January events

9 Jan: Madeleine Olivia in conversation at The Book Club, London (get tickets)

Madeleine Olivia is a blogger and YouTuber whose aim is to spread the message of minimalism and low-impact living, making it easy and attainable for everyone. She joins environmental activist Immy Lucas for a conversation on how we can practically reduce our impact on the Earth, to become more eco-friendly throughout everyday life.

11 Jan: Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize Festival, Cambridge (get tickets)

A day designed to give budding authors advice on how to write that elusive first novel and get published. There will be 1:1 speed mentoring sessions with industry experts, a writing competition and talks from authors and employees from the publishing industry offering tips and practical advice to help you succeed in your writing career.

31 Jan - 2 Feb: Wolverhampton Literature Festival, Wolverhampton (get tickets)

Set in multiple venues spanning three days, a massive 70 events showcase some of the very best UK writers, speakers, performers, thinkers, activists and artists. The 2020 lineup features Cerys Matthews, Michael Rosen and gal-dem writers Liv Little and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, with an open mic night and poetry slam

February events

Alain de Botton, Phillippa Perry and more will appear at the Barbican in February for Life Lessons. Photo: barbican.org.uk

Alain de Botton, Phillippa Perry and more will appear at the Barbican in February for Life Lessons. Photo: barbican.org.uk

16-17 Feb: Life Lessons at The Barbican, London (get tickets)

Presented by The Sunday Times, this inaugural weekend of talks aims to find the answers to some of life's biggest questions. No mean feat, then. Headline speakers include Phillippa Perry, Alain de Botton, James Wallman, James O’Brien and Charlie Mackesy as they interrogate trends, ideas and pop culture in what promises to be one of the most forward-thinking events of the year.

12-23 Feb: Imagine Children’s Festival at Southbank, London (get tickets)

One for all the family, the Imagine Children’s Festival has everything from immersive theatre to Pippi Longstocking-themed adventures and a dedicated Harry Potter celebration. Running for 12 days, it will keep everyone from tiny tearaways to tweens busy over the half term at a time when parents traditionally struggle to battle that dreaded holiday boredom.

19-23 Feb: Faversham Literary Festival, Faversham (get tickets)

Indulge yourself with all things lit with poetry slams, writing classes and talks from authors including Will Self, Michael Rosen, Lemn Sissay and Sara Collins. Returning for its third year running in the picturesque English town of Faversham, the festival takes place in historic venues across the town including a guildhall and an old brewery.

20-23 Feb: Veve Festival of Poetry and Spoken Word, Birmingham (get tickets)

A four-day dedicated poetry festival which takes place in the heart of Birmingham in the Hippodrome, featuring genre-defying performances from award-winning poets and local artists. It’s packed with workshops, spoken word and even music gigs. The 2020 festival features authors Liz Berry, Caroline Bird, Salena Godden and Jay Bernard.

29 Feb-8 Mar: Jewish Book Week at Kings Place, London (get tickets)

This annual festival takes place at Kings Place in London and encompasses 80 events in a celebration of Jewish themes and writers, organised by the Jewish Book Council. It’s a celebration of ideas that includes history, journalism, philosophy, science, art, music, poetry and fiction. The packed lineup features authors Michael Rosen, Adam Gopnik and Adam Kirsch, who will host discussions on the most pertinent issues of the day.

March events

Join Caroline Criado Perez in conversation about her illuminating book 'Invisible Women' across various dates in March and April.

Join Caroline Criado Perez in conversation about her game-changing research for 'Invisible Women' across various dates in March and April.

8 Mar-28 Apr: Caroline Criado Perez book tour, various (get tickets)

Join award-winning campaigner Caroline Criado Perez for this illuminating conversation about her book Invisible Women, where she exposes the shocking gender data gap present in our society, and discusses her work as an activist. There will be a chance to ask Caroline questions during the audience Q&A section.

14 Mar: Deptford Literature Festival, London (get tickets)

Celebrate the diversity and creativity of South East London in various locations across Deptford, where local creatives like Inua Ellams, Ella Frears, Jamie Hale and Round Table Books will give talks alongside an exciting roster of live performances, workshops and activities. As part of the festival, TOKEN magazine will be publishing a special edition featuring submissions from writers and creatives from underrepresented backgrounds.

19 Mar: Anne Tyler in conversation at Conway Hall, London (get tickets

Hosted by Penguin Live, this a rare chance to hear bestselling American author Anne Tyler in conversation to celebrate the publication of her new novel, Redhead by the Side of the Road, an offbeat love story about missteps, second chances and the elusive art of human connection.

