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Stratford Literary 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. Organisers can update details or send new listing info here. First-in best dressed for lead spots. Please get your 2019 details and subscription in as soon as possible to obtain maximum coverage. Authors, illustrators and poets are also invited to list their details. If you like what we do please consider chipping-in to our costs, all help, however small, appreciated. 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

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


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


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


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



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


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


Now in its second year, the 2019 Montgomeryshire Literary Festival (Monty Lit Fest), will take place in the stunning and historic setting of Gregynog Hall, near Newtown. As with last year’s inaugural Festival, the event celebrates authors with personal and literary links with Wales and the Welsh borders, featuring a line up of leading authors including Horatio Clare, Sir Simon Jenkins and Clare Mackintosh. When? 14th - 16th June 2019 Who? Horatio Clare, Sir Simon Jenkins, Clare Mackintosh, Myfanwy Alexander, Simon Baynes, Tom Bullough, Peter Caddick-Adams, Gwen Davies + Read More



Now in its seventy-first year (2019), 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 and much more. Appearances this year include Sophie Hannah, who will be taking you through what makes a dream author that publishers want to work with. Prices from £485 for a fully inclusive week. When? 10-16 August, 2019 Read More



The FREE annual literary festival in east London. Run by the Libraries Pen to Print programme, ReadFest has been running in local libraries since 2011. Featuring the best of local, national and international writers. This free programme of events is not to be missed. When? Monday 9 to Friday 27 September 2019 Where? London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Libraries. 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

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

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

Featured Authors

Justin Newland

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Shalini Bhalla-Lucas is an award-winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, teacher/trainer and the founder of Just Jhoom! – a Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness programme. Shalini her first book Always With You – A true story of love, loss…and hope became a No 1 Amazon Bestseller. Online Dating @ 40 – The Nobheads, Nutjobs & Nice Guys Shalini’s second book was published in February 2019. Read More


Stan Abbott, who writes his fiction under the name Stan L. Abbott, began his career as a journalist in York and has written for many national and regional newspapers and magazines.The Episode is his first novel. Read More


Erica Wolfe-Murray is a force to be reckoned with. Dubbed by national media and clients as the ‘Delia’ of business she is renowned for her smart and savvy approach to innovation and problem solving. She is author of Simple Tips and Smart Ideas. Read More


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

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