Ilkley Literature Festival 2020

This year's celebration of the written and spoken word features writers, researchers and students from across the University of Leeds.

Through our major partnership with the largest literature festival in the North of England, we’re delighted to be involved in a busy programme of talks, events and activities.

For this year’s festival, rather than focusing on just two weeks in October, a new programme of activities will continue through to Spring 2021  –  when an extensive Spring Series of live activity is planned to take place. 

As part of our partnership, we also provide our students with unique opportunities to gain hands-on, practical experience of working across the festival.

Upcoming partnership events

This October, we’re proud to support several online forums and readings, including:

Walter Swan Poetry Prize

Professor John Whale and Dr Rachel Bower also judged this year’s poetry prize from The Walter Swan Trust.

“One might expect that the effects of the pandemic would be manifest in the poems and that was certainly true – at least to the extent that hospital care featured quite prominently,” explains Professor Whale.

“But a very heart-warming aspect of the submissions was related to a more general awareness of the need for kindness and toleration at this time. In the prize-winning poems, I think we can find something of that call for kindness.”

The winners will be revealed on the ILF YouTube Channel at 11am on Thursday 22 October.


A full programme of events is available at the Ilkley Literature Festival website.