Gladfest returns to Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden this weekend (September 1-3), bringing together award-winning, internationally-renowned and breakthrough writers for a wonderfully eclectic weekend in the surroundings of  a beautiful Grade I listed building.

Names for this year’s festival include TV historian Diarmaid MacCulloch (All Things Made New: The Reformation), multi award-winning author Sarah Perry (The Essex Serpent), broadcaster Sally Magnusson (Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything), writer and editor Lauren Elkin (Flâneuse), journalist and biographer Kathryn Hughes (Victorians Undone), Gladfestfriend Francesca Haig (The Forever Ship) and BBC Official Historian Jean Seaton (Pinkoes and Traitors).

This year the festival is also bringing some of the country’s brightest breakthrough talents to Hawarden including Dan Richards (Climbing Days), Natasha Pulley (The Bedlam Stacks), Joanna Cannon(The Trouble with Goats and Sheep) and Tara Guha (Untouchable Things), and there'll be an exclusive rehearsed reading of their new adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya from Theatr Clwyd.

The event’s popular free-entry Market Place will return, filled with local designers and contemporary crafts, plus  the festival bookstall, bursting at the seams with reads from festival speakers (with the opportunity to get them signed). The library’s restaraunt Food for Thought is open throughout with delicious homemade hot and cold food to keep you going.

A programme of free book-themed arts and craft activities for all the family is also scheduled, curated by InterAct Imaginatons, with kids going free.

Gladfest has been steadily raising its profile since its inception in 2013. Over the years it’s brought some big names to Hawarden including Robert McCrum and Salley Vickers (2014), Jessie Burton and Sarah Dunant (2015), and Val McDermid and Loyd Grossman (2016). The festival prides itself in bringing together award-winning, internationally-renowned and breakthrough writers.

This year, the festival is working to pay it forward. As it’s grown, writers have loved the Library so much that they’ve been happy to accept bed, board and travel as payment. But the festival strongly believes that writers should be paid for their work. So, in line with the Society of Authors’ advice, this year all festival speakers have the option of a stipend as well as a writing break at the residential library.

Festival Director Louisa Yates said: “We believe that authors, just like everybody else, should be paid fairly for their work. For the first four years of the festival, performers were paid with a writing break and all expenses. In 2017, our fifth year, we’ve added a second option; a stipend so that if they can’t return, they don’t lose out.”

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Weekend Tickets are priced at £55, Day Tickets at £30 and Workshop Tickets at £40. Individual event tickets are priced from £7.

To book, please visit, call Reception on 01244 532350 or email