Worldwide Book & Literary Festivals

This list is compiled from various sources. Please check the individual festivals for confirmation they are taking place this year.
Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival
The historic Portland Art Museum is one of the central venues for Wordstock Festival

What? Despite taking place over only a single day, Wordstock is one of the largest literary festivals in the United States, featuring numerous readings, events and workshops.

Where? Wordstock is held in the US city of Portland, Oregon – noted for its environmental friendliness and unofficial slogan of  “Keep Portland Weird”.

When? Previously held in October for the 9 years following its inception in 2015, the festival has taken place in November since its 2015 acquirement by Literary Arts.

Conrad Festival
The festival describes famed Polish-Brit author Joseph Conrad as a “symbolic patron of our international undertaking”

What? Supported by Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Conrad Festival is the largest literary festival in Central Europe.

Where? The Polish city of Krakow, famed for its beauty and status as a tourist magnet, as well as its proximity to the nearby Auschwitz World War II concentration camp.

When? Occurring in October, the Conrad Festival also coincides with the Krakow Book Fair.

Istanbul Book Fair
Turkey’s Istanbul Book Fair takes place on a truly remarkable scale

What? Turkey’s biggest book event, going strong since 1982 and drawing in over half a million visitors!

Where? The city of Istanbul may not be Turkey’s capital (which is Ankara, to save you Googling), but it is the country’s cultural center, and one of the most popular tourist spots on the planet.

When? Hundreds of events take place over the span of a week each November.

Buenos Aires Book Fair
This 20-day-long literary festival has one of the most comprehensive cultural programmes of any event of its kind

What? Billed as the “most important annual literary event in the Spanish speaking world”, and with good reason – this book fair brings in over a million Latin American readers every year!

Where? Argentina’s stunning capital, Buenos Aires, the most popular tourist destination in all of South America.

When? Lasting for almost 3 weeks each April, this is one of the most extensive literary events in the world.

NGC Bocas Lit Fest
Why not celebrate Caribbean literature in a vibrant atmosphere with the NGC Bocas Lit Fest?

What? The first major literary festival of the Southern Caribbean – only founded in 2011 but expanding rapidly and running in collaboration with many other international festivals.

Where? Port of Spain, capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – just in case Argentina wasn’t quite exotic enough for you.

When? Readings, performances, films, workshops, discussions and children’s storytelling are all squeezed into this 5 day event every April.

Norwegian Festival of Literature
This festival is also Norway’s largest industry event for authors, critics and publishers

What? The Nordic region’s biggest literary festival, international in scope, but with a focus on contemporary literature from that area of the globe.

Where? The picturesque Norwegian mountain town of Lillehammer provides an idyllic backdrop for this non-commercial literary event.

When? The Norwegian Festival of Literature takes place over 6 days at the end of May.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Each edition of the Ubud Writers Festival will have a central theme which changes every year

What? Southeast Asia’s “leading festival of words and ideas”, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival involves over 200 events and brings in an audience of thousands from Indonesia and the rest of the world.

Where? The town of Ubud on the Indonesian island of Bali, which has developed a reputation as a hub of arts and culture.

When? The UWRF consists of a 4 day main program, held

 

Miami Book Fair
The Miami Book Fair has a number of ongoing events throughout the year to supplement the main event – which this year takes place from November 12th-19th

What? Describing itself as a “literary party”, the Miami Book Fair attracts 250,000 visitors over its 8 day run and has become a model for book fairs the world over.

Where? Miami, Florida – more specifically, the Wolfson Campus at Miami Dade College, the state college which founded the fair back in 1984.

When? The Miami Book Fair runs for 8 days every November, bringing hundreds of internationally renowned writers to present to the enormous crowds.

 

Library of Congress National Book Festival
The Library of Congress Bookfest features presentations and panel discussions from dozens of nationally known authors

What? The US national library, the Library of Congress, sponsors and organises this annual public book event to encourage American citizens to read more.

Where? The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the US capital has been home to the festival since 2014.

When? The LOC bookfest takes place in September, when you can expect to see crowds of around 30,000 descend on Washington for this free event.

 

Gothenburg Book Fair

What? Starting out as a small trade fair for academics, the Gothenburg Book Fair has since evolved to become the largest literary event in Scandinavia.

Where? The Swedish city of Gothenburg, which is home to a variety of international events such as the Gothenburg Film Festival, Way Out West and Metaltown.

When? The fair takes place annually over 4 days at the end of September.

World Voices Festival of International Literature
PEN World Voices seeks to bring together worldwide writers and artists “to address the most pressing issues of the day”

What? Produced by nonprofit PEN American Center, this week-long New York festival has a political slant to it, with conversations and debates around international literature and promoting free expression.

