Distance Learning Days Out: Literary Festivals for July and August


Gibraltar_International_Literary_Festival_2013_(10)With May and June over, the number of literary festivals diminishes somewhat, but if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit one yet, there are still some available and they provide the perfect occasion to learn more about some of the names associated with contemporary literature, as well as presentations of the classics.

July begins with Beyond the Border from 6th – 14th (http://www.beyondtheborder.com); Wales’s premier festival and, although it is one of the more expensive ones at around £25 a day, this year it will be celebrating the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas.

Harrogate hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, but from 10th-13th July it is the turn of the Literature Lecture Series (http://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/literature-lecture-series) which will include Timothy West reading the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Ben Crystal discussing and performing some of Shakespeare’s work.

The Latitude Festival at Henham Park in Suffolk gives musicians top billing but has a surprising amount of prose and poetry to enjoy too. Day tickets can cost about £80, though. See http://www.latitudefestival.com for what is on offer between 17th and 20th July, including poetry from Roger McGough and Michael Rosen.

In the South West, the Port Eliot Festival will run from 24th to 27th July (http://www.porteliotfestival.com) Christopher Hampton and Hanif Kureishi will be appearing.

August is the time of year for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, a treat for those in the North. Most days begin with a ten minute free reading by one of the featured authors. Alain de Botton, Tony Parsons and current Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will be there. There are also special children’s events. See https://www.edbookfest.co.uk.

It is well worth browsing through the line-up if you find yourself within traveling distance of one of the above. You may even have a chance to meet, or learn more about, one of the authors studied on your Oxford Home Schooling English course.

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I have been working for Oxford Open Learning since 2010 and love helping my students with their English and History courses. As a teacher and personal tutor, I have taught pupils from all around the world, aged from three to adult. I am often to be found with my head in a book and sometimes I have four or five on the go at the same time. I love learning about History and Art and am passionate about literature.

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