• New Responses to the Brontës – Nat Johnson on visiting the Brontë Parsonage

    Singer/ Songwriter Nat Johnson tells us more about how visiting Haworth inspired her new songs. I first read Wuthering Heights in my early twenties, and it remains one of my all-time favourites. Emily’s powerful, weather-lashed storytelling led me to her sisters’ novels too and I’ve been revisiting them all, and…more

  • The Laureate’s Choice

    Apprentice Poet in Resience Mark Pajak tells us more about the Laureate’s Choice event at Ilkley Literature Festival 2016. During the apprentice poet interview, the Laureate’s Choice reading was the first idea I pitched. It’s an event I was deeply excited to take part in and now I am equally…more

  • How Ilkley Young Writers Changed My Life

    Ella, who has been a member of Ilkley Young Writers for 4 years tells us how the group has changed her life. I have been in Ilkley Young Writers for what feels forever. Which is in reality only about 4 years. Since being in Young Writers I have changed from…more

  • New Responses to the Brontës: Andrew McMillan on Branwell

    Festival Poet in Residence tells us more about how Branwell Brontë is inspiring his specially commissioned piece. There’s a great New Statesman piece, talking about Robert Erdic’s Sanctuary, which in discussing that famous portrait of Branwell Brontë smeared out focus, quotes Charlotte as commenting that there seemed to be an…more

  • The Haunting: Ghosts of Every Shade

    The Haunting: Ghosts of Every Shade is a series of events and commissions currated by our partners Alchemy and inspired by an M.R. James ghost story. Here, Alchemy Director Dr. Nima Poovaya-Smith tells us more about the commissioning process and what to expect at these special events. I have always…more

  • Festival Director’s Picks

    One of the exciting things about being Festival Director is being able to share authors, poets and events I think  people will find inspiring. We’ve managed to put together what I hope you’ll feel is a really exciting mix of big name headliners in the Kings Hall, including Ken Clarke,…more

  • Yorkshire Literature Festivals team up on new work to celebrate the Brontës

    To mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth and the start of the Brontë 200 celebrations Beverley Literature Festival, Ilkley Literature Festival and Off the Shelf Festival of Words have commissioned three writers to produce new work inspired by the literary siblings. Guardian First Book Prize Winner Andrew McMillan,…more

  • Highlights from Words in the City 2016

    “I think you might be the nicest audience I’ve ever performed for!” Gevi Carver at Words in the City 2016 On Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 July Words in the City returned to Bradford for a weekend of fantastic poetry and spoken word events, bringing together local talent, including the…more

  • The Walter Swan Trust Poetry Prize

    The Walter Swan Trust is delighted to be sponsoring the Ilkley Literature Festival Poetry Competition. Walter died very suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2014 at the age of 59. The Trust was established in 2014 (and launched at the Festival that year) to promote creative writing and to provide opportunities…more

  • Watch Kirsty Taylor’s Micro-commission Poetography

    Poetography is one of the projects that received funding as a Words in the City micro-commission. Kirsty Taylor tells us more about her Poetography project ahead of the Words in the City event. Storytelling is a huge aspect of my poetry, and one of my ultimate aims is to create…more