Hawarden looks forward to hosting the first ever Gladfest literary festival

Gladstones Library

Gladstones Library - Credit: Archant

Gladstone’s Library is welcoming all lovers of literature through its doors for the Gladfest event

Top writers will be among those heading to Hawarden this month for a new literary festival.

Gladstone’s Library, based in the North Wales village is launching a new kind of literary festival in response to the success that they enjoy with their Writer-in-Residence events. Gladfest (September 6-8) is a non-corporate, affordable literary festival for everyone.

The featured authors are internationally significant but will be uniquely accessible at Gladfest. Most events will take place in the intimate splendour of one of the world’s great libraries – with a maximum of sixty people per event, this is an amazing opportunity to engage with the sort of names that are usually found at much larger festivals.

Writers taking part include Damian Barr, author of this year’s best-selling memoir Maggie and Me; Britain’s most radical and controversial theologian, Don Cupitt (Sea of Faith); writer, director and performer Stella Duffy (Theodora); and award-winning poet Wendy Cope (Family Values). Other events cover topics as diverse as bibliotherapy, Victorian friendship and Brown’s of Chester. There are three free children’s events, a scriptwriting workshop, poetry readings and the chance to solve a Victorian crime. There will also be a poetry evening in which the performers are the audience.

Festival Director, Louisa Yates, says: ‘Gladstone’s Library is fast becoming the place to visit for anyone who enjoys reading or creative writing. So many authors were keen to take part that is has been a struggle fitting everyone in but we believe that we have put together a programme that has something for everyone.’

Gladfest’s main sponsors include Airbus, Fineline Printers, New Welsh Review, Worldspan Creative and Reades Residential. Tickets are on sale. They can be booked by calling 01244 532350 or e-mailing enquiries@gladlib.org. Alternatively, find out more by visiting www.gladstoneslibrary.org/GladFest/

Most Read


Gladstone’s Library in the Welsh village of Hawarden, is just six miles from Chester.

It is Britain’s only Prime Ministerial Library and is unique in being a residential library.

Its growing collection of 200,000 books is built around Gladstone’s original collection of 30,000 books.

Gladstone’s Library also offers overnight accommodation, conference facilities and a very popular Coffee Shop and Restaurant, Food for Thought.