The Auckland Writers Festival is Australasia’s largest literary festival. Every May it hosts over 230 of the world’s best writers and an audience exceeding 83,000. Now in its 20th year, the festival is characterised by the calibre of its guest authors, the enthusiasm and engagement of its audience and the warmth and welcome provided in Auckland and New Zealand.
Babel is the literary festival focused on translation. Held in the Swiss town of Bellinzona this annual festival invites leading writers who work across languages and cultures. Babel hosts a range of workshops, awards prizes and puts emphasis on publishing new work. The festival aims at promoting translations between different art forms. For it defines the art and craft of translation as linguistic hospitality.
Bay Area Book Festival is a world-class literary extravaganza in Berkeley, California. The annual festival features bold and brilliant literary voices in conversations about issues that matter, with a focus on justice and diversity. From global and cultural visionaries to Nobel laureates and some of the literary scene’s most spellbinding award-winners, Bay Area Book Festival offers something for everyone.
Book Arsenal is an annual festival in Kyiv. Every spring it features events not only in Ukraine's capital but across the entire country. The festival pays special attention to the visual component of literature. From exhibition projects on the art of book publishing, illustration, design, art books, objects or installations to the latest design trends in zines and self-published books. In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine and with the support of Frankfurt Book Fair and the Buchkunst Foundation, the festival awards the best book designs among Ukrainian publishers and cultural institutions. The festival itself has won several awards, too.
The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is the world's oldest festival of its kind. Every autumn the historic English spa town of Cheltenham welcomes the best new voices in fiction and poetry alongside literary greats and high-profile speakers for ten days. Its motto: Read the World. Future generations of readers and writers are being inspired by the festival's unique Literature for Schools programme. But a love of books is not only shared and spread in person but also through a range of online events. This pioneering mix won the festival a coveted FutureBook Award 2020 for Best Lockdown Event.
Set against the backdrop of one of Britain's most historic cities Cambridge Literary Festival presents two literary celebrations each year. It brings together some of the world’s greatest writers, speakers and thinkers in a city that is home to a university of global significance. Each year it welcomes more than 350 writers and speakers from Britain and beyond. Throughout the year the festival also hosts several one-off events and a constant stream of digital content.
Cúirt International Festival of Literature is a key milestone in Ireland’s cultural calendar. As one of the country's major annual literature events Cúirt, which is held in the city of Galway, brings together the best in Irish and international contemporary writing. The festival supports local writers with showcase opportunities, gives an international platform to Irish writing and creates unique literary experiences for its audiences.
Dhaka Lit Fest is an annual literary festival held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. For three days in November it brings together prominent domestic and international guests. The festival seeks to promote Bangladeshi literature and culture to the world. Held in the grounds of Bangla Academy it features events in English and Bengali. With its main focus on literature it also embraces culture and ideas more broadly, generating discussions on a wide array of topics. Former participants from over 50 countries include VS Naipaul, Selina Hossain, Adonis and Tilda Swinton, to mention a few.
The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival is a biennial event in New Zealand’s only UNESCO City of Literature. This boutique festival presents a surfeit of literary richness across all genres, with a spotlight on homegrown writers. It offers a school programme, professional development workshops, excursions for little ones, and writer sessions that provoke, charm, inspire and amuse. The festival offers a range of free events to enable access to words, stories and ideas for everyone
Edinburgh International Book Festival is a key event in the city's famous festival season. Every August it brings together writers, poets, politicians, illustrators, musicians and thinkers from over 60 countries in a specially created tented village in the heart of Scotland's capital. With annual audiences of around 200,000, the festival is one of the world’s largest public celebrations of the written word, a lively forum for democratic discussion, conversation and the exchange of ideas.
Étonnants Voyageurs, Saint-Malo is one of France's top literary festivals. Every year in May more than 200 authors from all continents gather for three days of debates, literary cafés, film screenings and readings. With an annual audience of around 60,000 the festival has hosted world-famous writers such as Jim Harrison, Hugo Pratt, J.M.G. Le Clézio and Alvaro Mutis, Several prizes are awarded during the festival, including the Joseph-Kessel award and the Grand prix de l'Imaginaire award for speculative fiction, open to novels of all nationalities. The festival's book fair invites readers to have their copies signed by the authors.
