Literary Festivals UK Dates -Details-Authors-Books-Awards-Literary News

Welcome! Established online since 2008 we provide details of 350+ Community Literary Festivals throughout UK & Ireland and beyond. We provide a literary news stream, report on major book award results and provide a publicity boost for hundreds of established and upcoming authors. We promote Writers' Rights and Freedom of Expression.

Organisers can update details or send new listing info here. First-in best dressed for lead spots. Authors, illustrators and poets are also invited to list their details.

Follow us on Twitter @litfests or Like us on Facebook to keep in the literary loop. Sign-up for our newsletter if you would like the heads-up about upcoming festival dates. Blessings all. Kev Parker - Publisher

Literary News

Applicants Invited:Gladstone’s Library’s Competitive Writer in Residence 19-Apr-2018

Writers in Residence 2019 SUBMISSION OPENS: TUESDAY, 2ND JANUARY 2018 POSTMARK DEADLINE: MON..

London Literary Agency Inviting Internship Applications 19-Apr-2018

The Carole Blake Open Doors Project, is a programme specifically aimed at encouraging candidates..

2018 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Shortlist 18-Apr-2018

Jennifer Egan, Benjamin Myers and Paul Lynch are among the authors shortlisted for the &pou..

BBC Announces Hay Festival 2018 Programming 18-Apr-2018

The BBC has unveiled the full BBC Tent line-up for the 31st Hay Festival (24 May to 3 June). The..

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BeaconLit - The Beacon Villages festival of books and writing

In its sixth year in 2018, BeaconLit is a one-day event that combines a high quality literary festival with an intimate village feel. Entirely staffed and run by volunteers, the festival raises funds for the Beacon Villages Community Library that serves the villages surrounding the Ivinghoe Beacon landmark in the heart of thee beautiful Chiterns. When? 14 July 2018 Where? Brookmead School High Street Ivinghoe Buckinghamshire LU79EX ,United Kingdom Who? In 2018 Mark Billingham, Carole Matthews, Tony Klinger, Mary Lynn Bracht, Vicky Newham, Lydia Syson, Dave Sivers, Martyn Waites, Morgen Bailey, Sue Benwell+ Read More

Swanwick Writers' Summer School

Now in its seventieth year, Swanwick Writers' Summer School is a week-long programme for writers of all ages, abilities and genres. Featuring courses, workshops, guest speakers, panels and optional one-to-one sessions, it offers you the opportunity to learn new skills, explore your creativity, perform your poetry, sing, act, dance, laugh, or even write. Prices start from £475 and the cost includes full board and evening entertainment. For aspiring writers between 18-30 there is the opportunity to apply for a place on the Top Write scheme at the heavily subsidised price of £100. When? 11 - 17 August 2018 Where? Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire Read More

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The Winchester Writers’ Festival brings emerging writers together for three days of workshops, talks, and networking with over 70 acclaimed authors, poets, screenwriters, literary agents and editors. Choose from 18 all-day workshops, 28 talks and book up to four one-to-one appointments with literary agents, editors and other publishing experts. The Festival offers ten free places to writers aged 18-25, and runs ten writing competitions (deadline April 11). When? 2018 Writers' Festival - 15-17 June Where? University of Winchester campus, Winchester, Hampshire Who? Patrick Gale, Keynote Speaker, plus over 70 top literary agents, commissioning editors and authors. Read More

Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival

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Set in the glorious house and grounds of Chiddingstone Castle in the National Trust village of Chiddingstone, West Kent, the festival returns for a third outing in 2018. Under the guidance of Festival Direcor, Victoria Henderson, it is growing in stature with an impressive line-up of authors recruited this year. When? - May Bank Holiday weekend Sunday Sunday 6th - Tuesday 8th May 2018 Where? Chiddingstone Castle, Chiddingstone, West Kent Who? 2018 - Ian Rankin, Diana Henry (pictured), Anna Pasternak, John Sutherland, Erwin James, Cathy Rentzenbrink+. Read More