Lichfield Literature Festival returns in April. Photo: Redlock Photography / lichfieldfestival.org

Lichfield Literature Festival returns in April. Photo: Redlock Photography / lichfieldfestival.org

26-29 Mar: Lichfield Literature Festival, Lichfield (get tickets)

The multi-arts Lichfield Literature Festival combines live music, crafts, food, drink and author events for an exciting weekend of all things arts. From fiction authors to academic writers, this year will feature talks from authors such as nature writer David Wildish, a poetry slam featuring duo Rose&Cloud and debut author Susannah Stapleton.

27-29 Mar: BibLit, Bibury (get tickets)

Held in a church in Bibury in the stunning Cotswolds countryside, BibLit returns for its second year promising another weekend of fascinating and inspirational talks. This year’s theme is ‘Our Special Relationship with the US,’ with the lineup featuring authors Nicholas Coleridge, Jessica Fellowes and Jonathan Aitkin.

27 Mar-5 Apr: Oxford Literary Festival, Oxford (get tickets

Historic Oxford comes alive this spring with its very own literary festival that is one of the most exciting in the UK. Hosting 180 literary events across ten days, there’s something for everyone; this year features showstopping novelists and writers including Jonathan Sacks, David Lammy, Chris Packham, Pat Barker, Anthony Horowitz Robin Stevens and Val McDermid.

April events

'Queenie' author Candice Carty-Williams will speak at Chipping Norton Festival in April.

'Queenie' author Candice Carty-Williams will speak at Chipping Norton Festival in April.

3-18 Apr: The European Poetry Festival, London and Norwich (get tickets)

Founded to celebrate the ‘grand resurgence in avant-garde and literary poetry that has marked the 21st century in Europe’, this annual festival takes place in five cities and towns in 2020 and bring together over 100 local and international poets. Highlights for this year include a celebration of Latvian Poetry, ‘Back into the Mouth’ sound and performance and The European Camarade.

23-26 Apr: Chipping Norton Literary Festival, Chipping Norton (get tickets)

Set in the heart of the hillside market town Chipping Norton, this festival takes place in multiple venues all within a ten minute walk of each other – a real bonus as you dash from one event to the other. This year features Bake Off judge Prue Leith and the hilarious Jo Brand, alongside a slew of other literary stalwarts including Sarah Franklin, Amer Anwar, Candice Carty-Williams, Nicci French, Frank Gardner and Kate Spicer.

May events

Journalist and author of 'Brit(ish)', Afua Hirsch, will speak at Hay Festival in May.

Journalist and author of 'Brit(ish)' Afua Hirsch will speak at Hay Festival in May.

9-17 May: Stratford Literary Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon (get tickets)

Celebrating its 12th year, Stratford Literary Festival is one of the most significant literary festivals in regional England offering something for everyone who loves a good book. The line-up is still to be announced, but the spring event will deliver a mix of debates and ideas, alongside a programme of education events in local schools and workshops in prisons.

21-31 May: Hay Festival, Haye-on-Wye (get tickets)

The big one. This annual literary event (which now has international offshoots) takes place in a tented village in Hay-on-Wye, a small town on the border of England and Wales famed for its abundance of bookshops. So far, the line-up includes journo Afua Hirsch, a talk with Everyday Sexism author Laura Bates, and music from indie-pop artist Aldous Harding.

June events

7 Jun: Bold Strokes Book Festival, Nottingham (get tickets)

Brought to you by the largest LGBTQ publisher in the world, Bold Strokes lets you join international authors at Waterstones Nottingham for a day of literature, laughs and timely discussions as part of the 11th annual festival. You can hear the yet to be announced authors read their latest work and even mingle with them over drinks.

26-28 Jun: Felixstowe Book Festival, Felixstowe (get tickets)

Soak up the summer sun and the salty sea breeze at one of Suffolk’s best literary festivals, set over three days. Promising events for all ages to enjoy, the 2020 Felixstowe Book Festival will host a variety of author talks alongside songwriting workshops and events for kids and teens. If you’re feeling peckish, why not tag along to one their author-hosted vintage tea parties?

July events

The award-winning Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival returns to Harrogate this July. Photo: visitharrogate.co.uk

The award-winning Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival returns to Harrogate this July. Photo: harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

3-12 Jul: Ledbury Poetry Festival, Ledbury (get tickets)

Taking place over ten days in the market town of Ledbury, close to the Malvern Hills, Ledbury Poetry Festival attracts poets from all over the world. While 2020 details are still to be announced, last year saw Ali Smith and Roger McGough lead the line-up, so we’re expecting big things. 

23-26 Jul: Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate (get tickets)

This three-day festival in Harrogate, Yorkshire celebrates the very best in crime fiction, awarding the prestigious Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award – seen as one of the UK's top crime fiction awards. Last year saw James Patterson, Ian Rankin and even politician Nicola Sturgeon grace the stage.

