We are heading into the late summer / autumn book festival season. After the very successful on-line Hay festival in May we thought it would be interesting to tell you about the published plans for upcoming literary events.

I am sure most of you have been to the wonderful Wimbledon Bookfest that usually takes place in October, largely in the huge marquee on Wimbledon Common. Some of you will be Friends and will be aware of their plans. This year Wimbledon BookFest is running a Live Weekend Festival 11-14 September on Wimbledon Common called The Last Days of Summer. The festival has moved from October to September when the weather is better and they can use an open airey ‘roof only’ marquee.

The programme will be released later in August with priority for Friends of the Festival but includes a keynote event from Matthew Syed and authors including Pandora Sykes, Rachel Clarke, Kadiatu and Braimah Kanneh-Mason and Ruby Wax. I’m really looking forward to seeing Kadiatu and Braimah, the parents of the amazing Kanneh-Mason musical prodigies.

The festival will include 12-15 events with socially distanced audiences of 200. Audience, author and staff safety will be paramount.


Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from 15th to 31st August. There are an impressive range of author events, all free, all streamed, some live with opportunites for Q&A and some pre-recorded. You can sign up for as many as you want at:


Speakers include Philippe Sands, William Dalrymple, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Jim Naughtie.  There is also a children’s programme with around 30 events including Michael Morpurgo, Cressida Cowell, Eoin Colfer, Julia Donaldson.

Henley Literary Festival runs from 26th September to 4th October.  This is another streamed event. Authors include Nadiya Hussain, Joanna Trollope, Daniel Finkelstein, Alan Johnson, and Andrew Marr. They are charging £5 for most events, sometimes more if a book is included.


Cheltenham Literature Festival takes place in early October. They are planning over a 100 events with a mix of live streaming and socially distanced audiences at a couple of venues in Cheltenham. Details are not yet published. Their website says: ‘The programme will feature content unique to Cheltenham, presenting some of the biggest names in publishing this autumn. Award-winning authors of fiction and non-fiction will join poets, spoken word artists and new voices to delve into a range of topics including travel and adventure, food and drink, lifestyle, history, art and religion’.

Elif Shafak is one of the guest curators. The line-up is usually announced mid August