Madeline Toy has joined Bath Festivals as Head of Literature Programming looking after the literature programme for The Bath Festival in May, and overseeing Bath Children’s Literature Festival, programmed by Artistic Directors John and Gill McLay, in September/October. She replaces Judith Robinson who left the organisation last month. Toy took up her position on Monday 15th October.

Joining from Cheltenham Festivals where she has been since January 2014, first as a freelance programmer and later as Programme Manager and Senior Programme and Project Manager, she worked predominantly on the fiction, celebrity and lifestyle collections bringing new event formats to the festival that championed debut and commercial fiction and concentrating on filling the largest venue, The Forum. In 2017 she worked with Simon and Schuster to bring Hillary Rodham Clinton to the festival for a sell out 2500 seater event at Cheltenham Racecourse. Previously she worked in the publicity departments at Transworld, Vintage and as a freelance publicist. She is the Treasurer of the Publishers’ Publicity Circle and will continue to undertake this role. She can be reached on

Toy said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cheltenham Festivals. I loved working with the team there and learned so much. I’ve admired The Bath Festival for a while now, especially since they combined their music and literature festivals a couple of years ago which I thought was a really interesting move, and I’m really excited to get going on the programme for 2019.”

Also joining Bath Festivals in the position of Literature Producer is Kate Abbey. Having previously undertaken a freelance programming and artist liaison role at the festival and also chairing many events over the past 5 years, Kate is delighted to join the team permanently. She can be reached on

Abbey said: “I’ve been an avid supporter of Bath Festivals and Bath Children’s Literature Festival for over ten years as an attendee and for the past five working alongside the team who make it all happen. I’m thrilled to be on board in my new role.”

For The Bath Festival in 2019, Alex Clark, having completed her two year tenure as Artistic Director for the festival, will return as a Guest Curator for a special series of fiction events and will also be chairing during the festival.

Chief Executive of Bath Festivals, Ian Stockley said: “I am delighted to welcome Madeline and Kate to our team.  Madeline’s experience and commercial knowledge is a great asset to Bath Festivals and Kate’s permanent appointment is testament to her important contribution so far, and also signifies our move towards growing our business and developing the already strong literary programming that we offer during both festivals.”

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