduced her to it, Becca is thrilled to join the committee as secretary.

Jenny Dee: Festival Director

ChipLitFest 2023 is Jenny’s sixth as Festival Director. Previously she had spent 25 years running an educational theatre company, Caught in the Act. As its founder and director, Jenny devised, wrote and directed dramas exploring health and wellbeing issues for children and young people in primary, secondary and non-mainstream education.

Jenny is convinced that literature has the power to transform and enhance lives and is keen that the festival reaches beyond committed readers to harder-to-reach audiences.

She lives in Kingham with comedy writer, Simon Blackwell, and they have two grown-up sons.

Alison Gomm: Author Care

Alison has more books than she can fit in her house but cannot bear to part with any. (Don't get her started on the costs of off-site storage.) It is the thought that she can reach for one of them at any moment and re-enter its particular world that makes them precious to her. She loves the company of writers, whom she finds endlessly varied and always fascinating, so ChipLitFest is the perfect weekend for her. By day, Alison is the only non-economist on the editorial team of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, an academic journal. Since its aim is to influence public policy and to be read by the interested lay person as well as other economists, it makes sense to have one non-specialist on the team.

Phoebe Haywood

Pheebs is back for a sixth year on the ChipLitFest team (ignoring the Covid years…) and is clutching onto the ChipLitFest 2023 books and events with stubborn, clenched fists – even though her university final exams lurk ominously in the calendar immediately after the Festival. She is currently finishing her Classics degree, while writing and performing comedy with the Oxford Revue, and she is excited to pursue writing opportunities after university. See the blog pages for her reviews of some of the books that will be discussed at the Festival – albeit fewer than usual, due to the pressure of revision!

Harriet O'Brien: Sponsorship Associate

Harriet writes about travel for the Telegraph and a number of other publications and websites. When she's not scooting around the Cotswolds or India or France she's been working with our sponsorship and marketing teams. She is the author of two books: Forgotten Land, a rediscovery of Burma (Michael Joseph); and Queen Emma and the Vikings (Bloomsbury). 

Laura Parker: Copy Writing and Website Content

Laura is our copywriter, web editor and the only committee member to own sheep. During the day she’s out gathering words, mustering phrases, and rounding up stray commas for her clients in construction, steel, beer, oil and hair products. She’s hoping lambing will be over by the time of the Festival.

Charlotte Sabin: Programme Director

Charlotte joined the Committee as ChipLitFest Programme Director having volunteered at the 2016 Festival. Charlotte is a writer and editor from Chipping Norton. Having taught English in South East Asia and devised curricula for language schools, Charlotte is an active advocate for creative arts and education, acting as content writer for Field Notes and on other digital platforms. Her writing has been published in The Bookseller and on Gadgette.

She is part of the team in Author Liaison for Port Eliot Festival, and in 2015 took on the role of Assistant Producer for online literary festival BritCrime. She has also coordinated online coverage for North Cornwall Book Festival. Her independently curated projects range from folk music archiving to community arts and have achieved national recognition. For the last year, Charlotte has worked as an editor and moderator for Cornwall-based Professional Writing Academy.

She has lectured at Falmouth University on social media and digital writing and will soon be tutoring at the MET Film School, London on digital storytelling.

Gill de Warren: Design

Gill de Warren aka Gill Coupland is responsible for the Festival's printed design - flyers, posters, banners etc.

Gill's professional background is in graphic design and advertising. After an art school education, she worked as an Art Director for several London ad agencies and subsequently ran her own freelance creative marketing business, developing campaigns and product packaging for the food industry (cheese, ice cream, olive oil, wine etc). She later gained an MA in Art and Design Education and joined an American university in London eventually becoming Dean of Visual Communication, with full oversight of the art and design departments including Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Media Production.

Gill now lives in Chippy and continues to freelance on graphic design and education projects. She is also a member and past president of The Rotary Club of Battersea Park, London. Through Rotary, she has built several major charitable educational projects in India and travels frequently to oversee them. She is a painter and illustrator herself and a collector of contemporary British art. Gill also continues to promote the work of her late husband, who was a prominent life coach and author.

Milly Weaver: Schools & Young People Programme Director

As a teacher at a Chipping Norton school, Milly is perfectly placed to deliver in her role of Schools and Young People Programme Director. 

Eva Williams: Sponsorship Director

Mr Richard Hoare, Eva’s English school teacher at Coundon Court School in Coventry and author, opened up the world of books to Eva – Shakespeare’s plays in particular.

Eva’s love of words extended to her career. She has worked in PR, marketing and fundraising within the private and voluntary sectors. For ten years Eva worked in academia at the University of Oxford and is now freelance.

In her spare time Eva is a volunteer on the ChipLitFest sponsorship committee, a member of a book club, and can be found in galleries up and down the country – art is her other great love!

For ten years, Eva worked in academia at the University of Oxford and is now with Armonico Consort, a critically acclaimed UK choir and instrumental ensemble renowned for its inspiring concerts and imaginative singing education programme.