Rooted proudly in the local community since 1949, we’ve brought the world to Cheltenham for 73 years. Celebrating our 70th-anniversary edition in 2019 was a reminder of the incredible people we’ve welcomed to our stages over the last seven decades, and the network of literature festivals that continues to develop since we led the way as the world’s first.

Connection is what makes festivals like this so powerful. Whether it’s the right book reaching a reader when they need it most, a speaker’s words bringing fresh perspectives to audience members young and old, or just the sheer pleasure of being together, the Festival creates boundless possibilities for powerful and longlasting connections.

Our ‘Read the World’ theme takes these possibilities to an international scale and this year’s programme is your passport to a world of ideas. Within these pages lie some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers, the most exciting new writing talent from across the globe and a host of experts ready to show you worlds beyond your own.

The programme you see here is the result of many vital connections behind the scenes too. Our valued relationships with literary experts, think tanks, world-class journalists, guest curators and industryleading prizes continues and we have a host of new collaborations with international literature festivals, embassies and partners which have brought fascinating new dimensions to the programme.

We’re proud to be part of the British Council’s UK/ Ukraine Season of Culture and to host a strand of events curated by The International Book Arsenal Festival, Kyiv, a powerful reminder of the importance of partnership in turbulent times and the light culture can shine.

Support from the British Council in collaboration with The Norwegian Embassy and NORLA has enabled us to work closely with Norway’s leading literature festival in Lillehammer to bring you their finest novelists, travel writers and philosophers.

Elsewhere in the programme, talented authors from the USA, the Netherlands, Japan, Iceland, Colombia, France, Djibouti, the UAE, Spain, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and more join our best homegrown talent in a range of fascinating discussions, and we’re grateful to all the partners who have made these collaborations possible.

Our Literary Explorer in Residence Ann Morgan is back for another year of literary discoveries and celebrating the translators who bring universal stories to our bookshelves. Our popular Conversations Without Borders returns to dissect big topics as part of our world-class current affairs programme.

You’ll detect a decidedly global flavour to many of our programme strands across art, travel, psychology, history, classic literature and The Daffodil’s dining events. Meanwhile The Week Junior is on hand to make world affairs accessible to young minds, and don’t miss our free events for young people and adults in The Huddle, the Story Shack, VOICEBOX and Lit Crawl programmes.


Whichever part you join us for – and wherever it takes you – you’re welcome here.


Building on the success of last year’s Full Scale Festival we will be featuring talent from across the globe online and in-person.


Check out our 2022 programme for more details.