Looking forward to Literature Festivals in Wales – 2019

rhiannon hooson poet

Wales is full of literary events, book fairs and writing festivals, from the very small to the very large, celebrating literature in all its forms. So here’s a list of all the literary / book festivals taking place in Wales during 2019…

*Are you looking for the updated list? Click here to see the list of festivals in Wales for 2020*

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

Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival

8th-10th February in Cardiff

Organised by Seren Books in the iconic Cornerstone building, this will be a weekend full of high quality poetry featuring a whole host of poets from across the UK, including Owen Sheers, Kim Moore, Katherine Stansfield, Emily Blewitt, Ailbhe Darcy, Nia Davies, Mab Jones, Peter Finch, Robert Minhinnick, Menna Elfyn, Philip Gross, Jonathan Edwards, Bryony Littlefair and many others, as well as some fascinating feature events such as ‘How BAME are you?’ with Hanan Issa, and a talk by acclaimed Mslexia editor Debbie Taylor.

Find out more and book tickets through their website.

Brilliant Books at Insole Court

2nd-10th March, Cardiff

A festival of literature aimed at adults and children, including readings, workshops and talks, poetry, events in both Welsh and English, book-making activities and a family trail in the grounds of Insole Court. See the full programme on their website.

Historical Crime Panel

28th March in Penarth, South Wales

Three historical crime fiction writers – Katherine Stansfield, Mick Finlay and Alys Hawkins will read and discuss their work at Penarth Pier Pavillion, organised by Griffin Books. More of a one-off event than a festival, but will bring three writers together. See details here.

Laugharne Weekend

5th-7th April in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

A festival with a reputation for attracting all the big names in literature to a very small town in South Wales. See their website for details.

hay festival 2018

Abergavenny Writing Festival

11th-13th April in Abergavenny, South Wales

Three days and evenings of talks, workshops, storytelling, readings and performances, featuring poets, songwriters, journalists, storytellers, children’s authors, artists, non-fiction authors and novelists. Visit their website for more details.

Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival

30th March – 7th April in Cardiff

An awesome extravaganza of family-friendly events featuring well-known authors, illustrators and storytellers. The festival includes several events in Welsh, as well as events in English. Visit their website here.

The Carnival of Words

27th April – 4th May in Wrexham

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

Llandeilo Lit Fest

26th-28th April in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

This annual literary festival includes the popular Llandeilo Book Fair. See their website for more details.

Lampeter Book Festival

11th-12th May in Lampeter, Ceredigion

This will be a brand new book festival, featuring writers such as Gillian Clarke and Samantha Wynne Rhydderch. See their Facebook page for details.

Rufus Mufasa and clare e potter

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

Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival

18th-19th May at Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf

This will be the 2nd annual Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival, taking place in the Pontypridd Museum. See their Twitter feed or website for more details.

International Dylan Thomas Day

14th May in a variety of locations across Wales and the globe!

An annual celebration of Dylan Thomas, his legacy, his poetry and anything poetic. 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

23rd May – 2nd June in Hay-on-Wye, Powys

The Hay Festival is probably the UK’s biggest literary festival, with 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 Festival

3rd-8th June in Cardiff

This crime fiction festival began last year, and is back with even more crime lit events, spread over a few days and various library venues around Cardiff. Welsh Crime writers Belinda Bauer, Amy Lloyd, John Lincoln, Katherine Stansfield, Jasper Fforde, B.E. Jones, Vanessa Savage, Geraint Evans and Catrin Collier (writing as Katherine John) are joined by Mick Finlay, Heidi Perks, Sarah Hilary and many more. With talks, readings and panel discussions, plus a workshop where writers can develop their skills with a published author, there’s a packed bill to enjoy. See the programme and buy tickets here.

Read about my experience at last year’s Crime and Coffee Festival here.

Llansteffan Literary Festival

Dates TBC – in Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire

Keep an eye on the Parthian website for more details.


Owen Sheers speaking at the first Cardiff Book Festival

Welshpool Poetry Festival

7th-9th June in Welshpool

Full programme details coming soon. See their website here.

Montgomeryshire Literary Festival

14th-16th June in Gregynog Hall, near Newtown

This festival ran for the first time last year, and its focus is on celebrating authors in Wales and the Welsh Borders, featuring some well known writers and literary folk including Horatio Clare, Tom Bullough, Cynan Jones and agent Catherine Summerhayes, as well as the winners of the New Welsh Writing Awards. See their website for details.

Penarth Literature Festival

20th-23rd June in Penarth, South Wales

A small festival with a variety of events, organised by Griffin Books. See their website for details and to buy tickets.

R.S. Thomas & M.E. Eldridge Poetry & Art Festival

21st-23rd June in Aberdaron, Llŷn Peninsula

A festival to celebrate the work of poet R.S. Thomas and artist M.E. Eldridge. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Sprit of Place’ Visit their website for more details.

Llangwm Literary Festival

9th-11th August in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire

More details to be released nearer the time on their website.

Caerleon Literature Festival

5th-14th July in Caerleon, South Wales

A regular summer festival featuring a Schools’ Art & Prose Exhibition, music, dance and “The Big Free” Weekend of entertainment, arts/crafts, sculpture, and performances.

More details coming soon. See their website here.


6th-8th September at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, North Wales

The line-up includes award-winning novelists Patrick Gale (Take Nothing With You) and Salley Vickers (The Librarian), while Sarah Perry (Melmoth), Michael Nobbs (Drawing Your Life) and Oliver Emanuel (The 306: Day) will be running masterclasses. Find out more on their website.

Angela V. John, author at Cardiff Book Festival

Angela V. John speaking at the 2018 Cardiff Book Festival

Narbeth Book Fair

28th-29th September in Narbeth, Pembrokeshire

An opportunity to meet authors and buy plenty of books – visit their website for details.

PENfro Book Festival

11th-13th October 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.

Crickhowell Children’s Book Festival

8th-9th November, Crickhowell, Powys

This is a new one – see their Twitter page for more info.

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend

28th Nov-1st Dec in Hay-on-Wye, Powys

A smaller, and slightly colder version of the Hay Festival. See their website for details.

Canton Book Festival

29th Nov – 1st Dec

A brand new festival organised by Parthian books. See webpage for events. All free but ticketed. See website for details

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And if you fancy a book-fest holiday, and want to go further afield, here is a list of book fairs around the globe…

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