Regardless of your reading tastes, there are still plenty of book festivals happening this year for you to enjoy
Half the year is already behind us but with some good weather still (hopefully) left in 2018, there are plenty of opportunities to find yourself (and any little ones you know) some new additions for your reading list, and to enjoy the sunshine with author talks and book signings.
Manchester Children's Book Festival
If you can't commit to a small period out of the year to attend book events, and are looking for a good variety of talks and activities for the children in your circle (or the child in you), then the year-round Manchester Children's Book Festival is the right one for you. It was created in 2010 as a four-day celebration of everything to do with children's literature, and with famous names such as actress Isla Fisher (author of the Fun Family series) and Philip Pullman (author of the beloved His Dark Materials trilogy, among many others) in the roster of past attendees, it will surely keep growing strong. Various venues, Manchester, all year.
Fifteen years after its first instalment, the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival has had many crime novelists discussing their work with audiences. Recognized internationally for its programming and organization, this is the place to be if you're a fan of a good 'whodunnit'. This year's guests include award-winning Denise Mina (Garnethill trilogy) and Pointless star Richard Osman, with Lee Child (Jack Reacher series) as Programming Chair. The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, 19–22 July.
While not a festival in name, the Young Adult Literature Convention (often shortened as YALC) has brought some big names from the children's literature industry to London in its short four year history. For its 5th anniversary, YALC is hosting authors such as Giovanna and Tom Fletcher (Eve of Man), Juno Dawson (Clean) and Gayle Forman (I Have Lost My Way), among many others. Being part of the London Film and Comic Con, you won't have a single free minute the entire weekend. Olympia Exhibition Centre, London, 26–28 Jul.
Edinburgh Book Festival
While the Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes over most of the city, the Book Festival has found its home at the heart of the city in Charlotte Square. Authors from all over the world come together for over 900 events every year, with a programme filled with important discussions and talks, but also plenty of opportunities for the youngest ones to just enjoy a good book. Claim a chair in the garden and do the same, or see authors such as Philip Pullman and Alexander McCall Smith talk about their work. Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 11–27 Aug.
Cardiff Book Festival
It might only be three years into its running, but the Cardiff Book Festival is here to stay. Hosting events in both English and Welsh, it claims to be 'where the written word comes alive', through lively and engrossing discussions of all genres of literature. This year's programme is yet to be announced but if the previous line-ups are any indication, you won't want to miss it. Various locations, Cardiff, 7–9 Sep.
Marlborough Literature Festival
Local author Nick Fogg and novelist Mavis Cheek saw a gap in the Marlborough festival scene eight years ago and decided to do something about it. With a rich literary tradition, following in the footsteps of names such as Siegfried Sassoon, John Betjeman and Bruce Chatwin, the festival focuses on writing and the faces behind it, be they well known or undiscovered. Famous names for this year's programme include multi-faceted David Walliams and former Labour MP Alan Johnson. Various venues, Marlborough, 27–30 Sep.
The biggest festival dedicated to children's literature in Europe, the Bath Children's Literature Festival is an unmissable stop in the bookish calendar. Prioritising fun and laughter and instilling a love of books in young readers, there are plenty of unmissable activities and events to please even the pickiest of children. This year's guests include musician Tom Fletcher (The Creakers), Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon) and Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain. Various venues, Bath, 28 Sep--7 Oct.
London Literature Festival
Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America This festival celebrates the importance and role that words can have in reimagining a collapsing world by not only featuring recognised authors but also writers in languages that are close to extinction. Previous guests include Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and novelist Margaret Atwood. Southbank Centre, London, Oct.
Cheltenham Literature Festival
Even if autumn has brought with it extra layers of clothing and a desire to snuggle up at home, you'll still need a good book to keep you company. There will be literature galore at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, with over 600 authors to choose from to chase away the cold blues. Names for 2018 include Sir David Attenborough, Oscar nominated actress Sally Field and Graham Norton. Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, 5–14 Oct.
Jodi Picoult (A Spark of Light), radio presenter Simon Mayo and many more meet in Shakespeare's home town for the 12th edition of the Stratford Literary Festival. There is a wide range of talks, workshops and discussions for all ages to choose from and, if you're needing a break, you can always wander around the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon and absorb some poetic inspiration. Various locations, Stratford-upon-Avon, 8–11 Nov.