Yorkshire Literary Festivals & Book Fairs

Have a read of The Leeds Big Bookend’s ever-growing list of exciting literary festivals and book fairs in the Yorkshire area. If there are any we have missed out, please do let us know so we can add it to our catalogue of events!

JANUARY

York National Book Fair

York National Book Fair

York National Book Fair – Two days of book exhibitions at the York Racecourse. This Book Fair began in 1974, and has grown to become the biggest rare, antiquarian and out-of-print book fair in the U.K. Event also happens in September. For a full list of exhibitors, visit http://www.yorkbookfair.com/.

FEBRUARY

Clapham Village Book Fair – In the Village Hall from 9.30am-4.30pm. Dates also in April and October, contact Peter Fry on 015395 35125 for more details.

MARCH

Headingley LitFest – Since its beginning in 2008, the LitFest has considerably grown in popularity with its celebration of the creative word and the local community. For tickets and programmes, visit http://www.headingleylitfest.org.uk/index.html.

Huddersfield Literature Festival – Established in 2006, Huddersfield Literature Festival is an extremely successful event. Spread over a long weekend in March, 2013’s festival welcomed some 1,500 book enthusiasts to see Kate Atkinson, Jeremy Dyson, Joanne Harris, and Jodi Picoult  among many other fantastic authors and acts. For information and updates for future festivals, visit http://www.litfest.org.uk/.

York Literature Festival

York Literature Festival

York Literature Festival – A beautifully historic city with an impressive literary and cultural inheritance. The festival began in 2007, with a plethora of literary events such as workshops, performances, speaker events, poetry, theatre, cinema etc. For more details, visit http://www.yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk/.

Leeds Book Fair – Book Fair running from 9.30am-4pm in Horsforth. Dates are also in May, August, October and December. For more information, visit http://leedsbookfair.com/.

Gargrave Book Fair – The Village Hall opens its doors 10am-4pm for book exhibitions. Also in June and October. Contact Jon Smith of North West Book Fairs for more details: 0161 7974786.

Bedale Book & Postcard Fair – Bi-annual event at Bedale Hall, 10am-4pm (also in October). Contact Denny Gibson on 01677 422863.

Harrogate Book Fair – Two days based at the Great Yorkshire Showground Pavilions. More information can be found here: http://membership.pbfa.org/Webtools/eventdetails.asp?eventid=HARR/14.

APRIL

NSDF based in Scarborough

NSDF based in Scarborough

National Student Drama Festival – Based in Scarborough, the festival was established in 1956 by Sunday Times arts columnist Kenneth Pearson, theatre critic Harold Hobson, and NUS president Frank Copplestone. Today the festival continues to showcase and support the emerging acting talent of 16-25 year olds, as well as putting on some exceptional shows. For tickets and more information, check out http://www.nsdf.org.uk/.

Clapham Village Book Fair – In the Village Hall from 9.30am-4.30pm. Dates also in February and October, contact Peter Fry on 015395 35125 for more details.

MAY

Sheffield Lyric Festival – This festival is run by the University of Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities and aims to celebrate the spoken and written word through lectures, performances, readings and discussions. The organisers are University of Sheffield’s Professor of Poetry, Simon Armitage, and the Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Joanna Gavins. Read more about past and upcoming events here: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/lyric/index.

Settle Charity Book Fair – A day of books from 9.30am-4pm in the Victoria Hall. There is also a date in August. More details available on this website: http://www.inprint.co.uk/thebookguide/fairs/location.php?loc=SETTLE.

Leeds Book Fair – Book Fair running from 9.30am-4pm in Horsforth. Dates are also in March, August, October and December. For more information, visit http://leedsbookfair.com/.

JUNE

The Leeds Big Bookend – With its tagline ‘A Rock Festival for Words’, the Big Bookend offers a range of literary events for both big kids and small kids around central Leeds. For tickets, programmes and contact details, visit http://www.bigbookend.co.uk/.

