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G B Ralph, Author

Hay Festival 2021 is online and kicks off next week

The literary festival (one of the world’s biggest and best) is usually hosted in the small town of Hay-on-Wye on the border of England and Wales. With a resident population of 2000 people it boasts around two dozen bookshops, including many second-hand and specialist shops.

This year the Hay Festival is back, and it’s all online! Anyone can register and join the live events for free, with most sessions being made available afterwards.

On one hand it’s a shame that no one can experience the festival in all it’s glory, but on the other it opens it up to so many more people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate. And since attending the Featherston Booktown Festival 2021 a couple of weeks ago, I’m looking forward to the Hay Festival even more.

I’ve had a quick flick through the programme (with over 200 guests!) and a bunch of sessions caught my eye, in no particular order:

  • Tom Allen (gay English comedian)
  • Bad Wolf (production company that adapted Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for HBO/BBC)
  • Graham Norton with Marian Keyes and Richard Osman
  • David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas)
  • Val McDermid (the Queen of crime)
  • Jonathan Stroud (author of the Bartimaeus series)
  • Garth Nix (author of the Old Kingdom series)
  • Cressida Cowell (author of How to Train Your Dragon and current UK Children’s Laureate)
  • David Walliams (English comedian, actor, writer, TV personality)

You can register and access the full programme yourself here. Let me know if you decide to check any out!


I’ve never been to the festival in person, but we did visit Hay-on-Wye in 2018, staying with our friend’s parents who live in the countryside a little nearer to Hereford. It’s a stunning little town, and the surrounded countryside is equally gorgeous. Going back through my photos I realise I was too busy gawking to take many photos, and those I did get aren’t the best! Oh well, you get the gist…

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