The North Recommends: York Literature Festival

York Lit Fest logo

York Literature Festival returns for 2022. Rob O’Connor, Chairman,  looks forward to welcoming writers, poets, performers, and of course guests, back to live events!


I am so pleased to announce that the York Literature Festival is returning with an exciting mix of live events celebrating the written and spoken word! More than 20 events will be held from Friday 18 to Sunday 27 March 2022 at venues across the city. It is a privilege to be able to welcome such a wonderful range of authors to York. Like so many others, we, the festival board, are looking forward to seeing these amazing writers, poets and performers in person. After two years away, we are so pleased to be back!

The festival has always aimed to highlight literary talent from the North and this year is no exception. I am personally excited that we launch the 2022 festival with a special event on 18 March. Award-winning author and Booker Prize nominee Sarah Hall will be in conversation and discussing her latest novel Burntcoat. Another award-winner, Sheffield-based poet and writer Helen Mort, features on 27 March. Helen will be discussing motherhood (fitting, given the event takes place on Mother’s Day), mountain-climbing and risk taking, as explored in her latest work A Line Above the Sky. Both events will be an exciting expose of Northern-based literary talent.

An interesting event this year will be on 21 March, discussing the book Failures of State, which is an incisive expose of the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Further insight into power and politics will feature on 25 March, as ex-Sheffield Mayor Magid Magid discusses his book The Art of Disruption. For those who prefer their drama on the fictional side, we also welcome Queen of Crime Val McDermid on 27 March. Simon Jenkins will be discussing Europe’s 100 Best Cathedrals on 26 March. (We know which our favourite is, but we may be biased!)

This isn’t everything! The festival is branching out this year with new venues and collaborations, including a celebration of live music stories at the Fulford Arms and a very special closing event at The Crescent on 27 March in collaboration with local punk poets Say Owt, featuring Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan. Workshops and children’s activities will be happening too.

The Festival began in 2007 under the auspices of York City Council. After the cuts which followed the crash of 2008, it was adopted by a voluntary group and has grown steadily to become one of the foremost literature festivals in the North of England. It forms an important part of the cultural life of the city and in 2016 succeeded in obtaining charitable status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Our mission is to deliver a high-quality literature festival for York and the North whilst also providing a showcase for local writing talent.

There is sure to be something for everyone and tickets are selling fast – book now to avoid disappointment! I hope to see you at our events!

Tickets are on sale now through – where you can also find the full programme of events – or the York Theatre Royal Box Office,, 01904 623568.