By Maria Bregman
Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors and miss out on the vibrant and diverse literature scene in the UK. From poetry and prose to history and fiction, there is something for everyone to enjoy and explore. Here are some of the highlights of the literature events happening in the UK in November and December 2023.
Non-fiction November: Nationwide
If you love learning new facts and discovering new perspectives, you won’t want to miss Non-fiction November, a month-long celebration of all things factual and informative. Organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, this event aims to promote and celebrate non-fiction books, authors and illustrators for children and young people. You can join in by reading, reviewing and recommending non-fiction books, taking part in online activities and competitions, and attending virtual events with non-fiction writers and experts. Whether you’re interested in science, history, art, sport, or anything in between, you’ll find something to spark your curiosity and inspire your imagination.
Queen’s Park Book Festival: London
A small neighbourhood event in northwest London that attracts some big names, the Queen’s Park Book Festival returns with Sebastian Faulks, Michel Roux and celebrated local resident Zadie Smith among the speakers on the bill. The festival offers a diverse and engaging programme of talks, panel discussions, workshops and children’s activities, covering topics such as food, politics, music, memoir, crime and comedy. You can also browse and buy books from independent publishers and booksellers, and enjoy some delicious food and drink from local vendors.
Jane Austen Festival: Bath
If you’re a fan of the Regency era and its most famous novelist, you’ll love the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, a city that features prominently in several of her works. The festival is a 10-day long immersive experience that transports you back to the Georgian times, with guided walks, lavish balls, theatre shows, and costume parades. You can also attend talks and workshops by Austen experts and enthusiasts, and visit the places where she lived and wrote. The festival is a must for anyone who wants to experience the elegance, romance and wit of Austen’s world.
Bath Children’s Literature Festival: Bath
Bath will be “buzzing”, as more than 100 children’s authors and illustrators are welcomed for the city’s popular children’s literature festival. This year’s line-up will include the likes of Rob Biddulph, Cressida Cowell, Lenny Henry, Robin Stevens and Dermot O’Leary. The festival aims to inspire and entertain young readers with a range of events, from storytelling and drawing sessions to quizzes and games. There will also be opportunities to meet your favourite authors and characters, and get your books signed.
London Literature Festival: London
The London Literature Festival is a showcase of the best contemporary writing from around the world, held at the Southbank Centre. The festival features a variety of events, from readings and interviews to performances and workshops, with some of the most acclaimed and influential writers and thinkers of our time. This year’s festival will explore the theme of “rebirth”, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic world. Some of the highlights include Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo in conversation with poet and activist Jackie Kay, Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead discussing his latest novel Harlem Shuffle, and Nobel Prize laureate Kazuo Ishiguro presenting his new book Klara and the Sun.