Althorp Literary Festival

The Althorp Literary Festival is a unique and intimate celebration of the written word which takes place against the backdrop of one of England’s most beautiful, private, historic houses. The event always features a good speaker line-up and the Festival Director, Kim Mundy, has once again booked some fine talent for 2018. There will also be pop-up shops, a variety of food and drink choices and an on-site spa service. Where? The Stables, Althorp, Northampton , England NN7 4HQ When? 5th, 6th & 7th October, 2018 Who? -Bernard Cornwall, Paula Byrne, Helen Castor, Peter Frankopan, Simon Jenkins+ More

Featured Festivals

Beaconlit

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Featured Authors

Christine Weir

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 We get 500,000 unique visitors each year with a social media reach in excess of 3 million to a very specific literary demographic including fellow authors, festival organisers, publishers and the wider book buying public  Read more

Competions

Hastings Literary Festival Short Story Competition
1,500 words on theme 'Conquest'. First Prize: £200 to spend with Retreat West (Courses, retreats and critiques). Other prizes for runner-up and commended. Entry fee £5. Closing date 30th June 2018. www.HastingsLitFest.org  

Hastings Literary Festival Crime Novel Competition
For novels up to 90,000 words in any style. Writers must be unpublished in Crime genre but may be published in others.  Send synopsis plus first 3 chapters.  First Prize: publication by Crooked Cat Books plus £150 and trophy. Runner-up £100 and trophy. Entry fee £10. Closing date 31st May 2018.  www.HastingsLitFest.org

FEATURED FESTIVAL

If you are a fan of this iconic literary event you will not be disappointed with yet another stunning line-up for it's 31st outing in 2018. If you have never been then give some serious consideration to going along this year as it always delivers

hay-festival-2018

Hay Festival brings readers and writers together to share stories and ideas in sustainable events around the world. The festivals inspire, examine and entertain, inviting participants to imagine the world as it is and as it might be. Nobel Prize-winners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians and musicians talk with audiences in a dynamic exchange of ideas.

The Festival’s global conversation shares the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences live, in print and online. Hay Festival also runs wide programmes of education work supporting coming generations of writers and culturally hungry audiences of all ages.

In 1987, the festival was dreamt up around a kitchen table in Hay. Thirty-one years later, the unique marriage of exacting conversations and entertainment for all ages has travelled to editions in 30 locations, from the historic town of Cartagena in Colombia to the heart of cities in Peru, Mexico, Spain and Denmark.

The organisation now reaches a global audience of hundreds of thousands every year and continues to grow and innovate, building partnerships and initiatives alongside some of the leading bodies in arts and the media, including the BBC, Welsh Government Department of Education, Visit Wales, ACW, the British Council, Oxfam, TATA, Friends of Hay Festival, Baillie Gifford, Good Energy, and the National Trust. Acclaimed author, actor and writer Stephen Fry is President of the organisation; Peter Florence is Director; and Caroline Michel, CEO of leading literary and talent agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop, is Chair of the Festival board.

Where? Hay-On-Wye. Held in a tented village at Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. Situated between Hereford and Brecon just off the A438 When? 24 May—3 June 2018 Who? 2018 Early birds announced so far include... Margaret Atwood, Sarah Churchwell, Hannah Critchlow, Rowan Williams, Philip Pullman, Marina Warner, and Jack Zipes; comedy from Shazia Mirza, Bridget Christie, and Dara O Briain; and music from Jake Bugg, Trio HLK and Evelyn Glennie, Les Amazones d’Afrique, and Sam Lee. Read More

FEATURED AUTHORS

Every month we feature a variety of established and upcoming authors. If you would like to be a featured author with a directory entry on the site and social media amplification then please apply via our Authors page.

AUTHOR FOCUS -IAN WILLIAMS

ian-williams-authorIan Williams is an award-winning journalist, who has reported from across the world. He was business correspondent for the Sunday Times before switching to television, where he worked for twenty-five years as a foreign correspondent, first for Channel 4 News and then for the American network, NBC.

Ian was based in Moscow before moving to the Far East, working out of bureaus in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Beijing. He has travelled and worked across China.

