International Writers' Blog

Dispatches from Hay Festival events from the world’s best writers and performers

Mental Health is Health

Mental Health is Health
The author of Reasons to Stay Alive and Notes on a Nervous Planet, as well as many adult and children's novels, shares his thoughts on how we can all improve our mental health.

Recognising your voice when writing

Recognising your voice when writing
Pat Barker teases out the complex subject of finding your voice, trusting your instinct and the pertinence of historical fiction today. 

creative writing is in danger

creative writing is in danger
Prue Leith has many strings to her bow as a food and fiction writer alongside Judging 'The Great British Bake Off' on Channel 4. Here she discusses how she splits her time between her two genres of writing.

Writers at Work

Writers at Work
Writers at Work is a long-term professional development strategy which seeks to nurture and fine-tune the voices of the next generation of Welsh writers. It gives the writers a chance to engage in the festival, learn about the publishing industry and work on their writing through a host of masterclass workshops. Wendy White reflects on her time and everything she gained from the experience. 

From Audience Member to Award-Winning Author

From Audience Member to Award-Winning Author
Sara Barnard, winner of this year's YA Book Prize for her novel Goodbye, Perfect, shares her experiences planning the book at Hay in 2016 and now attending as an award-winning author.

Gwerth y deg diwrnod rhyfeddol

Gwerth y deg diwrnod rhyfeddol
Mae'r awdur Meg Elis yn myfyrio ar ei chyfnod yng Nghwyl y Gelli'r flwyddyn hon. 

The Beacons Project: Creative responses

The Beacons Project: Creative responses
After immersing themselves in all things literary, our Beacons Project students share their creative responses to Hay Festival 2019.

Surviving Survival

Surviving Survival
Bart van Es, author of the 2018 Costa Award winner The Cut-out Girl, discusses the personal connection he creates with his readers.

Writers at Work: Mari Ellis Dunning

Writers at Work: Mari Ellis Dunning
Mari Ellis Dunning is one of Hay Festival's 'Writers at Work'. The fully programmed week allows selected writers to engage in the main Festival events, to attend masterclasses and workshops with British and foreign publishers, agents and, crucially, with established international artists.  

Read a thousand books and then write

Read a thousand books and then write

John Boyne discusses the merits of a Masters in Creative Writing and his favourite book, among other things.

Being a writer is not enough

Being a writer is not enough
Jonathan Coe is the author of the longest sentence in English literature (way ahead of James Joyce). His latest novel, Middle England, is an exploration of how Brexit engulfed Britain.  

Writers at work: Georgia Carys Williams

Writers at work: Georgia Carys Williams

Georgia Carys Williams is one of Hay Festival's 'Writers at Work'. The fully programmed week allows selected writers to engage in the main Festival events, to attend masterclasses and workshops with British and foreign publishers, agents and, crucially, with established international artists.

8 Questions... Atinuke

8 Questions... Atinuke
Children's author and storyteller Atinuke shares her thoughts on Hay and the books which have most impacted upon her writing.

10 Questions... David Barrie

10 Questions... David Barrie
Polymath David Barrie puzzles over the most impressive animal navigator he's come across in our 10 questions about his appearance at Hay festival to discuss his newest book, Incredible Journeys.

10 Questions… Elizabeth Goldring

10 Questions… Elizabeth Goldring

The Renaissance historian Dr. Elizabeth Goldring talks about her latest illustrated biography Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist and shares some of her favourite books.

Don't underestimate the power of a book

Don't underestimate the power of a book
Founder of the NGO Making Herstory, Onjali Q Raúf talks about the reaction to her debut children's book, The Boy at the Back of the Class, which looks at the refugee crisis from a child's perspective.

The golden age of Irish Literature

The golden age of Irish Literature
Political commentator, author and journalist Fintan O’Toole discusses the illusive binary between current affairs and poetry and the current literary climate in Ireland.  

I’m the supply teacher at Hogwarts

I’m the supply teacher at Hogwarts
Illustrator of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Chris Riddell, sheds light on his thoughts approaching a project in the Harry Potter universe.

Small women with important things to say

Small women with important things to say
Writer, broadcaster and Hay Festival veteran Sandi Toksvig told us why she thinks the festival is a cornerstone of the literary community.

Verdant valleys and Van Morrison

Verdant valleys and Van Morrison
Writer and podcaster Dolly Alderton took a break from browsing Rightmove for houses in Hay to talk about the importance of daydreaming and her childhood ambitions to be a writer.