My ideal summer would be spent lazing in the garden/park/on the beach with a pile of good books, sealed away inside my own fictitious bubble. But for the sake of my friends, I have researched some more sociable ways to enjoy literature this summer.

So if, like me, you enjoy a good book, here is the best of what London has to offer.


BBC Proms Literary Festival, Royal College of Music

18 July-8 September

All events are free and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

A series of talks exploring the connection between the music of this year’s Proms and the literary world, led by leading novelists, poets, philosophers and musicians. Special topics include Scandinavian Crime Writing, Instruments in Literature and Rudyard Kipling. Feeling Creative? Check out the poetry competition.


Hamptstead & Highgate Literary Festival, NW11

11-13 September

Bookings open 1 July.

A three-day celebration of writing and reading. The programme is not yet announced but will include talks and workshops. Special guests scheduled to appear include Raymond Blanc, Esther Freud and Peter Snow.


London Literature Festival, Southbank

30 June-14 July

Prices vary, package tickets also available.

The Daddy of all London literary festivals, Southbank is sure to be buzzing for these two weeks in July. The programme boasts a diverse range of events, from talks and debates, to workshops and exciting theatrical performances. Sessions with the likes of Philip Pullman, Alexander McCall Smith and Alan Hollinghurst are already booking up, but there’s still time to get tickets!


Queen’s Park Book Festival, NW6

All day 11 June

Many free events, a £5 advanced ticket will get you access to everything.

Local authors give talks and readings. A special screening of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) is being shown at the Lexi Cinema, on the night of the 10th to kick things off. Special guests include actor Robert Webb and novelist Sebastian Faulks. Refreshments available.


World Literature Weekend, WC1

17-19 June

Tickets for events from £4.

A weekend of words, music and food celebrating foreign literature. This year’s theme is history and its traces in the present. A wide range of performances, workshops and talks are being held, including workshops in literary translation. Special guests from all over the world include Javier Cercas, Carles Casajuana, and Cees Nooteboom. Not to be missed!


About The Author

I recently graduated from UCL with a degree in History of Art. I hope to make a career in Arts Journalism and MouthLondon seemed like a great place to start! Get in touch if you'd like to write for the Arts section.

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