Where? Broadway, New York City, provides a glamorous backdrop to a literary festival with an important message and mission statement.

When? The World Voices Festival normally takes place in April or early May, with exact dates varying from year to year.

 
International Literary Festival of Paraty
FLIP festival takes place every year on the banks of the Perequê-Açu River

What? Only established in 2003, the Festa Literaria Internacional de Paraty (FLIP) has nonetheless grown to attract over 20,000 visitors in recent years.

Where? Taking place in beautiful Paraty in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, any visitors will also enjoy the spectacular coast and historic local village.

When? The festival normally takes place in July – the exception being once every 4 years, when it is moved to August to accommodate the World Cup (this is Brazil, after all).

Berlin International Literature Festival
Programme sections for this Berlin festival include Literatures of the World, Reflections and Science and the Humanities

What? This annual German event has a focus on contemporary literature, with children’s and young adult literature also playing a very prominent part.

Where? Germany’s capital, Berlin, has an international reputation as a cultural hot spot – the literature festival takes pride of place among the city’s many other institutions.

When? An extensive affair, the Berlin International Literature Festival takes place over 11 days each September.

 
Sydney Writers’ Festival
Focused around Sydney Harbour, the SWF also has events taking place across the wider city

What? While there’s competition from other huge writers’ festivals in Melbourne and Adelaide, the Sydney event is one of Australia’s finest.

Where? Situated on the stunning Sydney Harbour in Australia’s most popular tourist city, this is one event that would be worth attending for the location alone.

When? Another book festival which has given some consideration to international visitors, the event takes place in May, just before Australian winter begins.

 
Brooklyn Book Festival
The Brooklyn Book Festival is a recent addition to the borough’s ongoing cultural renaissance

What? Originally established to spotlight Brooklyn’s many homegrown writers, today the BKBF has grown to become an international literary event and is NYC’s largest literary festival.

Where? New York City’s most populous borough (no it’s not Manhattan, we promise), Brooklyn has evolved into a trendy hub of art and culture.

When? Held every September, the festival also plays host to the St. Francis College Literary Prize (a $50,000 award) every two years.

 
Texas Book Festival
The annual Texas Book Festival features over 250 authors at more than 20 different venues

What? Established by the then-future First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush, this free annual book fair is one of America’s very best literary events.

Where? Taking place in Texas’ state capital, Austin, the massive local population ensures that this is always a very well-attended event.

When? The festival runs each year in late October or early November, so the temperature should be a little more bearable for the more fair-skinned readers out there!

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival
The attendance figures alone make this Indian festival one of the most prominent literary events in the world
What? The world’s largest free literary festival, attracting over 800,000 visitors and almost 2000 speakers!

Where? This massive event in the world of literature is held annually in the Northern Indian city of Jaipur.

When? Taking place over 5 days each January, India’s giant book festival kicks off the literary calendar in considerable style.

January- Hay Festival Cartagena, Colombia

 

This festival embellishes itself with Nobel laureates and other brilliant minds with topics ranging from food, film, art, music, dance and photography. This major film festival of the Hispanic world takes place within Colombia’s colorful walled city for four interactive days.

February- Irrawady Literary Festival, Burma

 

Burma’s literary heritage was somewhat obscured by the military rule in recent years. The Irrawaddy Literary Festival is a significant step to counter the silence which stifled the nation. The mere purpose of a literary festival is to break the shackles of resistance.

March- Shanghai Literary Festival, China

 

Shanghai Literary Festival is a small and intimate that is held at the posh and gorgeous M on the Bund restaurant, covering 11 days. Attending this festival would be a great way to explore the buzzing city of Shanghai as well.

March- Southern Literary Festival, Mississippi, USA

 

This literary festival has been adding laurels to Mississipi University ever since 1937. The festival is for book lovers, writers and publishers from around the state and region and features author readings and presentations, panel discussions, book signings, cooking demonstrations, live music, and local food. Isn’t this the best literary festival or what?

October- Vancouver Writers Festival, Canada  

 

Come and talk to the writers during interviews and panel discussions.  The Vancouver Writers Festival celebrates the nexus between the writes and the readers. Spanning over six days in October, the authors, poets, spoken word performers and graphic novelists talk with readers, in literary symposiums. The festival is quite a favorite with the aspiring writers. After all, the readers are the ones who construct a character or a book through reading. The writer only writes them. 

You must also know that apart from hosting an awesome literary festival, Vancouver has something to offer all kind of people. Travel around and witness yourself and get a piece of lovely Canada. 

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