UK Literary Festivals

Literary lovers rejoice – Autumn’s here, and with it comes a host of literature festivals. Here are some of the best…

London History Festival

18 to 28 November 2013
Leading historians deliver talks on topics that have shaped British history. Held in Kensington Central Library and Waterstone’s Kensington, Charles Moore talks about the life and career of Margaret Thatcher, historian Antonia Fraser discusses the human and political drama of the events surrounding the Reform Bill of 1832 and Sir Max Hastings addresses the origins and early campaigns of the First World War.

Highlights include: Antonia Fraser, Max Hastings, Artemis Cooper, Charloes Moore, and Dan Snow.



Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival

Throughout November
Now in it’s 22nd year, the Richmond Literature Festival promises to feature high profile authors, TV personalities, politicians and poets. Set in various venues across the borough sup cocktails and beer, and enjoy food and gardening, panel discussions, workshops, and more

Highlights include: Charles Moore, author of the authorized Margaret Thatcher biography, Sir Max Hastings; Daisy Waugh, the author and journalist; and the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow’s Marc Allum.


Dylan Thomas Festival

27th October – 9th November
Showcasing new and established talent, expect an energetic mix of poetry, prose, drama and music at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Wales. And Daleks, too, in celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary.

Highlights include: the launch of a new centenary commission from Gillian Clarke.


Scottish Story-Telling Festival

18-27th October
Inviting you to journey with nomads, explorers, pilgrims and voyagers, the Scottish Story-Telling Festival is one for those with big imaginations, young and old.



Cheltenham Festival

4 – 13th October 2013

One of the best literary festivals on the calendar, Cheltenham’s 10-day festival sees over 600 of the world’s finest writers, actors, politicians and poets come together to celebrate literature. There will be just under 500 debates, interviews and workshops and more.

Highlights include: Terry Wogan, John Suchet, Helen Fielding, Brian May, Ian Hislop, Philippa Gregory, Alison Steadman, Jesse Armstrong and Cerys Matthews.



Manchester Festival

7 – 20th October 2013
Literary lumineraries from Jeanette Winterson to Joanna Trollope discuss their literary loves, new works and the art of storytelling, wonder and imagination.

Highlights include: Jeanette Winterson, Ian McMillan, David Morrell, Louise Doughty, Ali Smith, Joanna Trollope, Roddy Doyle and Helen Fielding.


Bristol Poetry Festival

30th September – 6th October
Inspirational and award-winning poets and performers come together in Bristol to celebrate language, imagination and life.

Highlights include: Louis de Bernieres with his debut poetry collection Imagining Alexandria, and Leo Aylen with his An Assortment of Sibyls featuring Prunella Scales.



Birmingham Literature Festival

3-12th October
Briming’s fantastic literary lineup reads like a who’s who of modern day literature. Hosting 40 events over ten days in some of the city’s most exciting venues including the Ikon Gallery, the new Library of Birmingham expect workshops, lectures, readings and a celebration of works past and present.

Highlights includePoet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy with Imtiaz Dharker, writers Lionel Shriver, Will Self, Catherine O’Flynn, Jonathan Coe, Germaine Greer, Robert Edric, Amanda Smyth, Jenn Ashworth and Willam Palmer. Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, will deliver a specially commissioned lecture, and Benjamin Zephaniah will give an ‘urban sermon’ on the subject of multiculturalism.




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