Image of David Suchet smiling, holding a camera, with a pile of books

Programming submissions for 2021 have now closed. If you have any programming enquiries, please email

Please be assured we do consider every submission we receive, but sadly are not able to accommodate every talented author and great book on our programme. We’d love to be able to get back to every unsuccessful submission personally –  we are a small team and sadly it’s beyond our capacity to do so.

If you or an author you represent would like to be part of Ilkley Literature Festival in the future, please read the information below as to how to submit.

About Us

Ilkley Literature Festival…

  • is the longest-standing literature festival in the north of England, established in 1973.
  • runs for 17 days every October.
  • programmes over 150 events – talks, panel discussions, poetry readings, performances, writing workshops, and interactive experiences.
  • attracts incredible writers in a wide-ranging and varied programme of genres and subjects. Literary luminaries appearing at the festival over the years have included W.H. Auden, Alan Bennett, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Ted Hughes, Hilary Mantel and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage to name just a few.
  • will take place Fri 1 – Sun 17 October 2021.


  • Ilkley is an attractive spa town just to the north of Leeds and Bradford.
  • Good transport links with direct trains to Leeds and Bradford taking just 30 minutes.
  • Leeds-Bradford Airport is an easy 20-min drive.

What we programme:

  • Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Children’s (3-12 yrs)
  • Young Adult (12+ yrs)
  • Poetry
  • Writing workshops and masterclasses

In addition to our wide-ranging general programme, for each annual iteration of the festival we look to curate events around 4-6 specific themes or strands.


Ilkley and its surroundings boast a variety of high-quality venues to suit a range of audience capacities from 50 to 500.

Publishers, Writers and Poets:

Programming submissions for 2021 have now closed. If you have any programming enquiries, please email

If you are working on a particular project or touring show that might be suitable for the festival, please email us.

If you are a self published writer, a local writers group or have an idea for a more unusual event, please take a look at how to apply to be part of our Fringe Festival.

Pitches from small, independent presses are welcomed as much as those from major publishing houses.

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