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Apply to be a part of Cheltenham Literature Festival

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Do you want to be a part of Cheltenham Literature Festival?

Are you a writer, performer, poet, comedian, artist, activist or more? We want to include you in the Cheltenham Literature Festival programme. We have a range of opportunities this year for performers to get involved with events at the Festival from around town to panel events and pop-ups. We know that 2020 and 2021 has been a tough time and we want to support creatives in our programming.

To apply to be part of the Festival, fill in the submission form and you will be considered for one of the three projects below.

Apply now

If you would prefer please send a submission video, no longer than 3 minutes, answering these questions to literature@cheltenhamfestivals.com.

The deadline for all submissions is June 25. If you miss the deadline, don’t worry! Please send any information and ideas to literature@cheltenhamfestivals.com and we may still have time to consider them for late additions or for the 2022 Festival.

Performer expenses are paid and will be discussed individually with successful applicants.

Read on to learn more about the 3 programmes your submissions will be considered for

Local Voices

At the Festival we are always looking to include Gloucestershire voices in all elements of the Festival programme. We want to showcase unpublished writers as well as those who have been writing and creating for years. For any aspiring writers and performers out there, the Cheltenham stage could be the perfect place to debut your work.

There are opportunities to be part of panel events, contributing to discussion and delving into ideas in fiction, non-fiction writing, community, poetry and much more. We may showcase local writing through short form pop up readings in our cosy festival cafes or we may invite you to be part of a Local Voices open mic night. This could be a reading, poetry, spoken word, music, storytelling, the list goes on. A great place to have a drink and a laugh, testing out your work on Cheltenham audiences, friends and family. If you’re from Gloucestershire and have a story to tell we want to hear from you!

Lit Crawl

Lit Crawl returns! Like a younger, rebel sister to our main Festival, Lit Crawl is a riotous night of ideas and creativity that celebrates the edgier side of bookish programming and sees every nook and cranny of all manner of Cheltenham venues – bars, record stores, cafes, tattoo parlours and barbershops – packed with literary revellers until late into the night.

Charging into its 6th year in Cheltenham, the crawl was created in San Francisco in 2004 and now in Boston, Brooklyn, Portland, Chicago, New Zealand and beyond, Lit Crawl blends a bar crawl with bookish content held in some surprising spots around town. Thousands of Festival-goers join us in record stores, barbershops, graveyards and all manner of cafés, bookshops and bars to sample everything from flash fiction to ghost stories, music to comedy, pop-up readings to spoken word.

Whether you’re a writer, musician, comedian or thespian…or just have a great idea for a session on the Crawl, this is your chance to perform. We like the majority of events to have a bookish edge but Lit Crawl is a celebration of the written and spoken word in all its forms so nothing is out of bounds….

To get a sense of what we featured last year, take a look at the 2019 flyer.


Voicebox is an exciting new venue at the heart of the Literature Festival village that will create a destination for young people to spend free time and share ideas. A visually striking, Instagrammable space, Voicebox will be home to free, pop-up events with the best young talent across fiction, the arts, politics and lifestyle, exploring everything from spoken word to mental health and activism. Through free, short-form and drop-in content, Voicebox will offer a snapshot of the writers, thinkers and influencers in the ticketed Cheltenham programme as well as amplify new voices talking about the global ideas and issues that are important to young people right now.

A unifying theme across the Voicebox programme, #HearMyVoice represents the purpose of the project and captures the mood of its content: a place for young people to share, talk about and debate ideas, trends and topics that are important to them, as well as hear from, work with and be inspired by some of the best emerging and established writers and artists out there today. Through Voicebox, we want to showcase the brave, fresh, original voices who are changing the conversation. If that’s you, please get in touch!

Voicebox’s content is designed to be shared online, and we will use digital platforms to continue discussion and debate beyond the Festival in Cheltenham.