Looking Forward to Literature Festivals in Wales – 2020

Hay Festival sign

Here’s my annual round-up of all the literature festivals taking place in Wales in 2020. From the smallest of bookfairs run by local communities to the most popular literary festivals on a monumental scale…

Please use the comments below to add information about any literature festivals which I have missed out, and I’ll continue to update this post throughout the year. I should also add that some of the organisers are not able to announce their programmes until later in the year, so you may need to check back for further details.

*Some of these festivals have been postponed or cancelled, but others have moved online and become digital festivals! Check out their websites for details. And follow this link for details of upcoming digital literary festivals.

Seren Poetry Festival

14th-16th February in Cardiff

Organised by Seren Books, and now in its third year. This year’s festival will take place in Cardiff’s beautiful Temple of Peace, and their programme has just been released – they have workshops, an open mic and several performances taking place over three days.

Find out more and book tickets through their website.

Robert Minhinnick

Robert Minhinnick reading at last year’s Seren Poetry Festival

Brilliant Books at Insole Court

Date TBC, Insole Court, Cardiff

Last year this small festival took place in March – a celebration of literature aimed at both adults and children, including readings, workshops and talks, poetry and a family trail in the grounds of Insole Court. Look out for details coming soon on their website.

Laugharne Weekend

27th-29th March in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

A festival attracting many of the biggest names in literature to a small town in South Wales. The organisers recently heard that they have not been awarded funding from the Arts Council for this year’s festival, so they are seeking donations of all shapes and sizes to enable them to keep going. See their website for details.

Abergavenny Writing Festival

2nd-4th April in Abergavenny, South Wales

A festival which aims “to get people together to find inspiration, have fun and get writing” through talks, workshops, storytelling, readings and performances, featuring local writers, artists and speakers, with events aimed at both adults and children. Visit their website for more details.

Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival

Date TBC 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

23rd April – 2nd May in Wrexham

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

David Llewellyn reading at the 2018 Cardiff Book Festival

David Llewellyn speaking at the 2018 Cardiff Book Festival

Llandeilo Lit Fest

23rd-26th April in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

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

Lampeter Book Festival

16th-17th 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 event page for details coming soon.

Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival

16th May at Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf

This will be the 3rd 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, and it can be related to Dylan or not. Previous events have included live art, poetry readings, competitions and workshops. Visit the website for more details.

The Hay Festival

21st-31st May 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.

Simon Armitage, photo by Chris Athanasiou

Simon Armitage reading at the Hay Festival in 2019, photo by Chris Athanasiou

Welshpool Poetry Festival

5th-7th June in Welshpool

A festival of poetry – more details coming soon. Keep an eye on their website and twitter feed.

Montgomeryshire Literary Festival

12th-14th June in Montgomery, Powys

This festival has been running for two years now. This year it will be moving to the town of Montgomery. Keep an eye out for more details on their website.

Penarth Literature Festival

Date TBC 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

18th-21st 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 ‘Spirit of Place’ Visit their website for more details.

Llangwm Literary Festival

7th-9th August in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire

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

Beyond the Border – Wales International Storytelling Festival

3rd-5th July at Dinefwr Castle, National Trust, Carmarthenshire

Beyond the Border takes place every two years and it has moved to a new home – the National Trust property of Dinefwr Castle. I attended the festival in 2016 and loved its unique atmosphere and enthralling stories. You can camp on the festival site for the whole weekend, or just buy festival tickets and go along for the day. See more details on their website.

Poet Amiina Mohamoud

Poet Amiina Mohamoud performing at last year’s Seren Poetry Festival

Caerleon Literature Festival

TBC 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.

Gladfest

TBC at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire, North Wales

Last year’s programme looked good, and I expect there will be more interesting workshops and events this year. Find out more on their website.

Made in Roath Community Arts Festival

Mid-October in Roath, Cardiff

This annual festival took a break last year, but it will be back in 2020 with yet more literary events. Details will be available later this year on the Made in Roath website.

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend

27th-29th November in Hay-on-Wye, Powys

I attended this smaller, more cosy version of the Hay Festival for the first time this year, and really enjoyed it – see my blog post about it here. See their website for details.

Other festivals

It sounds as if the Cardiff Book Festival will be returning some time in 2020, though no details as yet, and Cardiff Libraries are still in discussions about another possible ‘Crime and Coffee’ festival, so watch this space for more info coming soon!

Please add details of any other festivals using the comments below…

7 thoughts on “Looking Forward to Literature Festivals in Wales – 2020

  1. Just to note that Lampeter Book Festival has been cancelled; it will be rescheduled once the situation clarifies.

  2. My family comes from Maesteg, Llansamlet, Llanwrthwl, and Bridgend. I’m a novelist. It would be interesting to combine a festival with visits to these places.

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