News room: 10 Lovely Literary Festivals for 2017

10 Lovely Literary Festivals for 2017 by Jessica Barrah

Warm white wine in plastic cups, marquees and malfunctioning microphones – yes it’s book festival season again! We’ve rounded up ten of the best from around the world, but do check out book festivals in your own area, and see if they have any spots for self-published local authors. You could be the one on stage, with people queuing to get their book signed.

1. PEN America World Voices Festival

Location: New York City, USA
Date: 1st to 17th May 2017
Details: Set up by Salman Rushdie amongst others, the festival is a platform for a global community of writers, artists and thinkers to connect with the public to fight back against bigotry, hatred and isolationism.
Prices:: Various – some events are free.

2. Hay Festival

Location: Hay-On-Wye, Wales.
Dates: 25th May to 4th June 2017.
Details: It’s Hay’s 30th anniversary this year, and guests this year are as varied and impressive as ever, including Jeremy Paxman, Eddie Izzard and Julia Donaldson. Join in the search to find 30 books from the last 30 years that deserve some more attention here.
Prices: Generally around £7-£9 for each talk, reading or interview. More expensive for music or comedy shows.

3. Sydney Writers Festival

Dates: 22nd to 28th May 2017
Location: Sydney, Australia
Details: Ian Rankin, Armando Iannucci and Lauren Child are some of the guests at the festival this year. The heart of the Festival is at Walsh Bay in heritage wharves on Sydney Harbour. There are also events stretching across Sydney, from the Opera House and Sydney Town Hall, into suburban Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
Prices: Various, many events at Walsh Bay are free. Each day $10 tickets are announced for a handful of events that day.

4. Stoke Literary Festival

Location: Stoke on Trent, England.
Dates: 8th to 10th June 2017
Details: Now in its fourth year, this ‘festival in a factory’ takes place in the creative surroundings of the canal-side Emma Bridgewater Factory. Guests include Ed Balls and Alexander Armstrong.
Prices: Around £6 – although some events are already sold out.

5. Miłosz Festival

Location: Krakow, Poland
Dates: 8th-11th June 2017
Details: The Miłosz Festival is the largest celebration of poetry in Poland and in Central Europe, and each year it attracts leading writers and thinkers from around the world.
Prices: Programme to be announced shortly – check the website for updates.

6. Ways With Words

Location: Dartington Hall, Devon
Dates: 7th to 17th July 2017
Details: With a wide variety of talks and readings, there are lots of chances for those who read books to meet those who write them, all in a beautiful setting. The programme will be published shortly, so check the website for more details.
Prices: There are various packages for tickets for the festival, which you can also combine with accommodation, or just book for single events, from around £10 each.

7. Port Eliot Festival

Location: St. Germans, Cornwall
Dates: 27th to 30th July, 2017
Details: Port Eliot Festival is not just a literary festival – there’s music, food, comedy and lots more besides. But if you’re there for the books, you can choose to see Michèle Roberts, Geoff Dyer, Andrew O’ Hagan and Nina Stibbe and many others.
Prices: Day tickets for around £60 or weekend tickets, priced £165 . See the website for more details.

8. Edinburgh International Book Festival

Dates: 12th to 28th August 2017
Location: Edinburgh
Details: The festival welcomes more than 800 authors in over 700 events each year including novelists, poets, scientists, philosophers, sportsmen, illustrators, comic creators, historians, musicians, biographers, environmentalists, economists, Nobel and Booker prize-winners and many more besides.
Prices: Full programme and ticket prices to be announced on 13th June – but entry to the Charlotte Square Gardens where the festival takes place is free.

9. Berlin International Literature Festival

Location: Berlin, Germany.
Dates: 6th to 16th September 2017
Details Each year there are world renowned writers and a wide ranging program of events (yet to be confirmed). Tickets go on sale on 14th July.
Prices: 4€ up to 12€ including concessions, Students 4€
Day pass 18€, concession 14€, Students 8€
Festival pass 80€, concession 60€, Students and Sponsors 40€

10. Texas Book Festival

Location: State Capitol and surrounds, Austin, Texas
Dates: 4th to 5th November 2017
Details: The annual Texas Book Festival features approximately 250 authors, from Texas and beyond, whose books are published in the year the Festival takes place. All authors who are invited to participate will be featured in a panel or solo session. If you’d like to submit your own book for consideration, then read the submission guidelines here.
Prices: Check the website closer to the festival date for ticket prices.

Do let us know about any other literary festivals you’d recommend visiting over the year!

Further reading:

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Books, Publishing, Festivals, Writers, Literary, and Self-publishing