Because I Don’t Know What You Mean and What You Don’t

6–7pm, Waterstones 

Comic mastermind Josie Long discusses her brilliant collection of stories with much-loved Cheltenham comedian Shirley Halse

Fairy Tales For Grown Ups

6–7pm, Bottle of Sauce

Sarah Liisa Wilkinson invites you to meet the strange girls and beguiling monsters from the fairytale forest. Dark, funny and enchanted – these are stories with iron teeth. 

Read The World! Open Mic Night

6–7.30pm, The Everyman Studio Theatre

Join Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees, P3 and Kings Table for an inspiring evening of poetry, spoken word and creative writing. Enjoy a showcase of our incredible local talent with hosts Martin Lytton and JPDL.

Frozen Continent: Exhibition

6-8pm, The Wilson


Talk starts at 6.15pm 


Join great nephew of Edward Wilson David M. Wilson and polar historian Anne Strathie as they chat to associate curator Ann-Rachael about Wilson’s fascinating life. Take a sneaky peak at his expedition diaries and try  on the replicas of his expedition kit.



Power of Words

6–8pm, The Wilson  

Drop in, talk starts at 7.15pm

Use your words to shout out for change and create your own earth-saving slogan boards with Planet Cheltenham. What does it mean to be an ‘activist’?  Artist and climate justice activist Tolmeia Gregory explores why there isn’t  just one way to be a part of the climate movement. Whether you’re an artist, a baker or an accountant, there’s a role for you! 

F*ck Up Nights

7.30–9pm, Boston Tea Party  

We all f**k up at some point... from businesses gone bust to failed relationships. In this hilarious and thoughtprovoking night, join a bunch of strangers as they share their shortcomings. Register to share your story here.

Ars Poetica

7–9pm, Drop in, Waterstones

Meet our resident poet, Olivia Dodd and receive a beautifully printed custom poem created just for you

Cheltenham Poetry Festival Grand Slam

7.30–9pm, Waterstones  

Enjoy an electrifying evening of spoken word with Chloe Jacquet, Dan Cooper, Colin Wells, Derek Dohren, and Tanya Feasey aka The Bovine Poet.

The Fourth Bride

7.30–9.30pm, The Coffee Dispensary

Performances start every 20mins


Some say she’s a tragedy. Many call her a monster.  But how does Lucy Westenra see herself? Moth Sanctuary Productions provide a platform for Dracula’s first English victim to tell her story in this entrancing exposé. 

Guess Clue?  

7.30pm, 8.15pm, 9pm, 9.45pm, Hotel du Vin

There’s been a murder, and it’s up to you to solve whodunit. Using your wits, along with some helpful clues, can you guess whodunit?!

Tokyo Café

7.30–8.30pm, Hatchards   

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s incredible series Before The Coffee Gets Cold explores the stories of customers in a time-travelling café in Tokyo. Join us for this rare opportunity to  meet the author.

The Great Britain Saskawa Foundation

Unreflected Reflection

8.30–9.45pm, The Everyman Studio Theatre

Glimpse into the history and narrative of Muslim communities in Gloucester in photography exhibition Through the Lens and short film Gloucester’s Glory


Carnifolk Presents: Carving’s Carnival

9–10.30pm, Bottle of Sauce


Grab a pint, create a character and join us for love, music and tomfoolery in this riotous night of choose-your own-adventure games.  

Raise the Bar

9.30–10.45pm, VOICEBOX    

A chance to see some of the leading names on the spoken word scene, with Bristol’s biggest monthly spoken word poetry event Raise The Bar

 Lit Crawl After Party

10.45m – late, The Urban Fox  

Top off your Lit Crawl experience with our afterparty. Grab a drink and hear live music presented by The Music Works. 

With thanks to our event sponsors

Lit Crawl Cheltenham is a project of The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Litquake Foundation. San Francisco’s Litquake literary festival runs October 5-21, 2023, with affiliated Lit Crawls in San Francisco, Manhattan, Brooklyn, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Minneapolis, Cheltenham, Wellington (New Zealand), Kells (Ireland), and Angers (France).