Belfast Book Festival 

The Belfast Book Festival has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2010 and has become the largest and most diverse literary festival in Northern Ireland.  Each year we strive to curate a programme of events that is unique and highly creative as we bring to the city as whole host of events. 

Our programme includes International authors and we provide a platform for local authors. Along with your traditional 'book' events festival-goers are treated to a diverse programme that includes music, comedy, poetry, theatre and discussions. The festival delivers a range of creative and educational workshops and provides a programme of events for schools and communities. 

Here are some key highlights for the Belfast Book Festival across the years: 


  • Acclaimed journalist, broadcaster and former Downing Street Press Secretary and now prolific novelist Alastair Campbell at Windsor Park
  • Award winning comedian, writer and actress Francesca Martinez at The Crescent
  • Champion motorcyclist, truck racer and television presenter Steve Parrish at Malone Lodge Hotel
  • Internationally renowned speaker, mathematician, scientist and philosopher John Lennox at Fisherwick Presbyterian Church
  • Best-selling author on the subjects of Nutrition and Health, the Medicinal chef Dale Pinnock at Hillmount Garden Centre, Belfast
  • Guillem Balagué Sky Sports journalist and author of best-selling biographies on Pep Guardiola, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at The Black Box
  • Adventurer, environmentalist, speaker and writer Huw Kingston at The Crescent
  • The guys behind The Guardian's political sketches John Crace
  • Donal Scullion led a special guest band at the Strand Arts Centre for Astral Weeks: The Music And The Myths Of Van Morrison featuring a set in tribute to the album that blessed us with such tracks as Madam George, Cyprus Avenue and Sweet Thing.
  • Renowned broadcaster, defender of the arts and protector of journalistic freedoms John Tusa
  • Sir Robert Salisbury, in the beautiful setting of the Botanic Gardens Palm House, talked about the inspiring story of how he and Rosemary transformed an unloved rural wasteland into a thriving, renowned wildlife garden
  • The Queen of Scottish stand-up and perennial thorn in Donald Trump's side Janey Godley
  • James Harpur, Mark Roper and John F Deane hosted an evening of readings from three superlative poets at The Crescent


  • Renowned political scientist, activist, distinguished professor and prolific author Norman Finkelstein
  • Comedian and actress Sara Pascoe discusses her debut book Animal which explores the forces that mould and affect modern women
  • The stars of the international smash hit podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno which recently sold out Sydney Opera House
  • Author of the best-selling book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis De Bernieres
  • Mum, wife, blogger and bestselling author The Unmumsy Mum Sarah Turner
  • British author, journalist and political commentator Douglas Murray
  • Editor at large at The Guardian Gary Younge
  • The launch of the inaugural Mairtin Crawford Award's for Poetry and Short Story
  • Co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party and former editor at large of TIME magazine Catherine Mayer


  • The Jam’s drummer Rick Buckler discussed his book That’s Entertainment: My Life in the Jam at The Black Box
  • John Challis (Only Fools and Horses) chatted about his life in show business as well as his books Being Boycie and Reggie:A Stag at Bay
  • Award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch discussed his memoir Party Animals
  • Financial and economics expert Paul Mason chatted about the state of the world economy, Brexit and much more
  • Leading contemporary novelist Dame Fiona Kidman spoke with Cathy Brown about her book on the 1930s aviator icon aka ‘Garbo of the Skies’ Jean Batten
  • Award winning Kate Tempest had a chat with Jan Carson about her debut novel The Bricks That Built The Houses 
  • Human rights activist Hyeonseo Lee discussed her memoirs and her work on human rights as well as refugee issues
  • 93 year old Harry Leslie Smith brought his unique perspective on the NHS cutbacks, benefits, political corruption and much more with Harry’s Last Stand
  • Spoken word artist Hollie McNish discussed her book with is a unique blend of poetry and storytelling
  • Maverick film-maker Alex Cox discussed his book for aspiring filmmakers at Crescent Arts Centre
  • Rebecca De Saintonge’s One Yellow Door explored the conflicting emotions of infidelity where one partner is severely disabled
  • Poet Sinead Morrissey and composer Piers Hellawell presented their collaborative works
  • Petrol heads fans enjoyed hearing Liam Beckett’s discuss Full Throttle which explores his partnership with Robert Dunlop

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