The European Poetry Festival is the biggest celebration of European poetry in the United Kingdom. It celebrates the grand resurgence in avant-garde and literary poetry that has marked the 21st century on the continent. With events held in London, Manchester, Norwich and several other towns the EPF is designed to be a showcase of not only live literature but new writing methodologies, most notably collaboration. With support from over a dozen European and UK institutes the festival aims to keep some of the world's finest poetry in the consciousness of audiences and readers alike.
The Festival of World Literature in Zagreb and Split is Croatia's leading event for international literature. Every September its programme focuses on literary talks, round tables, flm screenings, graphic novel discussions and exhibitions. Since its beginnings in 2013 the week-long festival has proven to be a high-quality literary and cultural event. In 2020 the festival has been shortlisted for the London Book Fair International Excellence Award.
FILBA is a relatively small, well curated festival in Buenos Aires. Over the years it has become one of the main meeting points for literature in the Spanish-speaking world. With 20 international writers joining around 100 authors and artists from Argentina the festival presents everything from masterclasses to intimate readings, from workshops to special writing projects. With the main focus on Latin American literature the festival organisers also aim at creating long-lasting dialogue between writers from all over the world.
The George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) is Malaysia’s leading international literary festival. Supported by the State Government of Penang, it is held annually in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town. GTLF has a specifc focus on world literature. The festival believes in the power of expression and is committed to being one of the most urgent, vital and provocative literary festivals in the region. Each year, selected local and international writers, poets and performers engage in topics and themes that are crucial to the present state of the world.
The Harbour Front Literary Festival in Hamburg is one of Germany's three major literary festivals. Every September its events draw audiences of around 25,000. The festival locations are widely spread around Hamburg’s harbour front and include everything from big concert halls to theaters, churches, music clubs. The festival hosts writers from around the world and awards two highly prestigious prizes: the best literary debut of the year and a lifetime award for children’s book authors.
Hay Festival is an annual literature event in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. For ten days from May to June it brings readers and writers together to share stories and ideas live and online. The festival has grown to become a global phenomenon with affiliate festivals in Peru, Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Croatia, all under the name Hay Festival. Nobel Prize winners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians and musicians gather to discuss the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences. Bill Clinton once called Hay Festival “The Woodstock of the mind“.
The Guernsey Literary Festival is one of the highlights of the channel island’s arts calendar bringing some of the world’s greatest writers, speakers and thinkers to Guernsey. The festival also organises several writing competitions, as well as local author events, writing workshops and schools events. Discovered by writers like Victor Hugo and Mervyn Peake, the Bailiwick of Guernsey's beauty and history makes it the perfect literary travel destination.
The International Festival for Young Poets @ the First Step is a two-day festival in Cyprus. As an open stage it encourages emerging young poets to participate and present their creative identity. The festival's focus group are talented and adventurous poets aged 15 to 30. Those up-and-coming artists are given the opportunity to share their first journeys into poetry, with both the public and other internationally known poets from Cyprus and abroad.
The International Literary festival, to the sea-girt shores of Cyprus is a bi-annual literature festival in Cyprus. For four days in November it brings together poets, writers and artists from all over the world. Established in 2013, it is organised by Ideogramma, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of literature and the use of language. The festival provides a platform for substantial cultural exchange between Cypriot and International Culture.
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) ranks as one of the world’s most important literary events. Its comprehensive stylistic and thematic spectrum is unique – encompassing prose, poetry, non-fction, graphic novels as well as children's and young adult literature. The programme ranges from roundtable discussions with Nobel Prize winners in literature to events aimed at promoting reading and the teaching of literature. The ilb is committed to human rights, cosmopolitanism, multiple perspectives, dialogue, and hospitality.
International Literature Festival Dublin is Ireland’s premier literary event. For 10 days in May it celebrates international writing and freedom of expression. Festival events take place across the city and range from headlining international artists, to new voices and community projects as well as an innovative progamme for young people. The festival welcomes writers from well over 20 countries each year, for residencies, workshops, readings and commissions.
