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Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival 2017 – Thursday 8th, Friday 9th and Saturday 10th June

A true celebration of outstanding writing and brilliant books; the UK’s only “festival in a factory” the Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival takes place every June in the creative surroundings of the Emma Bridgewater Factory, a Victorian pot bank that has manufactured Emma Bridgewater’s iconic handmade and hand decorated pottery for more than twenty years.

Supported by our Box Office partner the New Vic Theatre and now in its fourth year, the Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival is an established highlight of this creative city’s lively cultural scene. For three days in June author talks, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and live performances take place all around the canal-side factory in surprising spaces from the old pottery warehouse to the cobbled courtyard.

Festival founder and trustee Emma Bridgewater says:Handmade queen

“From history to poetry, politics to food, environmentalism to heritage, with great events for young readers and a focus on our literary heroes from Shakespeare to Austen and Bennett;  the Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival 2017 again promises to be an eclectic and inspiring celebration of brilliant books and outstanding writing in the heart of this most creative of cities.

“Our aim has always been to bring the very best writers, commentators and thinkers to Stoke-on-Trent where there has always been a great appetite for debate but also with the hope that we might inspire young people to explore ideas, provide stimulating encounters with award winning authors, poets and playwrights and foster the joy of books and reading.

We're Backing the Bid Facebook Image 1200x900“Stoke-on-Trent is rediscovering and celebrating its cultural roots and we are absolutely delighted to be backing the bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. From a small conversation Tristram Hunt and I had four years ago we now have a truly established, very warmly received and joyful festival, busy with book lovers of all ages that attracts friends old and new to Stoke-on-Trent. We look forward to welcoming you to best weekend of the summer!”


enjoying the festival

Since 2014 we’ve welcomed some of Britain’s finest novelists including Nick Hornby, Joanna Trollope, Dame Margaret Drabble, Sathnam Sanghera, Cressida Cowell and Juliet Nicolson, acclaimed historians Mary Beard, Dr David Starkey, Charlotte Higgins, Orlando Figes,William Dalrymple and Tristram Hunt, leading writers and broadcasters Melvyn Bragg, Alan JohnsonMichael Palin, Alastair Campbell and Matthew Parris and well known personalities from the arts and entertainment including ceramicist and poet Edmund de Waal, craft champion Kirstie Allsopp, gardener and cook Sarah Raven and designer and writer Emma Bridgewater herself.

The poetry panel considering the impact and contributions of Staffordshire poets and poetry

The poetry panel considering the impact and contributions of Staffordshire poets and poetry

The Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival is all about championing a love of books and reading and the festival is proud to work closely with local schools, colleges and universities to host special “meet the author” events for young people with leading authors and academics. The Festival also celebrates local writing talent as well as exploring the city’s literary and artistic heritage. Since 2014:

  • 8,000 visitors of all ages
  • 60 author talks, panels, family events and skills sessions
  • 80% of our audiences from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
  • literature, arts, music, poetry, screen writing and performance events
  • free tickets and author talks for local young people
  • box office partner – New Vic Theatre