Cheltenham Literature Festival – 8th to 17th October 2021

This year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival runs from Friday 8th October to Sunday 17 October.

This year’s theme is Read the World. The festival will explore key issues of the day from a range of different perspectives and with the aim of understanding more about cultural norms from around the globe. These Read the World events will be broadcast as part of the Festivals daily highlights programme on the Cheltenham Festivals You Tube channel.

You can find out more about the virtual events here.

Cheltenham Literature Festival hosted the world’s first literature festival in 1949, leading the way in celebrating the written and spoken word. It has also inspired over 9,000 school children with a love of books through its Literature for Schools programme.

Cheltenham Literature Festival is part of Cheltenham Festivals – a charity that delivers a year-round educational programme culminating in four Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals.

The Festival has an accompanying year-round programme of education and talent development outreach including its flagship Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils project which has rolled out nationally, enabling teachers and their pupils to rediscover the joy of reading. The other programmes include: the award-winning Beyond Words, a creative writing project working with vulnerable young people unable to access mainstream education in Gloucestershire, Words That Burn, a national human rights poetry project created in partnership with Amnesty International and Write Now, a unique mentoring, workshop and networking project that nurtures young people’s creative writing abilities.

This year sees a whole host of events, ranging from the forensics of Agatha Christie’s novels, crime from around the world, history, food, travel, poetry and spoken word, art, sport, faith, philosophy, fashion, psychology, science, nature and business. There will be an event to suit any reader.

Authors and speakers include:

Mark Billingham

Janice Hallett (You can read my review of The Appeal here)

Will Dean (You can read my review of Dark Pines here, my review of Red Snow here, my review of The Last Thing to Burn here and my Q&A with Will here)

Ragnar Jonasson (You can read my review of Snowblind here, my review of Nightblind here, my review of Rupture here, my Q&A with Ragnar here and an extract from The Mist here)

Richard Osman (You can read my review of The Thursday Murder Club here and The Man Who Died Twice here)

Bernadine Evaristo

Joe Wicks

Liz Pichon

Sebastian Faulks

Ben Miller

Clare Balding

Dawn French

Jonathan Franzen

Kate Mosse

Michael Rosen

Jodie Chapman

Marian Keyes

Catriona Ward (You can read my review of The Last House on Needless Street here)

Ed Milliband

Torrey Peters

Shirley Ballas

Natalie Haynes

Lucy Mangan

Mick Herron (You can read my review of Slow Horses here and Dead Lions here)

Elif Shafak

Jacqueline Wilson

Tom Daley

Joan Collins

Sarah Moss

Katherine Ryan

Amor Towes

Jonathan Dimbleby

Baroness Hale

John Barnes

Susie Dent

Claire Fuller (You can read my Q&A with Claire here)

Ronan Hession (You can read my review of Leonard and Hungry Paul here and my review of Panenka here).

There really should be something for everyone and many panels will be available online.

You can read the full programme here and find out ways to book.

I had hoped to read Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham, who appears on Sunday 10th October at 6pm,  to celebrate the festival but unfortunately my copy didn’t arrive in time for me to finish it. However I will review it soon and instead up next I have a review of Crooked House by Agatha Christie, who had a panel devoted to her yesterday. There is also my review of Janice Hallet’s The Appeal which appeared yesterday on my blog. Janice appears at the festival on Friday 15th October at 4pm.

One Comment Add yours

  1. JacquiWine says:

    The shift to hybrid events (with a mix of in-person and online access) has been one of the few positive things to come out of the pandemic. It’s good to see it continuing despite the easing of various restrictions


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