The speakers and what they find when they stop looking – Laia Jufresa, translated by Annie McDermott

‘Let digression be your guide’ (Orlando Seale) It’s a gross simplification, but you could say that the staff at the festival give and the public receive. The speaker, however, is somewhere in the middle. She appears on stage for an…

THE FUNNY SIDE OF CLIMATE CHANGE – MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE

Climate change is funny. We’ve more than proved that this week at Hay. It’s not very funny but enough to keep people thinking and talking and laughing about it for an hour, anyway. With Steve Punt, Carrie Quinlan and Andre…

vibrant, optimistic and hopeful – Laura Bates

For me, being at Hay is very similar to being part of the feminist movement! It is endlessly exciting, with different ideas and opinions flying; sometimes overwhelming, as you realise just how much there is to take in and learn;…

an amazing experience – suzanne o’sullivan

Most people accept that when they are unwell a positive mental attitude will help them recover. What is less widely known is the frequency with which we can think ourselves ill where no physical disease of any sort exists. To…

a diverse news media is priority – richard sambrook

How should we reinterpret journalism and free speech for the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta? In the UK we seem still to be confused after the phone hacking trial and Leveson report on how to balance the independence and…

MUSIC TO MY EARS – GEORGINA GODWIN

It is alway a joy to come to Hay and this year I am staying for the duration, chairing various events. I’ve been put up in a flat in central Hay, opposite Richard Booth’s Bookshop. My sitting room is on…

HAY IS A MAGICAL PLACE -STEVEN CAMDEN

This is my second time here, and the enjoyment feels the same. A whole bunch of people excited about stories in a place that feels genuinely magical. I’ve met authors whose work I’ve admired from afar and connected with readers…

A REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE – CHRIS LAOUTARIS

In 1596 Shakespeare found himself facing a formidable female opponent. Her name was Elizabeth Russell, a woman who struck terror into the hearts of many of her contemporaries. The playwright and his fellow actors and business partners got more than…

sham trial in the maldives – PHILIPPE SANDS

I have just come from chairing a churning session on the Maldives, with two fabulous, independent, courageous Maldivians: Farah Faizal, former ambassador to UK, and Ahmed Shaheed, former Foreign Minister. The Maldives is in trouble, they tell us, and the…

sparkes fly at hay – ali sparkes

I LOVE being on the Starlight Stage with a Hay audience. And this was a GENIUS audience. I should know – I put them through some brutal quizzing involving, lepidopterists, pi, the word ‘crepuscular’ and Miley Cyrus. And they came…

DRAWING INSPIRATION – EMILY GRAVETT

This is my second visit to Hay Festival, and the sun has shone. Hurrah! (I forgot to pack my wellies.) I’m here to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication of my first book Wolves, but I’ve also fitted in…