Preview: Ilkley Literature Festival

By September 2, 2016Blog-Leeds, Blog-Manchester

We might be at the start of September but we want to make sure you’re ready, as from 30th September to 16th October hundreds of literary lovers will be making their way to Ilkley for the Ilkley Literature Festival. The event returns with over 250 events, meaning there’s something for everyone. JLife has rounded up some of our favourite picks:

Poet in Residence, Mark Pajak, and other flash mob poets will be performing poetry in random places all over Ilkley all afternoon on 1st October. It’s the ideal time to take a day out: walk around the shops, grab some lunch and experience some pop-up poetry!

On 5th October, meet Holly Smale, award-winning author of the Geek Girl series. Now on her fifth book, Holly talks her short-lived modelling career, journey to becoming an author, and what writing a bestselling book is like. Find Holly on twitter: @HolSmale or on her goodreads page:

Also on 5th October, writer, director and actor, Kay Mellor, discusses her extensive writing career. With career credits including Coronation Street, The Syndicate and most recently, In the Club, this recipient of the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Contribution to Writing is one not to miss.

Take your pick from two events on 7th October. First up, emerge yourself in an enchanting evening of work in response to M. R. James’s The Haunted Doll House. Contributors include the UK’s leading poet and Oxford Professor of Poetry, Simon Armitage; poet and playwright, Rommi Smith; and poet and essayist, John Siddique.

On the same day, join other festival goers for a fun and popular quiz on your literary knowledge and general knowledge. Get together with a group of friends or go along on your own and be paired up with others as a team.

On 8th October, Laura Bates, author of Everyday Sexism and founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, talks about her new book, Girl Up. Laura talks openly and is not afraid to address issues, such as body image, social media and the pressure on young women today. Find out about The Everyday Sexism Project at

Anthony Horowitz attends the literature festival on 14th October to talk about his new book, Magpie Murders, a murder mystery inspired by Agatha Christie’s novels. The Jewish author has had a successful career, including the Alex Rider series, two Sherlock Holmes novels and recently Trigger Mortis, part of the continued James Bond series. Find more about Anthony at

Attend one of the many events aimed specifically at children taking place on 15th October. JLife recommends joining Ben Faulks, Mr Bloom from Cbeebies, to investigate what is underneath the surface of garden and common puddles in this fun-filled event about imagination and outdoor play! A perfect event for children aged four and over.

On the evening of 15th October, take your seat for a nutritious journey. The actual Ten Commandments give no direction on what and how we should be eating, so Jay Rayner offers a hilarious guide to how to eat now. Join The Observer’s restaurant critic and Masterchef guest judge for this audiovisual show.

To find out more about the festival and see the full list of events, visit