From Siegfried Sas­soon to Se­bas­tian Faulks, each year towns and cities across the coun­try cel­e­brate their lit­er­ary he­roes with festivals and events to en­cour­age us all to pick up a good book. We dis­cover the best ones to visit this sum­mer and au­tumn.

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From Siegfried Sas­soon to Se­bas­tian Faulks, each year towns and cities across the coun­try cel­e­brate their lit­er­ary he­roes with festivals and events to en­cour­age us all to pick up a good book.

Gar­den Mu­seum Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val 7-8 July

In the cap­i­tal, The Gar­den Mu­seum will be cel­e­brat­ing their fifth lit­er­ary fes­ti­val by host­ing it in­side their newly re­opened mu­seum, gar­dens and café. It is sup­pos­edly the only fes­ti­val in the world to be ded­i­cated to writ­ing in­spired by gar­dens. Con­firmed speak­ers in­clude Iain Sin­clair, Tim Richard­son on his favourite cult gar­den writ­ers, Al­lan Jenk­ins on early-morn­ing gar­den­ing and Miriam Dar­ling­ton on owls. There’s also a pro­gramme of foodie talks planned, cen­tred on sea­son­al­ity, for­ag­ing and Lon­don’s food his­tory. Chefs from the mu­seum’s new restau­rant will also be creat­ing a spe­cial menu for the week­end for guests to en­joy. Stan­dard tick­ets cost £60 for the day, £100 for the week­end. For un­der-30s, it is £30 for the day or £60 for the week­end. You can buy them on­line at: gar­den­mu­

BBC Proms July-septem­ber

Per­haps known first and fore­most to be a mu­si­cal event, the BBC Proms is as much about words as it is about mu­sic. In the past, key his­to­ri­ans, nov­el­ists, po­ets and writ­ers have dis­cussed the cul­tural themes be­hind the mu­sic, and there is more of the same this year. At venues such as The Al­bert Hall, Cado­gan Hall and Royal College of Mu­sic, Lon­don, you can hear from such au­thors as He­len Mac­don­ald, Diana Evans and po­ets in­clud­ing Gil­lian Clarke and Peter Mackay. Se­bas­tian Faulks will also be talk­ing about his new novel Paris Echo. There are too many events to list here, so go on­line to see the full sched­ule across the two months. You can also pur­chase tick­ets, which range from £8 to £44 at:

The Hast­ings Lit Fest 31 Au­gust-2 Septem­ber

The south coast's new­est lit­er­ary fes­ti­val is fo­cused on writ­ing for writ­ers, a more prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence ex­plor­ing the cre­ativ­ity, beauty and power of the writ­ten word across a whole host of gen­res. Plus there’s an im­pres­sive line-up of guest speak­ers for the in­au­gu­ral event in­clud­ing Sophie Han­nah, Ali­son Moore, Michael Arditti, Jane Har­ris, Si­mon Mawer, Marnie Riches and David Gaffney. There’s a book fair, ‘Meet the Agent’ ses­sions and live per­for­mances by the Lon­don Mozart Play­ers too. Just some of the venues in­clude Hast­ings Pier, Jer­wood Gallery and Hast­ings Li­brary. Most of the events for the fes­ti­val are tick­eted and must be booked in ad­vance on­line at: hast­ingslit­

Bloody Scot­land 21-23 Septem­ber

Bloody Scot­land Crime Writ­ing Fes­ti­val had its maiden out­ing in 2012 with ac­claimed writ­ers Lin An­der­son and Alex Gray at the helm. Based in Stir­ling, Bloody Scot­land has brought hun­dreds of crime writ­ers new and es­tab­lished to the stage. This fes­ti­val is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to the rest; the kind of event that en­cour­ages you to let your hair down and en­joy a drink at the bar with your favourite crime writer. Talks and work­shops cover a range of crim­i­nal sub­jects from fic­tional foren­sics and psy­cho­log­i­cal thrillers to tar­tan noir, cosy crime and many more. With an in­ter­na­tional fo­cus at the heart of Bloody Scot­land, you can ex­pect crime writ­ers and crime fic­tion fans from across the globe at venues in­clud­ing Stir­ling’s Golden Lion Ho­tel, The Al­bert Halls and The Curly Coo. Dis­cover this year’s line up at: blood­yscot­ w

Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Book Fes­ti­val 11-27 Au­gust

Each sum­mer Char­lotte Square Gar­dens and Ge­orge Street in the heart of Ed­in­burgh is trans­formed into a tented vil­lage for the Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Book Fes­ti­val. The three-week cel­e­bra­tion of the writ­ten word is the largest of its kind in the world. En­try to the gar­dens is free. Here visi­tors can soak up the at­mos­phere, browse the book­shops, en­joy re­fresh­ments from the café or bar and choose from a pro­gramme of over 800 events. Many events are free to at­tend, in­clud­ing daily read­ings, sign­ings, work­shops and chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties. High­lights this year in­clude Ali Smith, Philip Pul­man, Ruth Jones, Rachel Kush­ner, Ian Rankin, Richard Dawkins, June Sar­pong, Ben Okri, Pat Barker and Greg Wise. There are plenty of events for fam­i­lies too with the chance to meet chil­dren's and young adult au­thors in­clud­ing Cres­sida Cow­ell, Harry Hill, Chris Hoy, David Wal­liams and Adrian Ed­mond­son. The fes­ti­val’s late-night strand - Un­bound - re­turns each evening from 9pm. Giv­ing au­thors a chance to do some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, this ‘live lit’ strand has proved ex­tremely pop­u­lar and is still ab­so­lutely free. This year also marks the 100th an­niver­sary of the birth of Muriel Spark which the fes­ti­val will be cel­e­brat­ing with the in­clu­sion of a re­hearsed read­ing of her only play, Doc­tors of Phi­los­o­phy, put on in part­ner­ship with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Ed­in­burgh. Find out more on­line: ed­book­

Althorp Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val, Northamp­ton 5-7 Oc­to­ber

A cel­e­bra­tion of the writ­ten word, this unique Fes­ti­val takes place against the in­spir­ing back­drop of Althorp, one of Eng­land’s most beau­ti­ful pri­vate, his­toric houses. In past years, the Althorp Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val has been priv­i­leged to host cel­e­brated nov­el­ists, his­to­ri­ans, co­me­di­ans, ac­tors, politi­cians, ath­lete and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­i­ties in­clud­ing Bill Bryson, He­len Field­ing, Jo Malone, Sir Tom Stop­pard, Se­bas­tian Faulks, and Michael Palin. A full line-up for 2018 will be con­firmed on 1 July. Tick­ets will be avail­able on­line from Mon­day 9 July at: spencero­

Wan­tage Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val 20-27 Oc­to­ber

Orig­i­nally a cel­e­bra­tion of all things Bet­je­man, the Wan­tage Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val is now a col­lec­tion of events cover­ing lit­er­a­ture, po­etry, com­edy, his­tory, sci­ence, the arts and lots more. Held dur­ing the Oc­to­ber school hol­i­day, the fes­ti­val is ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing the writ­ten (and spo­ken) word in all its forms. Or­gan­ised by fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Vic­to­ria Luker and run by a team of lo­cal vol­un­teers there are plenty of speak­ers and au­thors to meet over the week at var­i­ous venues across the pretty Ox­ford­shire town. Among them will be Diar­muid Gavin, Miles Jupp, Max Hast­ings, Louise Minchin and Sir Oliver Letwin MP. wan­tagelit­er­aryfes­ti­ w

The Times & Sun­day Times Chel­tenham Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val, 5-14 Oc­to­ber