International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong (IPNHK) is an award-winning biennial poetry festival established by renowned contemporary Chinese poet Bei Dao. Since its debut in 2009 in Hong Kong, IPNHK has become the most influential series of international poetry events in the Sinophone area, providing internationally acclaimed poets with a platform for the exchange of thoughts and ideas about poetry.
The International Writers Festival in Jerusalem is a central event in the literary world and the only festival of its kind in Israel. It hosts experienced and young writers, both local and international, and seeks to showcase unique voices in the global literary field. The festival's guests include authors, editors, literary scholars, journalists, translators, and other artists from around the world. The programme offers dozens of literary sessions, workshops, tours, flms, and performances.
ITEF – Istanbul International Literature Festival (ITEF) is an annual literary event in Turkey. Initiated by the Kalem Agency it has been organized by the Kalem Culture Association, a non-profit foundation, since 2009. Every May it attracts important international literature figures with its many events, including panels, workshops and concerts. Over the years the festival has hosted around 600 writers and 250 literature professionals. It focuses on a variety of genres and aims at bringing together writers, publishers, translators, critics and journalists for a series of inspirational encounters.
The Jaipur Literature Festival is the world's biggest free literary event. Every January the Indian city of Jaipur hosts what has become Asia-Pacific's leading event of national and international writers. It brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders and entertainers. The festival's aim is to provide events that champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue. JLF offers an extensive online presence, providing a big series of digital events, with viewing figures in the millions.
The Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) is Pakistan’s premier, free to public cultural event. Every February the LLF acts as bridge between writers and publishers, local and foreign talent, established and emerging voices. It has established Lahore as a centre-stage for stimulating literary dialogue and varied cultural expressions. This has earned the city the status as a UNESCO ‘City of Literature’. LLF international editions take place in New York and London on an annual basis.
Leukerbad International Literary Festival is a four day festival in the tiny mountain village of Leukerbad, Switzerland. The summer festival is well known for its outstanding international programme and unique venues. Events take place in a drained thermal pool, at midnight on top of a 2350m tall mountain, inside the impressive Dala gorge as well as in elegant hotel bars and gardens. The «Perspectives» conversation series has leading writers and thinkers of different disciplines discuss current topics from culture, society and politics.
Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) is Australia’s boldest literary festival. It brings writers and readers together to be inspired, challenged and thrilled by an intelligent, rousing and diverse program of books and ideas. Since 1986, the organisation has entertained hundreds of thousands of readers. Based in Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature, MWF provides the inspiration and framework for vital, timely conversations.
The Norwegian Festival of Literature is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries. Every year in May/June it offers a diverse programme catering to readers of all ages. The small and idyllic city of Lillehammer offers a warm and friendly atmosphere with its green surroundings. Lillehammer became the 23rd UNESCO City of Literature in October 2017. Among the authors who have attended the festival are Karl Ove Knausgård, J.M. Coetzee, Herta Müller, Margaret Atwood.
Passa Porta Festival is a biennial literature festival in Brussels. Every other year in March it brings over 100 domestic and international writers, thinkers and artists to Belgium. The festival turns curiosity into literary discoveries by means of readings, performances, debates and audacious cross-pollinations between literature and other art forms. Passa Porta Festival is a unique multilingual celebration of literature in Europe’s capital.
The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, New York is a landmark event in New York City's cultural calendar. Every April it celebrates world literature by featuring more than 150 writers and artists from all over the world. The festival aims at celebrating the beauty and power of storytelling as well as portraying the deeper truths afforded by literature. In 60+ events in venues across the city, America’s premier international literary festival gathers nonfiction and fiction writers, thinkers, translators, and poets. Founded by Salman Rushdie, Michael Roberts, and Esther Allen its philosophy is to broaden channels of dialogue between the United States and the world.
The Poetry Postcard Fest is a unique connection between hundreds of participants in a dozen countries. Initiated in 2007, it is based on a highly original yet simple idea. People sign up to send 31 original poems on postcards to folks on their list. Just like a typical postcard, only a poem written to someone, spontaneously. The result is published as an online anthology. The Poetry Postcard Fest was started by Paul E Nelson of SPLAB, and is based in Seattle, USA. It is an open exercise in spontaneous composition and results in an interesting online postcard exhibit.
