Berwick Literary Festival, General book stuff, Literary North East, Out and about

North East book festivals

North East book festivals are growing in reputation and number year on year.

This handy guide gives you the low down on the best festivals, and where and when you can get your literary fix in the North East.


Berwick Literary Festival


Berwick Literary Festival – October

This festival, in England’s northern most town, combines local authors with big name writers. It’s a¬†great place to hear from historians, biographers and an array of fiction writers.

The programme spans three days at the end of October – and is a great excuse to explore this beautiful little town.


Books on Tyne

Books on Tyne Festival – November

This festival spans a huge number of genres, from romance to crime, history to travel.

It combines practical sessions (think learning about forensics from real-life CSI teams), book-binding exhibitions and a programme of fantastic talks from accomplished writers.


Crossing the Tees

Crossing the Tees – June

This festival is organised by the library services in Teesside and is filled with events, workshops and activities for children and adults.

It encompasses the Hartlepool Illustration Festival and has its own short story competition.


Durham Book Festival

Durham Book Festival – October

This festival, organised by New Writing North, mixes politics, history and literature into a hectic two-week programme of bookish goodness.

Venues include some of Durham University’s beautiful buildings and it’s a great opportunity to stroll through this ancient city.

Hexham Book FestivalHexham Book Festival – April/May

This two-week festival has a lot going on. From poetry readings to writing workshops, non-fiction authors to well-known writers, it has something for everyone.

Children’s workshops and a book club run alongside the main festival programme so there’s no excuse for not getting involved.


Newcastle Poetry Festival

Newcastle Poetry Festival – May

This festival celebrates poetry in all its forms.

It’s an opportunity to hear established poets and new voices, as well as take part in writing workshops.Newcastle NoirNewcastle Noir – April/May

This festival focuses solely on noir and explores every aspect of this vast and complex genre.

The three-day event includes writing workshops, presentations by new and established writers (including a line-up of prolific Nordic Noir stars) and ends with a quiz.

Sunderland Literature and Creative Writing Festival

Sunderland Literature and Creative Writing Festival – October

This festival focuses on film, literature and creative writing.

Whether you’re looking to sharpen your writing skills in a workshop, hear a lecture on the city’s scenes on film or listen to a published author, you’ll be spoilt for choice.


Well, that’s quite a list, isn’t it? The North East book festivals really are a fantastic place to build your love of books while discovering new corners of our beautiful region.

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