Sophie Hayles Launches BBF21.jpg

The Belfast Book Festival returned last June! 

We were delighted that our annual Belfast Book Festival had made a welcome return for 2021 and ran from 10 - 13 June with an online programme of live events for book lovers.  

Covering everything from love and politics to Cinderella as a zombie, this year’s festival covered a wide variety of themes - including feminism, grief, family, disability, sexuality, body image, and the care system.

Highlights of the festival included

  • BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac in conversation with writer Wendy Erskine discussing her debut novel ‘Mother, Mother’ which is set in Belfast;
  • Ian McElhinney who joined literary biographer Roy Foster to explore the work of Seamus Heaney;
  • Glenn Patterson chatting with author Conor O’Callaghan;
  • Author of the novel Brooklyn, Colm Tóibín and Paul McVeigh to read from and discuss a new anthology of Irish ficiton Queer Love
  • Multi-award winning author and Belfast Book Festival patron Lucy Caldwell joined us to talk about her new collection of short stories 
  • Two of Northern Ireland's most respected political journalists Susan McKay and Amanda Ferguson came together to discuss Susan’s new book, ‘Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground’;
  • and a special recorded performance from the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, Lemn Sissay, who also joined us for a second event where he chatted with political commentator Alex Kane. 

Mairtín Crawford Awards 2021

We are delighted to reveal the Shortlist, runner-ups and winners the Mairtín Crawford Awards for Short Story and Poetry 2021.
This year alumni had been announced live by our estimated judges during Belfast Book Festival events.

Many congratulations to those on the shortlist, the winners and runner-ups! You can discover their name and read their work on our Belfast Book Festival Website.


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