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This Year's Best Literary Festivals

Published: 29 Mar 2018  - updated: 23 Jul 2018


It’s that time of year again: spring has almost sprung and with it comes a fresh crop of literary festivals. With London Book Fair just around the corner we’ve rounded up our pick of the dates coming up in the UK literary events calendar.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and there are events popping up all over the country, so do check your local listings to see if there’s a book fair near you.

London Book Fair: 10 - 12 April 2018
With an events programme that reads like a who’s who of the publishing industry, London Book Fair attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe. This year attendees can expect over 200 seminars, awards ceremonies and talks as well as exhibitors from over 60 countries. The 2018 programme is as diverse as ever, with talks on inclusivity in publishing, pitching to literary editors and many more.


Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival: 6 - 8 May
Set in the grounds of Chiddingsone Castle, Tunbridge Wells, this is the third year of this family-friendly festival. There will be three days of talks, performances and workshops including Ian Rankin in conversation with Jake Kerridge and journalist Diana Henry with food historian Bee Wilson. Monday is a family day with a modelling workshop from Aardman Animations, and a performance of The Promise of Everlasting Youth from the Pericles Theatre Company and Atelier Community Theatre.

Hay Festival: 24 May - 3 June
2018 marks the thirty-year anniversary of the iconic Hay festival. As always the schedule is packed with talks from authors, philosophers, scientists and influencers from around the world. Highlights on the bill this year include Helen Pankhurst (great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline) who marks the centenary of some women in Britain winning the right to vote, Booker prize shortlisted Deborah Levy talking about her latest novel, and David Walliams on his success as a bestselling children’s author.

Edinburgh International Book Festival: 11 - 27 Aug
Billed as 'the largest public celebration of the written word in the world’, Edinburgh International Book Festival promises to impress. Hosting high-profile events, such as the launch of Irvine Welsh’s latest book Dead Men’s Trousers, the Festival promises over 800 events suitable for and enjoyed by people of all ages. Running alongside the general programme is the Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme, which ranks as the premier books event of its kind. To ramp up the suspense, the full programme will be launched on 7 June 2018.

Althorp Literary Festival: 5 - 7 October
Hosted in the grounds of a beautiful and historic stately home, Althorp Literary Festival offers the perfect setting for a celebration of the written word. 2018’s line-up boasts talks, and conversations with Alexander McCall-Smith, Allison Pearson, and Dan Snow among others. Aside from the main event, Althorp offers fringe events such as live music, poetry readings, and publishing workshops.

Cheltenham Literature Festival: 5 - 14 Oct
Cheltenham Literature Festival is the world’s oldest, established in 1949. It works in tandem with the town’s internationally acclaimed Jazz, Science and Music Festivals, which allows the visitor to enjoy a huge variety of events within Cheltenham itself. This year’s festival promises two new spaces especially for families and a list of free activities on throughout. The theme of 2018’s festival is 'East Meets West’.

Want to know more...?

SilverWood will be at London Book Fair this year. If you’re attending, and would like to arrange a meeting with someone from the team, please drop us a line at office@silverwoodbooks.co.uk.

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