Literary Leicester 2014

Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 November

Will Self back for 2014 (© Michael Wildsmith)

A serious gathering, seriously run, with a seriously cosmopolitan audience... Even I enjoyed it. (Will Self, 2012)

Join us in celebrating the written word with a host of award-winning and renowned writers, fascinating talks and readings, performance and panel discussions.

2014 sees a fantastic line-up, including Booker-Prize winners Penelope Lively and John Banville,  Will Self returning to discuss his new novel, Eimear McBride, World War One with historian Mark Bostridge, young adult and children's events for all ages, including CBeebies' presenter Cerrie Burnell and Leicester-born ex-Children's Laureate Anne Fine, poetry with Moniza Alvi, Carrie Etter and Patience Agbabi, celebrating the life of Sue Townsend and much more. Literary Leicester really does offer something for everyone.

Bali Rai
This year, Leicester author Bali Rai celebrates the life of Sue Townsend
See below for details of all events. Our full e-brochure can be viewed on the left of this page.

And remember, all of our events are completely free!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and festival information.

It was very well organized and the fact it was free was even better!  The festival is a chance for people not in London to get some extremely high quality literary input. (Cath Sibley, visitor in 2012)

All events last one hour unless otherwise described



Wednesday 12 November

6pm Festival Opening, followed by 'The Fateful Year: England in 1914' with Mark Bostridge

7.30pm John Banville

10-11am 'Decadence, Diaries and Discovery': Evelyn Waugh (alternative venue - see below)

11.30am-12.30pm Andrew Mitchell: Darwin and the Voyage of the HMS Beagle

Thursday 13 November

1.45-3pm 'What's the Point of Young Adult Fiction?' A Panel Discussion (ages 13+) This event held in association with Whatever it Takes.

6pm Poetry from Moniza Alvi and Carrie Etter

7.30pm Eimear McBride - A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

2-3pm Fulke Greville and the Invention of History

4-5pm Inaugural Readings: Commissions by The Centre for New Writing


Friday 14 November

6pm Will Self

7.30pm Penelope Lively - A Life in Letters

12-1pm An Invitation to the Joe Orton Archive (alternative venue - see below)

2-3pm Telling Stories about the East Midlands in WW1

4-5pm Susanna Watts and Elizabeth Heyrick: Leicestershire Authors and Activists in the 19th Century

Saturday 15 November

11.30am-12.30pm Creepy Crawlies Workshop (ages 4-8)  (alternative venue - see below)

1-2pm Anne Fine (ages 8-12)

2.30-3.30pm CBeebie's Cerrie Burnell (aged 4-8)  This event held in association with Booktrust.

6pm Patience Agbabi retells The Canterbury Tales

7.30pm Celebrating Sue Townsend with Bali Rai and Guests

4-5pm Discover Sue Townsend - The Archives (alternative venue - see below)


All Main Events are held at the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Fielding Johnson Building South Wing, University or Leicester EXCEPT the 'Creepie Crawlies Workshop', which will be held at New Walk Museum.

All Fringe Events are held at Embrace Arts, the university's arts centre, EXCEPT 'Decadence, Diaries and Discovery (Leicester Central Library) and the Joe Orton and Sue Townsend Archive events, both held in the university's David Wilson Library.

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Brochure cover

Click to view this year's brochure


If you have any queries about Literary Leicester, please contact us: 


T: 0116 252 2620



Book your ticket to guarantee your place and avoid disappointment. They are free and it won't cost you a penny! Otherwise feel free to turn up on the day (please note that priority will be given to those who have pre-booked a ticket and some events can sell out).

Access and parking

Parking is available on campus during evenings and weekends, but may be limited. All venues are fully accessible for disabled visitors, please contact us for more information. We would advise that visitors use public transport where possible.

University travel information and maps