Barnsley Book Festival 2024: A celebration of stories, diversity, and creativity

Barnsley Libraries is gearing up preparations for the Barnsley Book Festival, which is only two weeks away. The festival is set to take place in various locations across the borough from Friday 2 February until Saturday 23 March 2024.

The fully packed programme will feature local and national authors, storytellers, artists, and speakers, celebrating the power of literature and our shared love for reading.

One of the highlights of the opening weekend is the family activity day at Library @ the Lightbox on Saturday 3 February, including a performance from the fabulous Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Mama G, who shares stories and songs about being who you want and loving who you are. On the same day, Barnsley Civic will host its first-ever Zine Fair, featuring over 20 local and national zine makers, writers, and illustrators.

The festival also offers a range of free activities for children and young people during the February half-term, including land art with James Brunt at Hoyland Library, creating story dioramas with Amazelab at Roundhouse and Cudworth Libraries, captivating storytelling with Richard O’Neill at Goldthorpe Library, puppet-making and song creating workshop with McShane and Shaw at the Barnsley Civic, and Poetic Adventures with Dommy B at Library @ the Lightbox, a workshop that combines poetry, storytelling and tae kwon-do.

To celebrate the LGBTQ+ History Month, the festival has several events showcasing diversity and creativity. These include Reading with Pride, a panel event featuring authors behind LGBTQIA+ books, A Reyt Queer Do in Darfield with poet Tom Juniper, and a launch of Andrew McMillan’s debut novel ‘Pity’.

Councillor Wendy Cain, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Barnsley Book Festival to our residents and visitors with an ambitious and diverse programme.

“The festival has something for everyone, whether you’re a book lover, story maker, or just curious about the world of stories, and we hope that the festival will inspire, challenge and entertain the audiences.”

The majority of events are free, but to help manage audience numbers, booking is required, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment on our website

You can also take a look at the full Barnsley Book Festival 2024 programme here.

Barnsley Book Festival is supported using public funding by Arts Council England as part of Barnsley Libraries’ National Portfolio Organisation activity.

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