Full 2020 Programme Now Available

York Literature Festival is back with its annual celebration of the written and spoken word. Starting on 19 March 2020, we run for a ten-day period packed with over 50 events featuring well-known personalities, authors, poetry, history, politics and a special day devoted to the writing of crime.

Topping the bill will be cultural icon Melvyn Bragg, The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen and TV presenter Kate Humble. Romantic novelist Milly Johnson launches her 17th novel, journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark talks about her latest book (and much more!) while renowned TV historian Suzannah Lipscomb discusses Women, Sex and Power in the 16th Century.

“Once again we’ve been able to attract some household names to come and speak in York on a wide range of topics,” says Festival Director Nick David. “But the 2020 festival isn’t just about them. This year, thanks to a package of Arts Council funding, we’re more diverse than ever with events such as Polari Literary Salon; the return of Poetry for All; writers Jeffrey Boakye and Okey Nzelu in Young, Black and British; poets Seni Seneviratne and Afshan D’souza-Lodhi reading from their latest collections; and Street Stories where local writers leave their work in public places around York. Alongside our Crime Writing Day and Big History Weekend, we’ll also be running some 2pm matinées so there’s a show on almost every daytime. And when you take our Children’s Day into account, we think we have something for everyone.”

“We’ve made our programme as wide-ranging as possible,” adds Festival Chair, Rob O’Connor. “Not just in terms of the type of events but also in the locations we use. This can mean spaces are limited and some events are bound to be popular so early booking is recommended. And we have some special pre-festival events on offer as well with crime-writer Sophie Hannah and LGBT campaigner Matthew Todd.”

The full listing for the March 2020 festival is now available via our What’s On page. We hope you find something to enjoy!