My Top 5 Websites for finding UK Literary Festivals

Stratford literature festivalHave you been inspired to get out there and see what’s going on in the world of literary festivals? Or perhaps, like me, you’re becoming a bit of a lit fest junkie and want more and more… Well, there are literally hundreds of them in the UK alone, and plenty of extra events going on throughout the year. Almost every self-respecting town or city hosts one, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find one near you. But how exactly do you go about discovering these unmissable events? Here are my top 5 useful websites for discovering literary festivals in the UK…   

Number 1

Mslexia Magazine – What’s On

Highlights some of the UK’s best literary festivals. Also a great place to find out about writing courses, retreats and competitions, and if you subscribe to the magazine itself you get even more.

Number 2

Literary Festivals – A Directory

A comprehensive list of literary festivals throughout the UK. Not the most easy-to-read format for a website, and not all entirely up to date, but the content is useful, and includes festivals I’d never heard of. You can search by calendar month to see what’s coming up, or alphabetically.

Number 3

The World Travels – A Useful List

A useful list with links to a number of festivals around the UK, although you will have to paste some of the URLs into your search bar.

Number 4

Arts Festivals Calendar

This one includes all kinds of arts festivals as well as the literary kind. It has a search facility although I couldn’t seem to get it working when I tried.

Number 5

Literary Festivals (Twitter)

This is actually a Twitter account, but still highly useful for finding out what’s going on. Regular tweets about all sorts of literary festivals around the world.

And just one more for those of you in Wales…

Literature Wales – What’s On

This is technically a list of events, rather than festivals, but definitely worth a look if you live in Wales.

Please get in touch…

This list is based on my own limited web research, so please do get in touch via the comments box if you have come across other helpful sites.

5 thoughts on “My Top 5 Websites for finding UK Literary Festivals

  1. Pingback: Upcoming Literary Festivals & Events

  2. Wenlock Poetry Festival has yet to make your “cut”, but for me is the very best way to Spring into poetry again each April after a Winter’s hibernation.
    The 2016 festival runs from Friday 22nd. to and including Sunday 24th. April – there are campsites and reasonably-priced BnB facilities in Much Wenlock and the surrounding area – a not-to-be-missed treat founded six years ago by Anna Dreda, owner of Wenlock Books and current Poet Laureate for the UK, Carol Ann Duffy.

    • Thanks C J Heyworth, I’ve not been to Wenlock yet but it sounds great. This post was about highlighting websites where people could search for festivals, rather than particular festivals, but if anyone else has a literary festival they would like to recommend here then please do so – my favourite so far has been the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July. It’s conveniently only about an hour’s drive away from Cardiff, and packed full of poets and poetry.

  3. Hello Rachel – glad that both my Literary Festivals Directory and @litfests made the cut. Interested in your observation that the Literary Festivals Directory is ‘not the most easy-to-read format for a website’. Would appreciate your insights.

    The site has grown like Topsy over the seven or eight years that I have been programming, designing and publishing it on a voluntary basis with these days a few authors and a handful of festivals chipping-in towards costs. It is certainly ready for a makeover – love to hear yours and your circles suggestions how to improve the site as I am deciding whether to give it a big push or ditch it altogether.
    Best Wishes Kev Parker – Site publisher

    • Hi Kev,
      The Literary Festivals directory is really useful – please don’t ditch it. I am quite fussy about usability on websites, but I have found it a really helpful place to discover what’s on in the world of literary festivals.

      I think my main issue is just that there’s a lot on there, which is quite distracting. As you can probably tell from my own site, I think having a more minimal layout with less images and different types of formatting just helps the viewer to find things more easily.

      However, as I have spent the last month or so creating my own site, I do realise how complicated these things are, and how much time they take up. Thanks for your comment.

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