• 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

  • Student Led Event with Emily Diamand

    Monday 20 June was our annual Student Led event at at Allerton High School and this year it featured the fantastic Emily Diamand, author of Flood Child and Ways to See a Ghost. Student Led events are one of our favourite parts of our work in schools as they offer…more

  • 2016 Apprentice Poet in Residence

    We are delighted to announce that Mark Pajak is the 2016 Apprentice Poet in Residence. Mark was born in Merseyside. His work has been published in The North, Magma and The Rialto, been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, highly commended in the Buzzwords Cheltenham Poetry Competition and The Poetry Society’s…more

  • Celebrating 400 Years of Shakespeare

    Tell us Which Plays we Should Read Live with Your Help in October Saturday 23 April marks 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare and we’ll be celebrating the life of the Bard in style at this year’s Festival in October. Amongst other things, we’ll be taking 4 plays and inviting you,…more

  • ©The Brontë Society

    Happy Birthday Charlotte Brontë!

    Today, 21 April 2016, marks 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Brontë. That Charlotte’s life and works have remained a source of fascination is testament to her talent, not just in creating enduring characters, but in bringing them to life in stories that have remained relevant and engaging for modern…more