The Prague Writers’ Festival is a festival of ideas. An intimate festival with unpredictable authors. Each year’s theme (e.g. 2020: “We are Condemned to Hope”) demands attention. It seeks a separate space from business culture. It calls for no immunity. Better to suggest than describe. By nature, the Festival is free. Since its beginnings in 1991 the festival takes place every spring in the Czech capital. Notable guests include Salman Rushdie, Nadine Gordimer and Gao Xingjian.
Poetica is an annual festival for world literature held in Cologne, Germany's fourth biggest city. Hosted by the University of Cologne and the German Academy for Language and Literature it features a different theme each year. In readings and discussions leading figures from literature and science engage in close dialogue with the public. Festival events take place in cooperation with the city's cultural institutions such as the theatre (Schauspiel Köln), literary centre (Literaturhaus Köln) and public library. Each January the festival aims at re-measuring the maps of world literature.
Puerto de Ideas Foundation develops two festivals a year: a contemporary reflection festival in Valparaíso in November since 2011, and a science festival in Antofagasta in April, since 2014. Each festival is a multidisciplinary meeting space between diverse audiences and authors, thinkers, and scientists from Chile, Latin America, and the world, around their creative processes and the most relevant questions of today. Almost 600 thinkers, artists, scientists and authors have participated in 18 vibrant and festive editions of Puerto de Ideas Festivals.
Quais du Polar has become THE key event of the genre in France. Firmly established in the French and European cultural scenery, it is both recognized by the professionals and an ever-increasing audience attending the different events organized by the festival. Featuring a wide range of novels, graphic novels, TV series, films, round-tables, meetings and conferences, suspense quests in the streets of Lyon, exhibitions, games, authors from 51 different nationalities have been invited since 2005.
Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival (TCBF) is an annual literary gathering in Minnesota, USA. Every October the festival features dozens of presenting authors, special children’s programs, and a wide variety of exhibitors. It invites readers, writers, publishers, and purveyors to come and find out about new and rare books, quirky curiosities, and all other things literary. TCBF is a hybrid festival with its main exhibit and ancillary events taking place live, as well as a variety of additional events online.
Québec en toutes lettres is an annual literary festival in Québec City, one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature. Every fall it embraces a contemporary structure, showcasing literature in its multiple forms, celebrating multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. The festival's program is built around three main components: live entertainment in public areas, performances and sessions with authors. The organisers put emphasis on the event's welcoming, festive and unifying character.
Seoul International Writers’ Festival (SIWF) is an annual festival in South Korea. In providing a platform for international exchange the festival aims at raising global awareness of Korean literature. It is hosted by LTI Korea, the national body for the promotion of the country's literature in translation. LTI not only hosts this festival, they
also fund the translation and publication of Korean literature in more than 40 languages, and run a Translation Academy. The festival is viewed as a cultural bridge between Korea and the world at large.
The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) is Canada’s longest-running literary festival, a charitable, non-for-proft cultural organisation. Since 1974, the 11-day Festival has presented the finest of Canadian and international writers, artists and thinkers across literary genres, offering audiences access and empowerment to meet, hear and learn from the fnest contemporary writers and thinkers of our time.
Ullapool Book Festival is held in a stunning location in the north west Highlands of Scotland. Every May it promotes the best that contemporary writing has to offer. Newest works and trends in fiction, non-fiction and poetry alike are presented and discussed, always with an emphasis on Scottish authors and those based there. The festival celebrates its strong links to Canada and has a tradition of bringing Canadian writers each year.
Vancouver Writers Fest is one of North America's largest and most prestigious literary festivals. Every October this week-long festival attracts tens of thousands of audience members. The festival encourages readers of all ages to explore the power of storytelling through dozens of events with local and international writers. The body behind it is a Canadian non-proft organisation of the same name that runs not only this festival but also literary events all year round.
Winternachten is an annual international literature festival in The Hague. Every January it hosts about 100 writers from the Netherlands and abroad. The 5-day long festival is organised by Writers Unlimited who present a different festival theme each year, always relating to current international developments. Authors are mainly from non-western countries, and are invited on the basis of the relation of their literary work to the festival's theme.