UK book fair directory: the best book festivals to visit this year

UK book fair directory: the best book festivals to visit this year

For the artful souls who find solace in the rhythm of written words, and for the imaginative minds who dream of whimsical worlds spun by authors, the UK presents a mosaic of book fairs and literary festivals each year. Whether you're a parent introducing your child to the wonders of reading, an aspiring author eager to make a mark, or simply a lover of literature looking to immerse in captivating narratives, our curated list beckons you.

Dive into this guide and mark your calendars, as we embark on a journey through the UK's most enchanting literary events, where stories come alive and inspiration knows no bounds.


The London Book Fair (LBF)


Olympia, London

The London Book Fair stands as a pivotal event in the global literary landscape.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Publishers scouting for fresh titles or authors.
    • Authors pursuing representation or networking avenues.
    • Librarians refining their collections.
    • Literature enthusiasts exploring industry insights.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Unearth forthcoming book trends.
    • Forge connections with industry frontrunners.
    • Engage in enlightening seminars.
    • Navigate international literature scenes.

The London Book Fair Official Site


Bath Children's Literature Festival

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September to October

Bath, England

This festival is the largest of its kind dedicated solely to children's literature in the UK.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Young readers and their guardians.
    • Aspiring children’s authors and illustrators.
    • Educators focusing on children's literature.
    • Fans of renowned children's book writers.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Revel in a program designed for youthful audiences.
    • Encounter beloved children's book authors.
    • Engage in interactive sessions and workshops.
    • Experience the magic of stories in a historic setting.

Bath Children's Literature Festival Official Site


Oxford Literary Festival

March to April

Oxford, England

Oxford Literary Festival is a grand celebration of the written word in the historic city of knowledge.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Avid readers of various genres.
    • Scholars and academic enthusiasts.
    • Fans of literary discussions and debates.
    • Individuals interested in a blend of classic and contemporary literature.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Delve into intellectual debates.
    • Listen to renowned global authors.
    • Participate in writing workshops.
    • Experience the charm of literary Oxford.

Oxford Literary Festival Official Site


Hay Festival

Hay Festival – Catch Up On Hay Player Now

May to June

Hay-on-Wye, Wales

Hay Festival is an international literary fest set in the 'Town of Books'.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Book lovers from all over the globe.
    • Literature enthusiasts keen on deep discussions.
    • Fans of both fiction and non-fiction genres.
    • Cultural aficionados.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Experience literary discussions in a unique setting.
    • Meet award-winning authors.
    • Explore the famous 'Town of Books' and its many bookshops.
    • Attend film screenings, musical performances, and more.

Hay Festival Official Site


Cheltenham Literature Festival


Cheltenham, England

Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the oldest literary events, celebrating its rich history.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Literature connoisseurs.
    • Enthusiasts of art, culture, and history.
    • Fans of poetry, prose, and plays.
    • People eager for celebrity book launches.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Engage in a wide range of literary activities.
    • Witness celebrity book releases.
    • Take part in reader debates and panels.
    • Enjoy a mix of traditional and modern literary arts.

Cheltenham Literature Festival Official Site


Edinburgh International Book Festival


Edinburgh, Scotland

This festival transforms Edinburgh into a literary hub, drawing global attention.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Global literature enthusiasts.
    • Fans of Scottish literature and arts.
    • Readers keen on diverse genres.
    • Those interested in literary innovation.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Explore literary innovations and trends.
    • Experience the beauty of Edinburgh’s literary heritage.
    • Engage with global authors and thinkers.
    • Attend unique events blending literature with other arts.

Edinburgh International Book Festival Official Site


The Northern Children's Book Festival


Rotates between Northern cities, England

The largest free annual reading event specifically dedicated to children in Northern England.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Young readers and their families.
    • Educators and school groups.
    • Children's book authors and illustrators.
    • Enthusiasts of children's literature.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Engage with leading children's writers and illustrators.
    • Participate in fun-filled literary workshops.
    • Experience the joy of storytelling sessions.
    • Network with fellow literature enthusiasts.

