Words in the City Programme Changes

WITCbannerWe were sad to hear that the World Curry Festival have postponed their event until later in the year.

Words in the City will continue on 6 – 7 June in Bradford with a few minor programme changes.
All ticketed events, masterclasses, FREE family events in the Poetry Yurt, the Emergency Poet and Caravan Gallery are taking place as advertised.

The Poetry Slam will take place 5.15 – 6.15pm on Saturday 6 June at Watersones, Hustlergate, Bradford. The winners will receive Waterstones vouchers and a slot at the Ilkley Literature Festival in October as prizes. The Sunday performances by the winners have been cancelled.

The Fringe will open at 10.15am on Saturday 6 June with a reading by Ian Oldfield

The following events have been cancelled:
Roundhouse Poetry Collective, Hip Hop and Blake with Testament (we hope to reschedule both performances for the October Festival), Live Wires and Ready Steady Poem.

Tickets for Tony Harrison are selling fast but there are plenty more fantastic poetry events taking place, including John Hegley, Jo Shapcott, Don Paterson, Imtiaz Dharker and Zaffar Kunial.
Click here to book.

Top Children’s Books for World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day Sainsbury’s commissioned a survey to find the ‘Top 50 Books Every Child Should Read By 16’. The survey aimed to find the ultimate children’s reading list and encourage bedtime reading. And while there are plenty of great books listed we noticed some of our favourites were missing.

As you can never have too many book recommendations, we asked around the office and on social media and put together our own list of 25 books we think are brilliant and that everyone should read before they are 16 (but you’ll still enjoy at any age):


David Almond- Skellig

Malorie Blackman- Noughts and Crosses

John Boyne- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Antony Brown- Voices in the Park

Melvin Burgess- Junk

Julia Donaldson- The Gruffalo

Neil Gaiman- The Graveyard Book

Alan Garner- The Owl Service

John Green- The Fault in Our Stars

Shirley Hughes- Dogger

Eva Ibbotson- Journey to the River

Oliver Jeffers- The Incredible Book Eating Boy

Jon Klassen- I Want my Hat Back

Harper Lee- To Kill a Mockingbird

Michelle Magorian- Goodnight Mr Tom

Michael Morpurgo- Private Peaceful

George Orwell- Animal Farm

Louise Rennison- Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging

Meg Rosoff- How I Live Now

Louis Sacher- Holes

Dodie Smith- I Capture the Castle

Lemony Snicket- A Series of Unfortunate Events

Mildred D. Taylor- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Dianna Wynn-Jones- Howl’s Moving Castle

Markus Zusak- The Book Thief

If you think we’ve missed anything out let us know!

Thanks to your support Bradford MDC have changed their mind!

We are very relieved to bring you the good news that Bradford Metropolitan District Council has decided to reverse its proposed cut to the Festival’s grant.

We have had fantastic support from people right across the board and we’d like to thank everyone who took the time to come forward and make their views known. Your support made all the difference and it has been heartening to be reminded how important literature is to people and how much the Festival means to Bradford District.

We are very grateful to Bradford Council for listening and having the courage to reverse this proposal and to MP Kris Hopkins and Labour’s parliamentary candidate John Grogan for all the support they have given us and the hard work they have put into this behind the scenes.

As well as continuing their support for Ilkley Literature Festival, the Council has also allocated £115,000 over three years to help other local festivals, including our partners the World Curry Festival, expand and develop, which is great news for Bradford.

Bradford has shown us a fine example of democracy in action and now we’ll be carrying on with our preparations for Words in the City, our June poetry weekend, and the Festival in October so we can give the district the exciting Festivals it deserves.

Rachel Feldberg,
Festival Director