Grassington Festival – Since its debut festival in 1981, Grassington has gone from strength to strength in its mission to bring together the best of Yorkshire life, music and literature. The first programme described the event as “Music making and literary events of all kinds for Midsummer in this loveliest of Yorkshire Dales villages.” To see what it’s all about, visit http://www.grassington-festival.org.uk/.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival – Based in the Calder Valley, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival offers a nine-day celebration of comedy, music, dance, drama, visual arts and literature. More information on the website: http://hebdenbridgeartsfestival.co.uk/.

Holmfirth Arts Festival – Eleven days of music, art, comedy, theatre and literature in the picturesque setting of Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. For updates on upcoming events, visit http://holmfirthartsfestival.co.uk/.

Bridlington Poetry Festival

Bridlington Poetry Festival

Bridlington Poetry Festival – At only four years old, this festival has made a huge impact on the poetry scene, providing three days of workshops, readings and seaside events. Visit http://www.bridlington-poetry-festival.com/index.php for more information.

Gargrave Book Fair – The Village Hall opens its doors 10am-4pm for book exhibitions. Also in March and October. Contact Jon Smith of North West Book Fairs for more details: 0161 7974786.

Beverley Book Fair – Based at the Minster Parish Hall, from 10am-4pm.

Salon North – As part of the Harrogate International Festivals, Salon North is an evening of ideas and discussion about art, science and psychology. There are also events in October and November. Discover more on the website: http://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/uncategorized/salon-north/.

JULY

Harrogate International Festivals – Throughout July, Harrogate has an excellent selection of literary events. From Raworths Literature and Lecture Series, to the Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival, to the Children’s Festival; there is something for everyone. Details for all events can be found at http://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/.

Leeds Cross Cultural Book Fair

Leeds Cross Cultural Book Fair

Leeds Cross Cultural Book Fair – A free event in central Leeds with academic seminars, pop-up bookshops, author readings and signings. Check it out here: http://leedsbookfair2013.com/.

Ilkley Book Fair – Two day event at the Kings Hall and Winter Gardens, from 10am-4pm. 

I Love West Leeds Arts Festival – One week of free events including open air film screenings, spoken and written word activities. More information at http://ilovewestleeds.co.uk/intro.

AUGUST

Leeds Book Fair – Book Fair running from 9.30am-4pm in Horsforth. Dates are also in March, May, October and December. For more information, visit http://leedsbookfair.com/.

Settle Charity Book Fair – A day of books from 9.30am-4pm in the Victoria Hall. There is also a date in May. More details available on this website: http://www.inprint.co.uk/thebookguide/fairs/location.php?loc=SETTLE.

Knaresborough's Feva Festival

Knaresborough’s Feva Festival

Feva – Knaresborough’s annual festival of entertainment and visual arts offers a wide variety of events – several of which are literary themed! 2013’s line-up included theatre productions about the life of CS Lewis, readings from Jane Austen’s novels, and the musical Guys and Dolls. There is something for all of the family, and alot of events are free admission too. To find out more, visit http://www.feva.info/.

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival – This festival takes place towards the end of August, with a programme of film, arts trails, music, poetry, theatre, cinema and comedy events. Find out more here: http://www.chapelallerton.org.uk/.

SEPTEMBER

Wakefield Literature Festival – Wakefield’s annual festival focuses on the relationship between the written and spoken word, and the places writers live. The events also explore literature’s links to theatre, music and art too. As part of the festival, there is a Wakefield Wordwalk through the city centre with performances and story-telling. For more information, visit http://www.wakefieldlitfest.org.uk/.

Richmond Walking and Book Festival – Combine a ramble in the stunning Yorkshire Dales with some book events at the Richmond boots and books festival. With a choice of 40 different walks, literary themed afternoon teas and discussions, you are bound to find something that appeals! The full programme and dates can be found here: http://www.booksandboots.org/index.html.

Release The Hounds, Knaresborough

Release The Hounds, Knaresborough

Release The Hounds – A three day festival of poetry and performance in the Medieval town of Knaresborough. Although RTH has just launched, the festival is part of a long-term project aiming to encourage young people to take an interest in the contemporary arts. Find out more here: http://www.rthfestival.co.uk/.

