• The 2019 Writing Competitions Are Open

    We are pleased to announce that our hotly anticipated annual poetry and short story writing competitions are now open for entries. 2019 Walter Swan Poetry Prize Now in its fourth year, the Walter Swan Poetry Prize is open to all writers of poetry aged 18 and over. Previous prize winners…more

  • Children’s Poetry Competition

    Our children’s poetry competition is open for entries and this year, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landings we are asking for poems on the theme of Discovery. This can be any kind of discovery, not just scientific – it could be a personal discovery of a new…more

  • Primary Schools Matinee with Robin Stevens

    Booking is now open for our annual Primary Schools Matinee event. Primary Schools Matinee with Robin Stevens Tuesday 1 October 2019, 1.30pm, The Kings Hall, Ilkley Robin Stevens is the author of Murder Most Unladylike series. Featuring detective duo Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, these hugely popular books are the…more

  • Opportunities for Writers at ILF19

    We are inviting applications from new and emerging writers for a selection of opportunities at this year’s Festival. The popular Festival Fringe returns this year with a new look and format. Taking place over one weekend (5 – 6 October), the Fringe will be a smorgasbord of delights and surprises…more

  • New dates for Moeen Ali and Dan Snow

    We are pleased to announce new dates for two events that had to be postponed during the Festival. Cricketer Moeen Ali will be speaking about his career as one of England’s most popular All-Rounders at 8pm on Monday 3 December at the Grammar School at Leeds. Fresh from the Sir…more

  • Finuala Dowling and Gillian Clarke

    Poet in Residence Imtiaz Dharker tells us why she’s looking forward to hearing Gillian Clarke and Finuala Dowling read on Wednesday 10 October. I’m looking forward to the event with Gillian Clarke and Finuala Dowling on 10 October. One thing they have in common is that both came to writing…more

  • Invertebrate Exposé

    Apprentice Poet in Residence Ian Walker tells why he is runnning a workshop about insects. “I am dying by inches, from not having anybody to talk to about insects” Darwin wrote this in 1828 and almost two hundred years later – call me dramatic – not a day goes by…more

  • c. Ayesha Dharker

    Festival Highlights from Imtiaz Dharker

    Poet in Residence Imtiaz Dharker tells us what she’s looking forward to at #ILF18 My letterbox has just delivered a package from Rachel Feldberg in Ilkley and inside is gold: a batch of entries for the Walter Swan Trust Poetry Prize. Reading them, I’m struck by the quality of the…more

  • ‘And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper’ – A Reading Group for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

    Carl McKeating from the University of Leeds tells us more about what to expect from this year’s Guided Reading Group. In May 1816, the then Mary Godwin Wollstonecraft (later Mary Shelley) eloped to the Alps with her lover, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and her half-sister, Claire Clairmont. Motivated by Claire Clairmont’s…more

  • Family Cake Decorating Competition

    To celebrate the start of Ilkley Literature Festival 2018 we are combining our two favourite things – Books and Cakes! Inspired by Nadiya Hussain’s new book Bake Me A Celebration Story we are inviting children and families (no professional bakers please!) to decorate a cake inspired by a favourite children’s…more