At Cheltenham Literature Festival, we offer numerous opportunities for writers to showcase their work.

Our Locally Sourced series supports and celebrates homegrown writing talent through ‘Cheltenham Writes’ open mic slots, appearance opportunities in the Festival programme and support of the Gloucestershire Writers’ Network Writing Competition.

Through working with carefully chosen publishers we showcase a selection of writers publishing the following Spring. At our Proof Party events, audiences get early copies (proofs) of their soon to be published books and writers get to experience their first book event. 

Debuts and cocktails events offer three of the most promising debut novels of the year a platform to engage with audiences. Selected and chaired by our Programme and Commissions Manager these are a popular part of our big opening night programme.

Must-Reads are a series of events showcasing Sunday Times’ Literary Editor Andrew Holgate’s favourite reads of the year. Usually with a focus on hidden gems that may not ordinarily reach a large audience.

We work collaboratively with a range of partners to break down barriers to the industry through mentorship or access schemes, and run workshops offering tips and tricks to unpublished writers.

Providing a stage for spoken word artists through our Lit Crawl, our main programme showcase events and support slots in headline events. Many of them will be performing in our exciting new VoiceBox venue this year.

Presenting the very best writers to our audience the Cheltenham Literature Festival is host to a number of high-profile prizes which support writers at a range of career stages. These include The Cheltenham First Novel PrizeThe Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and The Times William Howard Russell Prize to recognise lifetime achievement. We also host the annual CLiPPA ceremony, the only award for published poetry for children in the UK.