York National Book Fair – Two days of book exhibitions at the York Racecourse. This Book Fair began in 1974, and has grown to become the biggest rare, antiquarian and out-of-print book fair in the U.K. Event also happens in January. For a full list of exhibitors, visit http://www.yorkbookfair.com/.

5th Annual Second-Hand Book Sale – This book fair is held over a weekend at the Baldersby St. James Church in Thirsk, from 10am-5pm. Contact Susan Brown on 01765 640398 for more details.

OCTOBER

Gargrave Book Fair – The Village Hall opens its doors 10am-4pm for book exhibitions. Also in March and June. Contact Jon Smith of North West Book Fairs for more details: 0161 7974786.

Leeds Book Fair – St. Margaret’s Hall, Horsforth, 9.30am-4pm. More dates in March, May, June and December. Visit http://leedsbookfair.com/ for more details.

Bedale Book & Postcard Fair – Bi-annual event at Bedale Hall, 10am-4pm (also in March). Contact Denny Gibson on 01677 422863.

Clapham Village Book Fair – In the Village Hall from 9.30am-4.30pm. Dates also in February and April, contact Peter Fry on 015395 35125 for more details.

Morley Literature Festival

Morley Literature Festival

Morley Literature Festival – This annual seven-day event celebrates reading and writing, with Gervase Phinn as the festival’s patron. With consistently excellent line-ups, Morley is not one to miss! Read all about it here: http://www.morleyliteraturefestival.co.uk/.

Ilkley Literature Festival – The first festival was launched by W. H. Auden in April 1973 and in its time has seen infamous literary figures like Ted Hughes and Benjamin Zephaniah. For details on the line-ups and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk/.

Ryedale Book Festival – Although relatively new on the festival scene, Ryedale is a two day event bursting with fun literary activities for all the family. Check out their website here: http://www.ryedalebookfestival.com/Welcome.html.

Settle Stories – Settle Storytelling Festival is four days of stories, music, discussion and much, much more. Visit http://settlestories.org.uk/festival for more information.

Beverley Literature Festival – Over 40 events over 4 days, exploring the very best in contemporary writing. Check out http://www.beverley-literature-festival.org/ for more details.

Sheffield's Off The Shelf

Sheffield’s Off The Shelf

Off The Shelf – Sheffield’s Off The Shelf Festival of Words was established in 1991, and offers three weeks of events including readings, workshops, storytelling, exhibitions, talks, walks, poetry, competitions and more. Off the Shelf is renowned for attracting big names in literature and the media like Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sarah Waters, Carol Ann Duffy and Andrew Motion. For more information, visit http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/visit/off-the-shelf/about-off-the-shelf.

Salon North – As part of the Harrogate International Festivals, Salon North is an evening of ideas and discussion about art, science and psychology. There are also events in November and June. Discover more on the website: http://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/uncategorized/salon-north/.

Seacroft Literature and Arts Festival – A variety of events and venues, with past line-ups including Ian MacMillan and Wes Brown. For more information, visit http://seacroftliteratureandart.wordpress.com/.

Love Arts Leeds – An annual arts festival highlighting the issues of mental health, with events across Leeds throughout October. For more information, visit http://loveartsleeds.co.uk/.

The Ted Hughes Festival This annual festival celebrating the life and work of Yorkshire-born poet Ted Hughes takes place in various locations around the county. Organised by The Elmet Trust, the festival stretches over a week of close reading workshops, poetry readings, art exhibitions, and The Poetry Café. For more information, visit http://www.theelmettrust.co.uk/.

NOVEMBER

Humbermouth – Hull’s very own literature festival was founded in 1993 and is spread over eleven days. The events focus on literature, language and text-based arts. Find out more via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/humbermouthliteraturefestival/info.

Salon North – As part of the Harrogate International Festivals, Salon North is an evening of ideas and discussion about art, science and psychology. There are also events in October and June. Discover more on the website: http://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/uncategorized/salon-north/.

DECEMBER

Leeds Book Fair – St. Margaret’s Hall, Horsforth, 9.30am-4pm. More dates in March, May, June and October. Visit http://leedsbookfair.com/ for more details.

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2 Responses to Yorkshire Literary Festivals & Book Fairs

  1. This is a hugely helpful blog post, thank you! 🙂

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