He has covered major news stories ranging from the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule and the Bali bombings, to the Indian Ocean and Japanese tsunamis, as well as a host of other earthquakes, uprisings and coups.

He has also reported on the plight of pandas in China, and orangutans and tigers in Indonesia. More recently he covered the Russian annexation of Crimea and the Russian-backed rebellion in east Ukraine.

Ian left NBC at the end of 2015 to finish his first novel, Beijing Smog, a satire of modern China, in which he was able to draw on his considerable experience working in that country. He also went back to school, studying for a master’s degree in information (cyber) security at Royal Holloway, University of London. That also helped with fine-tuning some of the cyber skulduggery in the novel.Read joel-greenberg-authorMore

AUTHOR FOCUS -JOEL GREENBERG

Dr Joel Greenberg is a Canadian author and historian living in the UK.

Joel Greenberg has written the authorised biographies of two key figures in the story of signals intelligence, Gordon Welchman and Alastair Denniston.

The Welchman book, Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence, is the basis of a joint BBC/Smithsonian Network 2015 documentary about Welchman –The Forgotten Genius of Bletchley Park.

The Denniston book, Alastair Denniston, Code-breaking from Room 40 to Berkeley Street and the Birth of GCHQ, is both a biography and an account of signals intelligence from its early development to the birth of GCHQ. Denniston was the first Head of GCHQ and the book was launched at its headquarters on 7 September 2017 in honour of him.

Joel Greenberg received his PhD in Numerical Mathematics from the University of Manchester (UMIST) in 1973.  He worked for the Open University for over 33 years, and held a number of senior management positions at Director level. Read More

Philip Pullman

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Margaret Atwood

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Lee Child

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David Walliams

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FEATURED BOOKS

HowTheLightGetsIn

With over 700 events, the range, choice and depth of the programme at HowTheLightGetsIn is unmatched. Yet, even though the event has grown tenfold since it started, the organisers have kept it intimate scale. The venues are small enough to encourage real conversation, electric enough to make the dancing spin. When? From 25th-28th May 2018 Where? Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales Who? The festival will feature  political theorist Noam Chomsky, Anna Soubry MP, physicist Lawrence Krauss, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, literary critic Stanley Fish, Angela Eagle MP, British journalist Myriam François, and many more. Read More

crimfest_bristol_england_logo

This annual convention has been running since 2008 and has become one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, featuring as one of the highlights on the international crime fiction calendar. The atmosphere is friendly, informal and inclusive – it’s a real celebration of the genre.

When? Date: 17– 20 May 2018 Where? Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel Who? Featured guest authors for 2018 Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver. Read More

Edinburgh International Book Festival

edinburh_international_book_festivalEach summer Charlotte Square Gardens in the heart of Edinburgh is transformed into a tented village for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. This three week celebration of the written word is the largest of its kind in the world. Entry to the gardens is free. Here visitors can soak up the atmosphere, browse the bookshops, enjoy refreshments from the cafe or bar and choose from a programme of over 800 events.Many events are free to attend, including daily readings, signings, workshops and children’s activities. When? 11th-27th August 2018. Read More

Wantage Literary Festival

Originally a celebration of all things Betjeman, the Wantage Literary Festival is now a collection of events covering literature, poetry, comedy, history, science, the arts and much more.

Held during the October school holiday, the festival is dedicated to promoting the written (and spoken) word in all its forms.

The Festival is organised by a Festival Director (Victoria Luker in 2018) and run by a team of local volunteers. In addition to the main Festival week of events we also run a lively charitable schools’ programme.

