The Best Literary Festivals of 2022
Calling all book lovers; there’s plenty to be excited about on the 2022 literary calendar. Here are the literary festivals not to miss this year.
Best Literary Festivals of 2022
When? 29 October – 6 November 2022
Where? West Sussex
What? You can always guarantee a star-studded line-up of guests at this illustrious literary extravaganza. The 2021 event featured names like Gyles Brandreth, Joan Bakewell, Sebastian Faulks and Max Egremont, plus fun events for children including a Harry Potter wand making session and a quiz hosted by Andrew Pettie, the author of Listified, Britannica’s much-loved book of 300 lists. Stay tuned for details of the 2022 line-up.
Cheltenham Literature Festival
When? 7 – 16 October 2022
Where? Select venues across Cheltenham
What? The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is the UK’s oldest literary festival. Each year’s fantastic line-up welcomes some of the best and brightest of the literary and entertainment spheres for an exciting programme of over 500 workshops, interviews and debates. Highlights for 2021 included Booker-winning writer Bernardine Evaristo and Talk Art podcast hosts Russell Tovey and Robert Diament.
North Cornwall Book Festival
When? 22 – 25 September 2022
Where? St Endellion Church, Port Isaac
What? North Cornwall Book Festival offers something slightly different. As an independent, locally-run literary festival, this largely unknown event may not pull some of the bigger names you’ve seen at the country’s larger literary celebrations, however, for what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in passion and authenticity. With an abundance of workshops, readings and performances on offer across the weekend, this is certainly not one to miss.
DESIblitz Literature Festival
When? 2022 dates TBC
What? DESIblitz Literature Festival is a celebration of the exceptional writing coming out of South Asia and its Diaspora. This year’s line-up included Sarfraz Manzoor, author of new book They: What Muslims and Non-Muslims Get Wrong About Each Other; writer Tahmima Anam, internationally acclaimed poet Imtiaz Dharker; and novelist Saima Mir, whose Bradford crime novel is currently being optioned for TV.
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
When? 21 – 24 July 2022
What? This award-winning festival celebrates crime fiction at its best. Curated by chair Denise Mina, this year’s line-up includes The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins, Lynda La Plante and Michael Connelly, writer of the acclaimed Harry Bosch series. Festival favourite Val McDermid will also be returning with her New Blood panel, showcasing four exciting debut crime writers to look out for.
Queen’s Park Book Festival
When? 2022 dates TBC
Where? Queen’s Park, London
What? Queen’s Park Book Festival boasts a wonderful literary history as a home to authors, artists, poets, and actors, carrying on this legacy by creating a platform for other young aspiring writers to be discovered. Visitors this year enjoyed talks from the likes of Annie Mac, Anita Sethi, Ingrid Persaud, John Mullan, and Posy Simmonds, as well as performances from local poets and parties in the evenings.
Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival
When? 17 – 18 September 2022
What? Previous speakers have included a host of literary icons, such as Louise Minchin, Sir Tim Waterstone, and Tom Bradby. In 2019, former Prime Minister David Cameron appeared for an exclusive conversation with James Langlade, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, discussing his controversial memoir For the Record.
Cliveden Literary Festival
When? 15 – 16 October 2022
Where? Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire
What? Situated amongst the spectacular surroundings of British country estate, Cliveden House – renowned for its literary salons since 1666, favoured by the likes of Alexander Pope and Sir Winston Churchill – this historic literary festival is not one to be missed. The 2021 line-up featured Emerald Fennell, Lionel Shriver, Dan Jones, Elif Shafak and many more renowned thinkers and writers.
Essex Book Festival
When? 1 – 30 June 2022
Where? In venues across the county of Essex
What? Running for a month this June, you can expect a whole host of enthralling outdoor talks, workshops, performances and more at Essex Book Festival. Last year’s event saw a hybrid of digital and in-person events – many taking place at unusual places around the county of Essex such as a Tudor Palace and a Napoleonic Fort.
London Literature Festival
When? 20 – 30 October 2022
Where? South Bank Centre
What? There’s always a heavy-weight line-up of the biggest authors and speakers at the capital’s most talked-about literary festival of the year. Previous speakers have included the likes of Hilary Clinton, Philip Pullman and Tom Hanks take to the stage for individually-ticketed events. Stay tuned for what is sure to be an equally sensational 2022 line-up.
Henley Literary Festival
When? 1 – 9 October 2022
Where? A series of fantastic venues including Phyllis Court and The Hibernia at Hobbs Boat Yard.
What? Henley Literary Festival returns this autumn with what is sure to be an impressive line-up of speakers, workshops performances and Q&As with a long list of illustrious authors. Previous guests have included Mary Berry, Nadiya Hussain, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Julian Clary to name a few.
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