Cardiff Book Festival Announces Programme

Cardiff Book Festival Announces Programme

The initial line-up for the second ever Cardiff Book Festival has been announced today ahead of a three-day festival celebrating the written word this autumn (Fri 22-Sun 24th September 2017).

Big names and local talent from the worlds of fiction, non-fiction, prose and poetry will descend upon the Welsh capital to bring books alive across two stages at the iconic Angel Hotel, alongside Cardiff Central Library and official bookseller Waterstones.

Book lovers across Cardiff and beyond can now snap up tickets for events at early bird prices, with a weekend wristband priced at £25 and individual event tickets from £5 per adult and £3 concessions.

One of the event organisers, and Wales Arts Review Associate Editor, Cerith Mathias laid out the ambitions for the festival: “We’ve tried to create more of a festival feel with this year’s event, adding wristband tickets, working with Green Man, adding more stages, more writing workshops, creating opportunities to tweet pitches to leading agents and programming events like a book quiz and lit disco, where you can throw some shapes to tunes inspired by books.  We’ll be announcing further events as we get closer to the festival but now’s the perfect time to grab an early bird wristband.”


Here’s some of the highlights of this year’s festival.

Friday 22nd September

Cathryn Summerhayes

GQ editor Dylan Jones headlines the Friday night in conversation with NME editor Mike Williams about his upcoming book David Bowie-A Life, an engrossing, magisterial biography drawn from Jones’ interviews with the enigmatic star and over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers and collaborators.

Gregory’s Girl star and now crime novelist John Gordon Sinclair opens the evening discussing his new novel, Walk in Silence, a taut, dark page-turner that sees lawyer, Keira Lynch, enter the brutal world of the Albanian mafia in her search for a kidnapped child.

Cardiff-born literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes from Curtis Brown will be hosting a Pitch in the Pub session in the Angel Hotel’s pub The Castle Arms, where aspiring writers can pitch their future bestsellers over Twitter and in person.

Saturday 23rd September

Ever wondered how Lady Macbeth’s torment or Cinderella’s sunny disposition were influenced by their DNA? Either way, join Green Man Festival as their Library of Imagined Genes, a biobank containing genetic samples of fictional characters, takes over Cardiff Central Library for the day.

Ian Livingstone

Saturday morning sees local historian Neil M. Sinclair share tales from Tiger Bay, with one of the founding fathers of the British games industry, Ian Livingstone taking to the stage in the afternoon.  Livingstone launched Games Workshop, Tomb Raider and the Fighting Fantasygamebooks which have sold almost 20 million copies worldwide, and will reflect on his career as his new book The Port of Peril marks the 35th anniversary of the series.

Cardiff’s own Sunday Times bestseller Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat and The Doll Funeral follows Livingstone,  before Marcel Theroux discusses his latest novel, The Secret Books, an epic adventure through a world of spies, propaganda and revolution in a mystery about the lost years of Jesus Christ.

Adam Kay, a junior doctor turned sold-out Edinburgh Fringe comedian, Radio 4 The Now Show regular, and writer for shows including Mrs Brown’s Boys, will share stories from his new book. This Is Going To Hurt is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain and sacrifice and a love letter to those who might be holding our lives in their hands.

Sunday 24th September

In Visit Wales’ Year of Legends, Horatio Clare re-tells ancient tales from the Brecon Beacons and his new Myths and Legends book, including Arthur and his Slumbering Knights, the White Lady of Tretower Court and the gory tale of Black Vaughan.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Ball will tackle the fake news post-truth world covered in his book How Bullshit Conquered the World, while a special event will remember First Minister Rhodri Morgan as his memoir is released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the vote that created the National Assembly for Wales.

The co-creator of the hit TV show Hinterland/Y Gwyll,  Ed Thomas, and the photographer David Wilson will be in conversation on how the west Wales landscape inspired the noir detective drama which has taken images of Ceredigion to televisions in over 100 countries throughout the world, as documented in the book Hinterland: Ceredigion Landscapes.


For more information and updates on the festival visit