When? 20-27 October 2018 Where? Various Venues around Wantage (Oxfordshire) Who? Miles Jupp, Diarmuid Gavin, Sam Willis & James Daybel,l Tracy Borman, Nick Cope, Keggie Carew, Max Hastings, Di Atkinson, Tim Radford + Read More

The Times & Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

cheltenham_literature_festivalOne of the oldest and best loved literature festivals in the world, lectures, poetry readings, children's events, interviews, storytelling, book groups, writing workshops, education projects, live literature. Over 100,000 tickets sell for the ten day event. As big as it gets.This autumn the event generally welcomes over 600 of the world’s greatest writers, poets, politicians, thinkers and stars to Cheltenham for an inspiring mix of debate and discussion. When? 5th-14th October 2018. Read More

Liverpool Literary Festival

After a successful inaugural event in 2016 the Liverpool Literary Festival returns for a seconval-mcdermidd outing in 2018. A weekend of discussions, readings, workshops and debates will take place in one of the most dynamic culturally vibrant cities in the world hosted by the University of Liverpool.

The 2018 line-up includes Sir Tony Robinson, Val McDermid (right credit Fraser Rice), Frank Cottrell Boyce, Colm Tóibín, James Naughtie, Claire Tomalin and Fiona Sampson, amongst other well-known literary figures. When? 19-21 October 2018. Read More

 

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Penzance Literary Festival

A celebratory get-together for the 'literary village' of West Cornwall - authors, poets, readers, publishers. An ideal addition to a summer holiday for visitors and one that has been embraced by locals. 2018 witnesses the 9th time that the event has hung up it's shingle and it seems to be coming along very nicely thank you very much. A range of workshops, talks and entertainment offering plenty for all tastes at affordable prices.The event brings you the light and the dark; the past and the present; the local and the exotic - all centred, this year 2018, on the theme of "Taking Flight". When?  Wednesday July 4th to Saturday July 7th 2018. Read More

New Literary Festivals in 2018

Each year we seem to lose a few festivals whilst welcoming new events to our robust literary festival circuit throughout the nation. Newcomers that have been in-touch include:

SEA FEVER - North Norfolk's Festival of Poetry + Prose

SEA FEVER aims to include all forms of the written word, to celebrate our exceptional coastline, and to bring writers with national reputations. This is the successor to the long-established Poetry-next-the-Sea which ran from 1997 to 2017. When? 12th May 2018 Where? The Maltings, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. Who? SEA FEVER's programme will be announced in March 2018. Read More

The Hastings Lit Fest

The South Coast's newest Literary Festival, is focused on writing for writers, exploring the creativity, beauty and power of the written word across a whole host of genres. The event, whose Patron is Sir David Hare, is scheduled to take place from Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September, 2018. Read More

Delapre Festival of Books

A weekend celebrating books at Delapre Abbey, a 900 year old Abbey in the heart of Northampton. Come along to hear talks from Bookstagram celebrities, publishers and magazines, pick up some career advice from those in the industry, purchase new and secondhand books as well as book related crafts, listen to author talks and attend signings.When? 26th-28th May 2018 Where? Delapre Abbey, Northampton. Read More

BROADSTAIRSLIT

Celebrating Broadstairs rich literary heritage and planning inspiring events all year round. When? Rolling series. Check official website for details Where? Broadstairs, Kent. Who? Throughout 2018 - Katie Fforde, Jo Thomas, Sir Tony Robinson,Hunter Davies, Caitlin Davies,Graham Jones, Tim Bentinck,Sunny Ormonde (The Archers), James Brown. Read more

Westbourne Book Binge, Bournemouth - Dorset

This is a new annual two to three day Book/Literary Festival to be staged in Westbourne, Bournemouth each April. Westbourne is where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde. The organisers are wisely starting off small and plan to grow in future years. When? 27 and 28 April 2018 Where? Various venues in Westbourne,Bournemouth. Who? Andrew Lownie, Phillipe Sands QC + Read More

Skulduggery in Stowmarket – Suffolk

Stowmarket Library has launched Suffolk’s newest crime writers’ festival.

‘Skulduggery in Stowmarket’ will take place at the library over four days from 27-30 April, 2018. It will involve four days of talks by top crime writers with plenty of crime-related activities to enjoy including a quiz, a murder mystery to solve, workshops and a day of activities for younger readers.Read More

 

Literary Festivals April 2018

Ampthill Litfest Saturday 28th April, 2018

BIG LIt- The Stewartry Book Festival  - Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland - 19 - 22 APRIL, 2018

Cambridge Wordfest - 12- 15 April, 2018

Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival - 21st - 29th April 2018

Cheltenham Poetry Festival- April 19th -30th 2018

Chipping Norton Literary Festival - Thurs 26 - Sun 29 April, 2018

Colonsay Book Festival - 28 and 29 Apri , 2018

Cúirt International Festival of Literature (Galway, Ireland) -23rd - 29th April 2018

Hexham Book Festival - 2018 festival dates are 27th April to 6th May.

