Top literary events for 2017

Sitting With Jane art trail, Basingstoke

Delve deeper into England’s literary heritage on a visit to these special events celebrating the lives and works of the country’s greatest writers, and well-loved fictional creations.

Celebrating 20 years of World Book Day, across England

Jacqueline Wilson reads to children from Soho Family Centre to launch the 20th anniversary of World Book Day

2 March

This annual celebration of books has planned an all-star line-up of authors and illustrators to help it celebrate its 20th anniversary. 

Find out more about World Book Day

Oxford Literary Festival

Oxford, Oxfordshire

25 March – 2 April

Enjoy a packed programme of literary, political, historical, environmental and culinary talks and events, as well as join guided literary walks, lunches and dinner parties with prominent authors. 

Find out more about the Oxford Literary Festival

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert, various locations

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

11 – 19 May

This year, a series of screenings accompanied by live orchestras will help mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Find out more about Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

An illustration from Roald Dahl's 'The Twits'. Image courtesy of House of Illustration. Illustration © Quentin Blake

11 March – 8 July

This exhibition gives a unique insight into the origins of some of Quentin Blake’s most popular creations, from his illustrations for Roald Dahls classic children’s books to The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams. 

Find out more about the Quentin Blake: Inside Stories exhibition

Sitting With Jane art trail, Basingstoke

Sitting With Jane book benches

June – September

Follow the Sitting With Jane public art trail of 25 ‘book benches’ in and around Basingstoke as part of the global celebrations on the 200th anniversary of the novelist’s death.

Find out more about the Sitting With Jane art trail

Jane Austen Regency Week, Hampshire

Jane Austen Regency Week

17 – 25 June  

This nine-day festival will be packed with all things Austen, including Regency-style music, dining, drama, talks and guided walks and tours, as well as Victorian cricket and a Regency Ball.

Find out more about Jane Austen Regency Week

‘The Famous Five’ go on a Garden Adventure, RHS Gardens

Famous Five poster

11 March – 3 September

This series of events celebrates 75 years of The Famous Five and will feature across all four RHS gardens, each will offer family activities inspired by Enid Blyton’s adventure tale, including themed adventure trails, garden displays, craft workshops and storytelling. 

Find out more about Famous Five events at RHS Gardens

Norwich Crime Writing Festival

Norwich Crime Writing Festival

14 – 17 September

Britain’s boldest, bloodiest crime-writing festival returns to the medieval lanes of Norwich and the atmospheric Dragon Hall, mixing together author talks and Q&As with workshops for aspiring writers.

Find out more about the Norwich Crime Writing Festival

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Enjoy over 500 talks, workshops and performances touching upon subjects as diverse as history, politics, sport, food and fashion.

Find out more about the Cheltenham Literature Festival

Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library, London

Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library

20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first book in the Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the British Library will host a new exhibition dedicated to the magic of Harry Potter.

Find out more about the Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library

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