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

Ilkley Literature Festival is an anuual two week festival in October celebrating some of the most exciting voices in the contemporary literature.

Submissions for ILF 2024 are now closed. Details of the 2025 festival will be released in the new year.

About 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.
  • The festival dates: Fri 4 – Sun 20 October 2024.


  • 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
  • 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.

We also programme Children’s (3-12 years) and Young Adult (12+ years) events. Please email to let us know if you wish to be added to the Children’s & Young People Publicist mailing list.


Ilkley and its surroundings boast a variety of high-quality venues to suit a range of audience capacities from 50 to 700.

Publishers, Writers and Poets:

Submissions for the 2024 festival are now closed. If you would like to be part of ILF 2025, ask your publicist at your publishing company to get in touch with us when our submissions open in the new year.

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

Have a question about programming or want to email us? Drop us a line at