Looking Forward to Literature Festivals in Wales – 2018

rhiannon hooson poet

Wales is full of literary events, book fairs and writing festivals, from the very small to the very large, and in almost every corner of the country… we love to celebrate literature in all its forms. So here’s a list of all the literary / book festivals taking place in Wales during 2018.

Please use the comments below to add information about any festivals which I have missed out, and I’ll continue to update this post throughout the year.

Cornerstone’s Seren Poetry Festival

16th-18th February in Cardiff

Organised by Seren Books and held at the iconic Cornerstone building, this will be an exciting weekend packed with poetry. Here’s a quote from Amy Wack:

“Jonathan Edwards kicks off the festival, reading from his Costa-prize winning poetry collection. Also on the Friday evening is a music/poetry event with Paul Henry and ‘Stornoway’ front man Brian Briggs with ‘The Glass Aisle’ performance inspired by the Monmouthshire/Brecon canal. Saturday features a ‘New Poets’ showcase with authors such as Emily Blewitt and Susie Wild.”

The festival will also feature Philip Gross, Damian Walford-Davies, Richard Gwyn, Rhian Edwards, Clare E. Potter, Robert Minhinnick, Gwyneth Lewis and Gillian Clarke. Find out more, and purchase tickets on their website.

Laugharne Weekend

6th-8th April in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

A big festival in a small place, featuring many of the big names in literature. See their website for details.

Rufus Mufasa (2)

Abergavenny Writing Festival

19th-21st April in Abergavenny, South Wales

A literary weekend for writers and readers alike, with a variety of talks, performances and workshops. Visit their website for more details.

Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival

21st-29th April in Cardiff

This popular festival is now in its 6th year, providing two full weeks of family-friendly events featuring well-known authors, illustrators and storytellers. It includes a number of events in Welsh, as well as events in English. Visit their website here.

The Carnival of Words

21st-28th April in Wrexham

A full week of literary events covering a variety of genres. Visit their website for more details.

Llandeilo Lit Fest

27th–19th April in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

Confirmed events include Eddie Butler, Peter Lord, Ifor ap Glyn and Gary Raymond. See their website for more details.

Rufus Mufasa and clare e potter

Rufus Mufasa and clare e potter reciting ‘Dylan’s Great Poem’

Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival

12th May at Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf

A new festival for 2018 taking place in the Pontypridd Museum. See their Twitter feed or Facebook page for more details.

International Dylan Thomas Day

14th May in locations across Wales and further afield

An annual celebration of all things Dylan Thomas. Anyone can organise their own event as part of this festival. Previous events have included live art, poetry readings, competitions and workshops. Visit the website for more details.

The Hay Festival

24th May-3rd June in Hay-on-Wye, Powys

The Hay Festival is one of the UK’s biggest literary festivals, with off-shoots on other continents and a full programme featuring not just fiction but also politics, poetry, economics, history, non-fiction, drama and children’s events. I would definitely recommend stewarding at Hay, especially if you’d love to visit the festival but have a limited budget. Visit the website for more details.

Crime and Coffee

1st-2nd June in Cardiff

A festival to celebrate and discuss all things crime fiction. Visit their website for details… https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/cdfcrimefest

Llansteffan Literary Festival

7th-10th June in the Memorial Hall, Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire

As well as the usual festival, there will be a series of events running over the summer as part of Llansteffan’s Village of Culture year. Featured writers will include Angela V John, Peter Lord, Huw Davies and Horatio Clare. Keep an eye on the Parthian website for more details.


Welshpool Poetry Festival

8th-9th June in Welshpool

More details coming soon. See their website here.

Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival

9th-10th June at St Donats, near Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan

The international storytelling festival is celebrating 25 years with an entrancing weekend of storytelling. Tickets go on sale mid-January and will be limited in number. See their website for details, or read about my own experience at the last festival in 2016.

R.S. Thomas Literary Festival

28th June-1st July in Aberdaron, Llŷn Peninsula

A festival to celebrate the work of poet R.S. Thomas and artist M.E. Eldridge. Visit their website for more details.

Llangwm Literary Festival

10th-12th August in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire

Here’s a quote from the organiser: “The overriding theme is Europe, but we’ve got loads of local talent, lots for kids including Bushcraft, foraging etc. And we have Phoebe Smith, editor of Wanderlust magazine running a travel writing workshop and talking about her amazing books.” More details to be released nearer the time on their website.

Caerleon Literature Festival

Dates TBC in Caerleon, South Wales

A regular summer festival – more details coming soon. See their website here.

The Cardiff Book Festival

7th-9th September in Cardiff

This much-awaited festival will be running for a third year, details to come soon, and early-bird tickets are already on sale! Visit their website for more information.

PENfro Book Festival

6th-9th September in Rhosygilwen, Pembrokeshire

The PENfro Book Festival will be back again this year with more writers, readers and plenty of books. See their website for more details nearer the time.

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend

30th Nov-2nd Dec in Hay-on-Wye, Powys

A sort of miniature, slightly colder and more wintery version of the Hay Festival. See their website for details.

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