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News article

York Literature Festival returns for a city-wide celebration of the written and spoken word 

Published: 28 February 2023

  •   Featured
Two women talking at a table on a stage

York Literature Festival returns this spring with an exciting mix of live events celebrating the written and spoken word. This year more than 20 events will be held throughout March at venues across the city centre, including York St John University, St Peter’s School, The Crescent and York Explore Library and Archive.  

2023 sees York St John University take over as main sponsor for the first time. The University is proud to support the festival in its mission to promote local writers, groups and performers, as well as providing the community with an annual programme of engaging literary events.   

The festival launches with a public event at York St John University's Creative Centre on Saturday 11 March with award- winning author Julia Armfield discussing her debut novel Our Wives Under the Sea. Also taking to the stage at the Creative Centre is number one bestselling author Juno Dawson who will be talking about her first adult novel, Her Majesty’s Royal Coven.  

Other highlights include award-winning author and BBC presenter, Steve Richards who will be reflecting upon the lessons of leadership based on his two recent books. There will be further insight into British broadcasting when television legend David Dimbleby will discuss his colourful career as someone who has interviewed prime ministers and presidents, made award-winning documentaries, chaired Question Time for 25 years, and anchored the BBC’s live coverage of historic national and world events.  

For those who prefer their thrills to be fictional, Jude O' Reilly will be discussing Financial Times' 2022 thriller of the year, Sleep When You’re Dead. For the musical, there is a music memoir day in collaboration with The Crescent where we'll be joined by soul legend P.P. Arnold and writer/broadcaster Lucy O’Brien.  

Talented authors from York St John also feature in the programme with exciting readings of creative pieces written by members of our university community. The event to celebrate the annual Beyond the Walls anthology project is hosted and organised by York St John University Creative Writing students.    

Dr Rob O'Connor, Chair of the York Literature Festival and Lecturer in Creative Writing at York St John University said:  

"Our target is to bring a varied and engaging programme of literary events to York and, once again, we feel we have succeeded.  

“In 2023 the programme has been extended more widely across the month of March and the whole festival team is excited to host these events in our wonderful city. Come and join us!"  

Dr Abi Curtis, Professor of Creative Writing at York St John University said:  

“The York Centre for Writing is very excited to host a number of events, and I'm proud that York St John is the main sponsor for such a diverse and varied festival. 

“Our students on our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in Creative Writing and in Publishing benefit enormously from being able to listen to a range of writers. The York Literature Festival is an integral part of our vibrant learning community.”  

Tickets are on sale through York Literature Festival, York Theatre Royal or 01904 623568. 



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