August events

Edinburgh International Book Festival in August is one of the biggest literary events of the year. Photo: Suzanne Hefron for Edinburgh Book Festival / edbookfest.co.uk

Edinburgh Book Festival in August is one of the biggest literary events of the year. Photo: Suzanne Hefron / edbookfest.co.uk

11-15 Aug: Chiswick Book Festival, Chiswick (get tickets)

On the cusp of autumn, celebrate top authors and readers for an entire long weekend of history, poetry, biographies, creative writing, thrillers, politics and children’s books plus a Waterstones’ on-site bookshop. The flagship event will also host two mini-festival offshoots: a Children’s Festival and a Cookbook Festival, plus a Young People’s Poetry Competition. Guests TBA.

13-15 Aug: A Stonyhurst Literature and Film Festival (get tickets)

Launching last year with headline guests like Simon Callow, Ann Widdecome MP and Dr Adam Kay, this Lancashire-set book and film festival will return for three days in August 2020 with another exciting roll call of guests (TBA). Stonyhurst has a rich literary history, with alumni including Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Irish poet Joseph Mary Plunket, and houses one of the oldest museums in the English-speaking world.

15-31 Aug: Edinburgh Book Festival, Edinburgh (get tickets)

Edinburgh is known for its big festivals and this one is no exception, with the Scottish city welcoming over 1,000 international authors and illustrators during its run. The festival is set in a specially created tented village in the heart of the city as well as historic venues, stay tuned for the full announcement of the 2020 programme in July.

17-27 Aug: London Literature Festival at Southbank (get tickets)

London’s Southbank will transform into a book lover’s mecca as it celebrates its 13th annual Literature Festival in the late summer, boasting eleven days of talks, readings, poetry and performance from authors include Elizabeth Day, Armistead Maupin, Brett Anderson, Heather Morris, Lemn Sissay, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Nikki Giovanni, Fatima Bhutto and Jung Chang. Not to be missed.

26 Aug-4 Oct: Henley Literary Festival, Henley-on-Thames (get tickets)

Set across a variety of venues, including an elegant Georgian Mansion and a glass-encased boatyard, Henley Literary Festival will return with a series of events from best-loved authors in Berkshire’s riverside town Henley-on-Thames. With last year’s event featuring a talk from former PM Theresa May, we can be sure to expect another impressive roster of guests for 2020.

September events

Bath Children's Festival returns in September packed full of fun activities for kids. Photo: Bath Festivals / bathfestivals.co.uk

Bath Children's Festival returns in September packed full of fun activities for kids. Photo: bathfestivals.co.uk

10-13 Sep: The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, Norwich (get tickets)

Taking place over four days in venues across Norwich, Noirwich is is the region's largest annual celebration of crime writing. The festival is a collaboration between the University of East Anglia, famous for its creative writing courses, and the National Centre for Writing, based at Dragon Hall, one of the festival venues.

18-20 Sep: Bloody Scotland, Stirling (get tickets)

First held in 2012, Bloody Scotland takes place during a weekend in September, bringing together crime writers new and old. It includes Pitch Perfect, in which new crime writers pitch to a panel of top publishing industry folk, and awards the Mclivanney Prize for the best Scottish Crime book of the year. And every year there is a Scotland vs England crime writers' football match, which is free to watch.

25 Sep-4 Oct: Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Bath (get tickets)

Unpack the pencils and put up the bunting for another year of fun, games and books at Europe’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival. This year will feature an array of best-loved authors and activities for children, featuring funny writers Andy Stanton and David Baddiel, fantasy novelist Jamie Littler and many more plus the Wimpy Kid show. 

October events

New Suns feminist book fair returns to The Barbican in October.  Photo: Ralph Pritchard / barbican.org.uk

New Suns feminist book fair returns to The Barbican in October. Photo: Ralph Pritchard / barbican.org.uk

2-11 Oct: Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham (get tickets)

Taking place over two weeks, Cheltenham Literature Festival has programmes for adults and children and also hosts a weekend-long event called Lit Crawl. Taking place on the first weekend of the festival, Lit Crawl sees poets, writers and more take over venues across the town for pop-up readings, performances and open mic sessions.

22-25 Oct: Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, Harrogate (get tickets)

Taking over the Crown Hotel’s intimate settings for its the ninth year, the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival will once again present a star-studded line-up of fascinating literary names. From the opening event to the final speaker, book-lovers will be able to indulge in a whole weekend of events designed to entertain and inspire.

31 Oct: New Suns: A Feminist Literary Festival at The Barbican, London (get tickets)

Set within the impressive Barbican Centre, New Suns returns for its third outing with a day of unique talks, films and workshops explorin what it means to be a feminist in the contemporary world. As this year’s event takes place on Halloween, it will pursue a spookier theme with a special focus on the feminist conveyance of interior worlds, mysticism and modern gothic.

November events

Watch this space!

December events

Watch this space!


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