Kent Festival of Writing - County Kent -Saturday 14th April 2018

Laugharne Weekend Festival -Weekend April 6-8.  , 2018

Scarborough Literature Festival - Wednesday 11 - Sunday 15 April 2018

Skulduggery in Stowmarket – Suffolk - 27-30th April, 2018 (new in 2018)

Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival - Spring Festival: 22nd-29th April 2018

Westbourne Book Binge, Bournemouth - Dorset - 27 and 28 April 2018 (New)

Wrexham Carnival of Words -  Saturday 21 April to Saturday 28 April 2018

May 2018 Literary Festivals

HowTheLightGetsIn -From 25th-28th May 2018- Powys, Wales - Arts festival with comprehensive literary component

Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival , West Kent - May Bank Holiday weekend Sunday Sunday 6th - Tuesday 8th May 2018

Aberdeen Writers Festival - Word – University of Aberdeen Writers Festival ran from 1999-2011 and has morphed into a broader May Festival. Music, film, science, food & nutrition, Gaelic debate, readings.

Barnes Children's Literature Festival, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th, 2018 - London

Bath Festival -11 to 27 May 2018.

Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival - 2018 Festival Dates – 25th – 27th May - Cornwall

Boswell Book Festival - 4th- 6th May, 2018

Brighton Festival - May 5th-27th 2018

Chalfont St Giles and Jordans Literary Festival - Biennial in even years. Scheduled 8th and 20th May, 2018

Charles Causley Festival -Thursday 31st May  until Sunday night 3rd June, 2018

Charleston Literary Festival - 2018 (founded 1984)

Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival , West Kent - May Bank Holiday weekend Sunday Sunday 6th - Tuesday 8th May 2018

Chipping Camden Literature Festival - May 12th-18th, 2018, North Cotswolds

Crimefest - Bristol - 17– 20 May 2018

Delapre Festival of Books - 26th-28th May 2018- Northampton

Oundle Festival of Literature - Now a rolling series throughout the year

Fowey Festival of Words and Music - May 12th to 19th, 2018

Guernsey Literary Festival - Next festival - 10-13th May, 2018

Hay Festival - 24 May—3 June 2018

Hexham Book Festival - 2017 Festival dates are 28th April to 7th May

HowTheLightGetsIn -From 25th-28th May 2018- Powys, Wales - Arts festival with comprehensive literary component

International Literature Festival Dublin - May 19th - 27th 2018

Newcastle Poetry Festival - 2-5 May 2018 

Oundle Festival of Literature - Now a rolling series throughout the year

Scarborough Literature Festival - Wednesday 11 - Sunday 15 April 2018 

SEA FEVER - North Norfolk's Festival of Poetry + Prose - Saturday May 12, 2018 (previously called Poetry-next-the-sea, Wells-next-the-Sea which ran from 1997 to 2017)

Shrewsbury Children's Bookfest - Usually May Bank Holiday Weekend

Strokestown International Poetry Festival -3rd -7th May, 2018 (usually first weekend in May)

St. Ives Literature Festival - Usually the middle week in May

Swindon Festival of Literature - 7th- 19th May, 2018

Salisbury International Arts Festival - The Festival is taking a break for 2018 and is planning to return in 2019

Ullapool Book Festival -May 11th-13th, 2018

University of Aberdeen Writers' Festival - Now the University of Aberdeen May Festival with a literary stream

Whitlit - Whitsable Literary Festival Wise Words Festival - · 25th – 28th May 2018 - Canterbury, Co. Kent

Wrexham Carnival of Words -  Saturday 21 April to Saturday 28 April 2018

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