‘Hay is a wonderful physical manifestation of hope for the future’ – Laura Bates

‘Hay is a wonderful physical manifestation of hope for the future’ – Laura Bates

In her new book, Shrill, Lindy West argues that it is only by communicating, and, specifically, by standing up and shouting about the things we feel passionately about, that we can create tangible cultural change. Sure, it would be a…

‘I’m Not Psychic But…’ – Louise Walsh

‘I’m Not Psychic But…’ – Louise Walsh

Greetings again from Hay! Writers at Work had another interesting morning beginning with a press and PR session, which could otherwise be entitled ‘Selling’. Rather gloomily for us, Welsh writing is apparently a tough sell. We were told to play…

‘Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and the more of us who talk about it, the better!’ – Bryony Gordon

‘Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and the more of us who talk about it, the better!’ – Bryony Gordon

I’m sitting here in the green room, staring at Gordon Brown and Julian Clary and Sian Williams, pinching myself that I have been invited to the Hay festival to talk to people about OCD, an illness that is finally being taken seriously after…

‘I’m with the band’ – Zillah Bowes

‘I’m with the band’ – Zillah Bowes

On the day I arrived at Hereford, excited to be on my way to Hay Festival, I shared a lift with a small group of people I decided were definitely a band. They were loading their stuff into the boot…

‘Thank you, Hay Festival.’ – Rhys Milsom

‘Thank you, Hay Festival.’ – Rhys Milsom

Names such as Salman Rushdie, Irvine Welsh, Marlon James, Thomas Keneally, David Crystal and many more arrive to talk about their craft to the masses at Hay Festival. They relax in the calming and serene place that is the Green Room…

Water Divining at Hay – Alys Conran

Water Divining at Hay – Alys Conran

Before the Writers at Work programme starts this morning, I’m treading water at the festival. I sit in one of the pastel deckchairs surrounded by early morning quiet. In his event ‘How to Read Water’, Tristan Gooley talked us through…

‘One of the things I’ve loved most about Hay this year is the reminder that, however bleak or uncertain things may look in the world outside, there are still enough of us who believe that change is possible.’ – SJ Parris

‘One of the things I’ve loved most about Hay this year is the reminder that, however bleak or uncertain things may look in the world outside, there are still enough of us who believe that change is possible.’ – SJ Parris

I first came to Hay with my first novel back in 2002 just after my son was born, and I had such a great time I insisted on being allowed back to chair some events the following year, and I’ve…

‘It’s always a privilege to be asked to speak at Hay, and to be a part of this amazing literary scene.’ – Alison Weir

‘It’s always a privilege to be asked to speak at Hay, and to be a part of this amazing literary scene.’ – Alison Weir

I think the thing I enjoy most about the Hay Festival is people coming together to enjoy and share all aspects of culture. It’s an enlightened and relaxed atmosphere in which ideas and creativity can flourish. It’s always a privilege…

‘If we want children – or anyone for that matter – to get into literature we mustn’t forget fun.’ – Martin Brown

‘If we want children – or anyone for that matter – to get into literature we mustn’t forget fun.’ – Martin Brown

The sun is shining. People are taking their coats off left right and centre. I’ve never been to a Hay so warm and bright. And along with the blue skies come the warm smiles. Everywhere you look. It is a…

‘For the moment, Hay seems to be the only place in the British Isles where the sun’s still shining.’ – Joanne Harris

‘For the moment, Hay seems to be the only place in the British Isles where the sun’s still shining.’ – Joanne Harris

Like Brigadoon, Hay pops up as if by magic every year; a moving city of walkways, tents, deck-chairs, children’s play-sets, scented gardens, cafés and shops. Mine was a flying visit this year; today I spoke about my new book, Different Class, to…

‘The air is super thick down here, it feels like soup!’ – Matt Dickinson

‘The air is super thick down here, it feels like soup!’ – Matt Dickinson

The lights dim. The excited babble of conversation dies away. A thousand schoolchildren have somehow made their way into the Tata tent and are about to be transported to Everest! I love talking at Hay. It’s such a great festival…

‘This is my seventh Hay Festival, I think, and at this point it feels like a week-long, brilliant family wedding.’ – Carrie Quinlan

‘This is my seventh Hay Festival, I think, and at this point it feels like a week-long, brilliant family wedding.’ – Carrie Quinlan

This is my seventh Hay Festival, I think, and at this point it feels like a week-long, brilliant family wedding. I’m really lucky that I get to do variety of different kinds of things while I’m here. I’ve just come…