The Northern Children's Book Festival Official Site


Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival


Glasgow, Scotland

A vibrant celebration of literature, bringing national and international authors to Glasgow.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Lovers of both fiction and non-fiction.
    • Those interested in political and social discussions.
    • Fans of Scottish literature.
    • Readers seeking author interactions.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Dive into riveting book discussions.
    • Engage with a variety of genres and styles.
    • Experience the cultural atmosphere of Glasgow.
    • Participate in writing workshops and masterclasses.

Aye Write! Official Site


Birmingham Literature Festival


Birmingham, England

Birmingham's premier literature event, showcasing a diverse range of voices and perspectives.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Avid readers and literature enthusiasts.
    • Aspiring writers and poets.
    • Fans of panel discussions and literary debates.
    • Those seeking to understand the evolving literary scene.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Discover emerging voices in literature.
    • Engage in insightful discussions on topical issues.
    • Attend workshops to hone writing skills.
    • Experience the literary pulse of Birmingham.

Birmingham Literature Festival Official Site


Newcastle Noir

The Friends of the University Book Fair returns 2023 | Newcastle Weekly


Newcastle upon Tyne, England

A captivating celebration of crime fiction, set against the backdrop of Newcastle’s rich history.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Crime fiction aficionados.
    • Fans of mystery and thriller genres.
    • Readers seeking author meet-and-greets.
    • Enthusiasts of noir literature.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Delve deep into the world of crime fiction.
    • Engage with renowned authors in the genre.
    • Experience thematic events and panels.
    • Unravel mysteries in the historic setting of Newcastle.

Newcastle Noir Official Site


Durham Book Festival


Durham, England

Durham Book Festival is a renowned celebration of literature in the historic city of Durham.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Literature enthusiasts of all ages.
    • Fans of contemporary writing.
    • Aspiring writers seeking inspiration.
    • Historians and fans of cultural discussions.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Participate in enlightening author talks.
    • Explore the historic city's literary connections.
    • Attend workshops to enhance writing techniques.
    • Engage in panel discussions on diverse topics.

Durham Book Festival Official Site


Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

CRIME WRITING FESTIVAL - Harrogate International Festivals


Harrogate, England

The world's most celebrated crime writing festival held in the spa town of Harrogate.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Crime fiction enthusiasts.
    • Mystery and thriller genre fans.
    • Aspiring crime writers.
    • Readers seeking to meet best-selling crime authors.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Discover the latest in crime fiction.
    • Engage with award-winning authors.
    • Attend gripping panel discussions.
    • Experience the thrill of mystery in a festival setting.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Official Site


Bristol Festival of Literature


Bristol, England

A spirited celebration of the power and potential of words in the vibrant city of Bristol.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Avid readers and literature fans.
    • Aspiring writers and poets.
    • Enthusiasts of creative discussions.
    • People keen on exploring literary innovation.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Dive into a range of literary activities and workshops.
    • Engage with emerging and established authors.
    • Explore Bristol's literary heritage.
    • Be part of thought-provoking discussions.

Bristol Festival of Literature Official Site


Manx Litfest


Isle of Man

Manx Litfest offers a blend of events for book lovers, writers, and fans of storytelling.

  • Who is it aimed at?

    • Readers of diverse genres.
    • Storytelling enthusiasts.
    • Fans of both modern and classic literature.
    • Writers seeking a unique literary experience.
  • Reasons to attend:

    • Experience literature on the enchanting Isle of Man.
    • Engage with international authors and poets.
    • Attend workshops, talks, and open mics.
    • Revel in the beauty of Manx landscapes and folklore.

Manx Litfest Official Site


We hope you're inspired to immerse yourself in these wonderful events and create lasting memories. But the journey doesn't end here. For those with a passion for art and creativity, our blog offers a treasure trove of articles brimming with activities and ideas like painting holidays in the UK and art gallery experiences for the family. Whether you're seeking solitude with a canvas or planning a family day out exploring art, we've got you covered. Dive deeper into our posts and continue to nurture your artistic spirit. After all, every day presents a new opportunity to paint a masterpiece, be it with words or with colours. Happy exploring!

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