Bradford Literature Festival was formed in 2014 by Directors Syima Aslam and Irna Qureshi, who combined their passion for books and film to create a cultural and literary extravaganza celebrating the written and spoken word. The festival founders are passionate about the importance of language and literacy and the role it plays in enabling children and young people from all backgrounds to realise their potential.

Since its debut the festival has grown rapidly; in 2016 over 200 events took place across 10 days, capturing the hearts and imaginations of more than 30,000 people. The festival’s schools initiative, which runs alongside the general programme, held free events at schools throughout the Bradford District, engaging with and inspiring more than 7,000 young people.

Bradford has long been a hub for literature, diversity and culture. The richness of its communities, drawn from so many different countries, is a key inspiration behind the festival; igniting events that bring guests from around the world to Bradford and providing an opportunity to showcase the heritage and landscape of Bradford to the world.


Bradford Literature Festival offers a programme of events like no other, creating exceptional discussions and debates and inviting audiences to engage directly with world renowned authors and speakers to share thoughts and opinions in an open and neutral space. The aim of the festival has always been to explore the intimate relationship between words and other art forms such as film, theatre and music, drawing on the distinct historical and cultural offerings of Bradford to create a unique space in which to encourage a wider conversation.

Festival Hub

The hub of the festival can be found in Bradford’s beautiful, award winning City Park, featuring the spectacular Mirror Pool – the largest urban water feature in the UK. Every year City Park is transformed by the buzz of literary activity, with live performances, film screenings and fun, free events for all the family.

We can’t wait to welcome you!