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© Paolo Margari / Flickr

The Best Literary Events in London This Year

Picture of Georgina Wilson-Powell
Updated: 14 March 2017

Londoners love a story: we tell them, we star in them and we devour books and films at a rate of knots, possibly thanks to our never-ending commuting. But London is also a city that celebrates all things books. Discover more at one of these cool literary festivals this year.

Jewish Book Week

February 25 – March 5, 2017

Jewish Book Week brings the biggest authors to Kings Place for an international cultural festival that is about more than just fiction. Each day sees a series of talks with authors like Adam Rutherford (A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived) who discusses genomes and generations but also discusses wider topics like the impact of President Trump’s foreign policy.

London Book + Screen Week

March 13 – 19, 2017

London Book + Screen Week is the biggest story-based festival in the city and celebrates storytelling in all its forms. Literary events will be taking place all across London, including the London Book Fair for those in the industry. Pop by Leicester Square Theatre to see a Jane Austen novel improvised from scratch or to catch Jon Ronson telling one of his darkest tales. There are also book groups, theatre tours and one-off events including a night of Scandi noir thrillers at Waterstones Piccadilly.

North London Literary Festival

March 22, 2017

This one-day literary festival will be of interest to wannabe authors with talks on how to get published, fiction workshops and discussions with successful playwrights to fuel the creative juices. It takes place at Middlesex University’s Hendon Campus and is headlined by Pat Cardigan talking about her successful science fiction career.

Stoke Newington Literary Festival

June 2 – 4, 2017

Inspired by the more rebellious of writers, the Stoke Newington Literary Festival was set up in 2010. Seven years later it supports vital projects around literary institutions and libraries in east London. The festival always attracts a good mix of rebels and writers and this year is no different – the line-up includes Alex Bellos, Michael Rosen, A. L. Kennedy, Nerd Night, Jake Arnott, Catherine Meyer (founder of Women’s Equality Party), Killer Women Mel McGrath & Erin Kelly, Cosi Fanni Tutti, and more… Don’t miss the Game of Thrones pub quiz.

London Literature Festival

October 13 – 29, 2017

Now in its 11th year, the London Literature Festival will take over the Southbank with two weeks of talks, lectures and discussions with some of the biggest names in fiction and nonfiction. Events are yet to be announced.

Southbank Centre © Alvin Leong

Southbank Centre | © Alvin Leong

Chiswick Book Festival

September 14 – 18, 2017

Chiswick Book Festival returns for its ninth outing, running both an adults and children’s literary festival over five days. While events and speakers have yet to be announced for 2017, 2016 saw big hitters grace West London, from publishing legend Jacqueline Wilson to blockbuster newcomer Paula Hawkins, so expect a similar calibre this year.

Hampstead Arts Festival

November, 2017 – dates TBC

Literary events will sit next to classical concerts and lectures on all manner of artsy things at the revamped Hampstead Arts Festival later in the year. Events are still TBC.