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BIG LIT The Stewartry Book Festival

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 and are avid supporters of our precious Public Libraries.

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March 2019 NEWSLETTER - details of Literary Festival dates March-May, 2019. Read more

Featured Festivals

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The Stratford Literary Festival celebrates its 12th year with a superb line-up of speakers and events. The eight day spring festival, which kicks off on 28 April, includes speakers debating science and ideas, mental health and women’s issues, medicine and the news, as well as welcoming some of the most celebrated literary fiction authors writing today. When? Spring Festival: 28th April-5th May 2019 Who? Ali Smith, John Lanchester, Tessa Hadley and Booker-prize winner Ben Okri + Read More


Building on the traditions of the Bristol Poetry Festival, organised by PoetryCan from 1975-2017, Bristol is staging a new poetry festival! ‘Lyra’ in 2019. The event has received Arts Council England funding to showcase the best of poetry in the Bristol area. When? 20th-24th March with rolling series prior Where? Various venues throughout the city Who? Festival poets include Bristol Poet Laureate Vanessa Kisuule, Jo Bell,  Harry Baker, Shruti Chauhan, Stephen Lightbown + Read More


The Guernsey Literary Festival. Set in the beautiful Channel Island of Guernsey, the island which gave sanctuary to Victor Hugo and where he finished Les Miserables. When? 1st-6th May, 2019 Where? Guernsey Islands Who? 2019 Novelists Lionel Shriver, Patrick Gale, Emma Healey, Helen Wallen and Lucy Christopher, best sellers Adam Kay and Matt Haigh, broadcasters Libby Purves and Lucy Siegle, poets Lemn Sissay, Joelle Taylor and Maura Dooley, travel writers Horatio Clare and Huw Lewis-Jones, thriller writers Mark Billingham and Erin Kelly + Read more


2019 witnesses the 10th anniversary of the Penzance Literary Festival, congratualtions to all involved in the journey this far! A comfortable gathering offering a range of workshops, author talks and entertainment 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 2019, on the theme Borderlines. When?  From July 3rd-6th, 2019 Where? The Acorn Theatre and other venues in the centre of Penzance, Cornwall Who? 2019 - Tim Pears, Kate Clanchy, John Harvey ++ Read More


Whitlit, the Whitstable Literary Festival, takes place by the sea in one of the prettiest towns in the country. When? 8-17 May 2019 Where? Whitstable, Kent Who? Lynda La Plante, Terry Waite, Lord David Owen, Killing Eve, Luke Jennings, Alan Johnson, James Runcie plus many local authors from Julie Wassmer, John McGhie, Margaret Pemberton, Kevin Davey and Katie May. Read More


Shoreham Wordfest Celebrating Shakespeare

An annual celebration of Shakespeare with theatre, music and song, talks, film and an evening of revels. When? 25 - 28 April 2019Where? Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. Read More



Huddersfield Literature Festival was a finalist in the prestigious Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards 2016 and 2017, and winner of the Examiner Community Award for the Arts2017. When? 21st-31st March, 2019 Where? Various, in and around Huddersfield, West Yorkshire Who? 2019 - Ann Cleeves, Alan Johnson, Fiona Mosley, Janet Ellis, Joanne Harris, Johnny Ball. Read more


Set in the glorious house and grounds of Chiddingstone Castle in the National Trust village of Chiddingstone, West Kent, the Chiddingstone Castle Lterary Festival returns for a fourth outing in 2019. Following the success of the 2018 events the organisers have expanded the 2019 programme from three to FOUR days.When? May 4-7th, 2019 Read More

Fishbourne Literary Festival 'Fishbourne Loves Books'


Splendid author line-up for the fourth Fishbourne Literary Festival.  Last year the event sold out well before the date so best get your tickets early. When? Saturday 30th March, 2019 - West Sussex Where? St. Peter's Place and Fishbourne Church at Fishbourne, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 3XT Who? 2019 Elly Griffiths, Luke Jennings, Kate Mosse, Peter Parker, Duncan Salkeld. Read More


The Alderney Literary Festival is the Channel Island's boutique history festival The Festival has as its constant theme the interpretation of history and the convergence of historical fact and literary fiction. ​ When? 29th-31st March, 2019 Where? Channel Island of Alderney Who? 2019 - Anthony Riches, Kate Williams, Nuala Calvi, Ben Kane, Abir Mukherjee, Duncan Barrett, Alex von Tunzelmann, Clare Mulley, Mark Oldfield, Mary Lyn Bracht (Festival Debut Author). Read More


The inaugural Minehead Literary Festival features presentations by four leading writers with ties to the area who will explore the importance of place in their writing. When? Saturday April 27th Where? Methodist Church Hall, 7 The Avenue, Minehaed, Somerset. Who? Tessa Hadley, Tim Dee, Pamela Holmes, Victoria Eveleigh. Read More


Darlington Arts Festival 2019 incorporating the Writers Festival

A large part of this year’s annual Darlington Arts Festival is dedicated to writers, both new and existing, with a variety of events taking place across all four days. When? Friday 17 May to Monday 20 May, 2019 Who? John Dean, Tracey Iceton, Ann Cuthbert, Peter King, Sue Chapman, Mike Jarvie, Bennet House Writers Read More


BIG LIT The Stewartry Book Festival,  is friendly four day festival of all things literary based in the small rural town of Gatehouse of Fleet. When? 2 - 5 May, 2019 Where? Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland Who? 2019 - Bernard McClaverty, Hugh Pym, Peter Marinker, Henry Bell, Owen Lowery, Sue Lawrence, Ted Powell, Janis McKay+ Read More


2019 Festivals - below are that dates that I have on-hand for those of you planning ahead

March 2019 Literary Festivals

Aldeburgh Literary Festival - Thursday 28th to Sunday 3rd March 2019

Alderney Literary Festival - 2019 Alderney Literary Festival of Historical Literature 29th-31st March.

Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival - 2019 March

Barnt Green BookFest - Saturday 16th March

Bournville BookFest - 14th-24th March

Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival - 30th March to 7th April, 2019

Chagword - Dartmoor's Literary Festival in Chagford- Biennial. Next festival, March 22 – 24 March 2019

Cork International Poetry Festival - March 19th - 23rd, 2019

Diva Literary Festival - (biennial) 5-17, March, 2019

Ennis Book Club Festival - 1st-3rd March 2019

Essex Book Festival - Throughout March each year.

Fishbourne Literary Festival 'Fishbourne Loves Books' - Saturday 30th March, 2019 - West Sussex

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival - March 30 and April 7, 2019

Headingley Lit Fest - Rolling series through March

Huddersfield Literature Festival - 21st-31st March, 2019

Jewish Book Week - Saturday March 2nd to Sunday 10th March, 2019

Kings Lynn Fiction Festival -   5-17 March, 2019.

Leeds Lit Fest, Yorkshire. 6-10th March, 2019

Lyra -The New Bristol Poetry Festival - Through March core events 20-24th, March 2019

Newham Word Festival, East London, 25 February – 10 March 2019

Oxford Literary Festival - March 30 April 7, 2019

Solihull BookFest - Saturday 9th March

Sutton Coldfield BookFest - Saturday 2nd March

Stanza: Scotland's Poetry Festival, St. Andrews - Wednesday 6 and Sunday 10 March 2019

Teignmouth Poetry Festival – 21 to 24 March 2019

York Literature Festival - 15th-31st March, 2019

Wimbledon Book Festival 15-17 March, 2019 (Spring Festival)

April Literary Festivals

Ampthill Litfest (formerly Ampthill Literary Festival) Saturday 27th April 2019 

Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival - 30th March- 7 April, 2019

Chipping Norton Literary Festival - 25 - 28 April 2019

Colonsay Book Festival -  April 27 and 28, 2019

Cúirt International Festival of Literature (Galway, Ireland) -April 8 – 14th, 2019

Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, Gloucestershire, Cotswalds - Saturday 27th April 2019

Hexham Book Festival - Friday 26th April to Sunday 5th May, 2019

Laugharne Weekend Festival -Weekend 5 Apr 2019 - 7 Apr 2019

Minehead Literary Festival, Somerset, Saturday 27th April, 2019

Oxford Literary Festival - March 30 April 7, 2019

Scarborough Literature Festival - 11 -14 April 2019

Shoreham Wordfest Celebrating Shakespeare- Shoreham-by-the-Sea, West Sussex, 25 - 28 April 2019

Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival -Spring Festival: 28th April-5th May 2019

UK Southern Book Show - 28 April 2019, West Sussex

Wrexham Carnival of Words -  27th April to Saturday 4th May 2019

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Chrys Salt MBE is a poet with roots deeply planted in the theatre. She has produced four full poetry collections and four pamphlet collections and has performed on Radios 3 and 4, and, performed readings across the world. In-between she is the Director of BIG LIT The Stewartry Book Festival. Read more about Chrys


Justin Newland crafts his stories to entertain, inform and speculate. He writes historical fiction with a supernatural twist. His work explores the zeitgeist of our times, the underlying narrative to every culture. Read More


Joanne M. McCarron is the exciting new Australian author of the critically acclaimed children’s fairy tales The Singing Stone (2014) and The Kaleidoscope (2015),the first two books in her Silvery Elms series as well as the author of two historical novels, A Harp of Truest Tone (2013) and Coventina’s Well (2019). Read More.


Wendy Buonaventura is a writer and dancer whose work explores cultural myths about women. Her shows (many of them offshoots of her books)  have been seen internationally, including at the Paris Institut du Monde Arabe and Sadlers Wells, London. Read More


Andrew Shaw is former BBC reporter who gave it all up to travel to China to study the craft of jade carving. He has become a gold medal winning master carver and now lives with his wife in the city of Suzhou where they run a tea house and jade gallery. His book, Jade Life: An Englishman’s love affair with China's national treasure tells his fascinating story. Read More


Adrian Hayes is a British record-breaking adventurer, author, keynote speaker, business coach, documentary presenter and sustainability campaigner. Read more


David Bailey is the author of children's adventure books including ‘The Storm’ children’s (8-13 years) novel ‘The Dream’ children’s (8-13 years) novel. Read More


Australian JL (Judy) Crozier's first novel, What Empty Things Are These, a literary historical set in London of 1860, was published recently by Regal House Publishing. Read More


Established in 1980 the annual Winchester Writers' Festival offers three days of talks and workshops for writers. Read More



Salisbury Literary Festival is a festival for readers and writers. The line-ups are predominantly fiction-based to put authors, rather than celebrities, front and centre. When? 18-20 October 2019. Read More


INAUGURAL TRING BOOK FESTIVAL -For ten days in November, the Hertfordshire market town of Tring will be transformed into a literary lover’s dream as the community welcomes a selection of the world’s finest writers. When? Friday 8th to Sunday 17th November 2019 Where? Tring, Hertfordshire. (Various venues). Read More


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