If you love reading books but have yet to visit a book festival or even a bookshop event, you are missing out!
With Hay Festival running from 26th May to 5th June and Monty Lit Fest running 10th – 12th June this year, I am very lucky to have two literature festivals in Mid Wales coming up in quick succession.
Hay Festival is a massive literature festival set in the town of Hay-on-Wye. The town itself is known for its numerous book shops and every May the Hay Festival moves onto a field on the edge of the town with authors, publicists and book lovers all descending upon it. Imagine it as the Glastonbury of the book world! It’s a great chance to see authors from far and wide and hear them talk about their work. Many of the authors also engage in book signings, and, if you’re lucky, you may also see them mingling with us readers as they too enjoy the festival.
Fear not, if you can’t make it to Hay Festival, you can purchase an online festival pass to watch the events streamed live as they happen. 75 of the 374 events have been carefully selected for readers to watch from the comfort of their own homes or wherever they may be. Online pass holders can also watch the events on replay until midnight on 6th June (just in case you’re busy when they are live-streamed).
Held over 3 days (Friday 10th – Sunday 12th June), Monty Lit Fest is a smaller affair held just down the road from me in the beautiful town of Montgomery. Founded in 2018, Monty Lit Fest is already attracting top authors. From bestselling crime writers such as Janice Hallett and Sophie Hannah to bestselling local authors such as Mike Parker and local poet/artist/writer Frieda Hughes, as well as several writing workshops. This will be my first year of attending, but I’m sure it won’t be my last!
Another brilliant literature festival I would recommend is Harrogate Crime Writing Festival held in July. Those interested in writing their own crime thrillers can take part in various workshops on “Creative Thursday”, followed by an evening of awards and partying. Friday to Sunday is full of events with top authors and experts, you can even join an author dinner and crack a murder mystery case! I sadly won’t be attending this year, but I have attended in the past and have thoroughly enjoyed myself. It is a fantastic opportunity to mingle with fellow crime thriller readers and authors alike.
If you can’t afford or get to a literature festival, then check out events held by your local bookshop. Booka Bookshop in Oswestry regularly holds author events at their shop and various venues around the town. I’ve attended many of them including Shetland Tea & Murder Mystery with Ann Cleeves, evenings with F1 drivers such as Damon Hill, Mark Webber and Johnny Hebert, as well as TV stars such as Michael Palin, Louis Theroux and Tony Robinson. My most recent event was An Evening with Lucy Easthope, author of When The Dust Settles, last month. It was a thoroughly interesting and eye-opening evening as Lucy talked about her job as the country’s leading authority on emergency planning and disaster management.
Do you attend book events? Do you have any lined up?