This is one of the oldest lit­er­a­ture festivals in the world, which over its 10 days boasts lec­tures, po­etry read­ings, chil­dren's events, in­ter­views, sto­ry­telling, book groups, writ­ing work­shops, ed­u­ca­tion projects and live lit­er­a­ture. This au­tumn over 600 of the world’s great­est writ­ers, po­ets, politi­cians, thinkers and stars will de­scend on Chel­tenham for an in­spir­ing mix of debate and dis­cus­sion at the Town Hall, Imperial Square and Mont­pel­lier Gar­dens. This year’s theme is 'East meets West' ex­plor­ing our fas­ci­na­tion with the cul­ture and his­tory of the Far East – in par­tic­u­lar Ja­pan and China. From sushi to chi­nois­erie and from Poké­mon to Stu­dio Ghi­bli, the fes­ti­val will ex­am­ine the unique his­to­ries and con­tem­po­rary so­ci­eties, be­lief systems, and cre­ative out­put of the two coun­tries – their re­la­tions with each other and with the rest of the world. This year’s guest cu­ra­tors are nov­el­ist Se­bas­tian Faulks, V&A Di­rec­tor Tris­tram Hunt, his­to­rian Peter Frankopan, colum­nist and ac­tivist Scar­lett Cur­tis, cu­ra­tor, trans­la­tor and writer David Karashima and Junko Takekawa, Se­nior Arts Pro­gram­mer at The Ja­pan Foun­da­tion. chel­tenham­fes­ti­

Sevenoaks Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val 21 Septem­ber-6 Oc­to­ber

Sevenoaks Lit­er­ary Cel­e­bra­tion, now over a decade old, is an in­ti­mate cel­e­bra­tion of books, bring­ing to­gether read­ers and au­thors of real lit­er­ary qual­ity. The pro­gramme usu­ally con­sists of around a dozen events in­clud­ing a lit­er­ary lunch and a booklover’s tea. Sevenoaks Book­shop is closely in­volved in the fes­ti­val, or­gan­is­ing book sales and sign­ing ses­sions for vis­it­ing au­thors. Find out who is com­ing this year at: sevl­it­

Marl­bor­ough Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val 28-30 Septem­ber

This Wilt­shire town has strong lit­er­ary con­nec­tions with fa­mous po­ets and au­thors such as Siegfried Sas­soon, John Bet­je­man, Bruce Chatwin and Wil­liam Gold­ing. Now in its ninth year, Marl­bor­ough Lit­fest’s 2018 line-up fea­tures new and young fic­tion writ­ers as well as es­tab­lished names, chil­dren’s au­thors, writ­ing work­shops and po­etry events, as part of the Fes­ti­val’s in­ten­tion to bring the best of good writ­ing to the his­toric mar­ket town of Marl­bor­ough.. High­lights for this year in­clude Rose Tre­main as this year’s Gold­ing Speaker – an an­nual au­thor cho­sen to high­light Marl­bor­ough’s long con­nec­tion with the No­bel Lau­re­ate and Booker Prize win­ner, Wil­liam Gold­ing – as well as nov­el­ists Wil­liam Boyd and Kate Mosse, mil­i­tary his­to­rian Max Hast­ings, ex-mp Alan John­son talk­ing about his lat­est mem­oir, a French trans­la­tion duel, an an­nual Big Town Read for lo­cal book groups with au­thor Chris Cleave, open mic po­etry in the pub and this year’s chil­dren’s au­thor, David Wal­liams. marl­bor­ough­lit­

Liver­pool Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val 19-21 Oc­to­ber

After a suc­cess­ful in­au­gu­ral event in 2016 the Liver­pool Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val re­turns for a sec­ond out­ing this year. A week­end of dis­cus­sions, read­ings, work­shops and de­bates will take place across a range of venues in­clud­ing Tate Liver­pool and the Vic­to­ria Mu­seum and Gallery, hosted by the Uni­ver­sity of Liver­pool. This year’s line-up in­cludes Sir Tony Robin­son, Val Mc­der­mid, Frank Cot­trell Boyce, Colm Tóibín, James Naugh­tie, Claire To­ma­lin and Fiona Samp­son, among other well-known lit­er­ary fig­ures. liver­­er­ary-fes­ti­val 

lthorp, one of ng­land s most beau­ti­ful pri­vate, his­toric houses

nglish writer, harles Dic ens, deep in lit­er­ary thought in the gar­dens of the th cen­tury !oc ing­ham as­tle

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