News room: 12 Unmissable Literary Festivals

12 Unmissable Literary Festivals by Jessica Barrah

It’s coming up to that time of year again… Yes, it’s festival season! Alongside interviews, talks, readings and book signings with a myriad of authors, these festivals often feature other attractions such as live music and comedy. There are festivals where you can camp, or ‘glamp’, as well as others where you just visit for the day, before returning to your cosy B&B.

1. Hay Festival

Location: Hay-On-Wye, Wales.
Dates: 25th May to 5th June 2016.
Details: No round up of literary festivals would be complete without the inclusion of the Hay Festival – this year as star studded as ever, including the screenwriter Andrew Davies, and novelist Marlon James.
Prices: Various, but generally around £7-£10 for each talk, reading or interview.

2. Wealden Literary Festival

Location: Boldshaves Gardens, Kent
Dates: 18th to 19th June 2016
Details: ‘A Celebration of Nature and Place through Literature’, this festival focuses on writers with a passion for the natural world. There are talks and readings in the The Garden Tent, and various activities for children and adults.
Prices: All tickets £5; includes access to festival site.
Day passes £25; includes access to festival site and all talks in The Garden Tent on that day.

3. Paraty International Literary Festival (FLIP), Brazil

Dates: 29 June to July 3 2016
Location: Paraty, Brazil
Details: A variety of literary events spill out from the Author’s tent at the festival, into the town itself. Workshops, talks and exhibitions revolve around the chosen author for the year – this year it’s the turn of poet Ana Cristina Cesar (1952-83).
Prices: Access to the festival site is R$50, or you can view events for free on a big screen in Paraty, or online.

4. Ledbury Poetry Festival

Location: Ledbury, Herefordshire
Dates: 1st to 10 July, 2016
Details: Taking place over ten days each July, there are live readings, performances, workshops, open mics, music, exhibitions, films, family events, street events, a poetry slam and much more.
Prices: A variety of prices for different events – some are free. See the website for more details.

5. 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.

6. Port Eliot Festival

Location: St. Germans, Cornwall
Dates: 28th to 31st July, 2016
Details: Port Eliot Festival describes itself as celebrating “words, music, imagination, ideas, nature, food, fashion, flowers, laughter, exploration, fun and all that is good in the world.” Set in a beautiful Cornish estate, it sounds ideal!
Prices: You can get day tickets for around £60 or weekend tickets, priced at around £145 depending which ‘tier’ you choose. See the website for more details.

7. Edinburgh International

Dates: 13th to 29th August 2016
Location: Edinburgh
Details: Full programme to be announced on the website on 9th June – but previous years have seen writers such as Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and Man Booker winner Ann Enright.
Prices: To be announced – but entry to the Charlotte Square Gardens where the festival takes place is free.

8. Festival of Writing

Location: York
Dates: 9 to 11th September
Details: Meet agents and publishers, get advice from professional authors and pitch your work direct to agents at the Festival of Writing. Everyone booking a ticket at the Festival is entitled to two ten minute 1-to-1 sessions, and those booking weekend tickets can upgrade to three for an additional £45.
Prices: From £185.

9. Berlin International Literature Festival

Location: Berlin, Germany.
Dates: 7th to 17th September
Details The full details and tickets will be released on 6th June, but expect world renowned writers and a wide ranging program of events.
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. Brooklyn Book Festival

Location: Brooklyn, New York City
Date: 18th September
Details: The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City, presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors.
Prices:: Nothing to pay!

11. Everybody’s Reading

Location: Leicester, UK.
Dates: 1 to 9th October
Details: ‘Everybody’s Reading’ is a festival of all things reading, encouraging everyone to hear spoken word artists, poets, authors and community writers. With a large variety of genres catered for, there’s something for everyone.
Prices: Many events are free, most are cheap (£2-£5.)Please check the website to find out if booking in advance may be required, even for free events.

12. Texas Book Festival

Location: State Capitol and surrounds, Austin, Texas
Dates: 5th to 6th November
Details: One of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country, the annual Texas Book Festival features more than 250 nationally and critically recognised authors, family activities, and lots of opportunities to meet authors and fellow book lovers. Authors are announced in September, and the full schedule is released about one month prior to the Festival.
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 in the next few months!

Further reading:

9 Posts

Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Latest response Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Most popular response
Purple_arrow_up-53af132e228e5075307be4092eb6fda7 First Post

Your comment



Written by
Jessica Barrah
Published on
Books, Festivals, Literary, Authors, Writers, Readers, and Publishing