SAVE THE DATE! European Writers Festival 18-19 May 2024, British Library



18-19 May 2024

British Library, London

Building on the success of the first European Writers’ Festival in 2023, this year’s festival brings together a new constellation of glittering stars from across Europe. With a launch party on Friday evening 17 May, the festival takes place from May 18-19 2024 at the British Library. Two days of panels and performances will gather together 30 authors from Austria to Ukraine to discuss the literature and ideas defining our countries and Europe today.

Last year’s stunning line-up of writers included International Booker Prize winner Bulgarian Georgi Gospodinov and the President of Romanian PEN Magda Carneçi and proved beyond doubt the pulling power and necessity of a European Writers’ Festival in the UK. This year’s festival features special guest Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov as well as the prize-winning authors Laurent de Sutter (Belgium), Pajtim Statovci (Finland), Igiaba Scego (Italy), Nora Ikstena (Latvia), Afonso Cruz (Portugal), and many more.

30 established and emerging writers will respond to this year’s theme Transformation, because change, and the challenges of the fast and furious changes in society, politics, climate, identity, technology, science, the arts, health, language, humour and human rights, rocks our lives. As we in Europe are again shaken to the core by war and division, the European Writers’ Festival hopes to demonstrate that community, debate, entertainment and storytelling can unite us in creating hope and positive transformation.

Organised by the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) London, in partnership with the European Literature Network and the British Library, and with the support of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom and the European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom, the second European Writers’ Festival is once more curated by former BBC journalist Rosie Goldsmith, director of the European Literature Network and Editor-in-Chief of the Riveter magazines.


The full list of authors, events and ticketing details will be published in March.

For media enquiries please contact: Michael Martins, Overton Advisory

+44 (0)7746 307799



ROSIE GOLDSMITH, artistic director European Writers’ Festival, says:
The European Writers’ Festival is unique in the UK.  It’s a great chance for writers from across the continent to meet and mix with UK translators, publishers, journalists and academics – many of whom support the festival. English PEN, Guardian Europe and University College London’s European Institute are among our high-profile partners. No other UK festival hosts so many writers from so many countries of Europe and with the enthusiasm and specialist support of so many Europhile organisations and partners. This is a unique opportunity to hear some of the best European prose and poetry in English translation, to share ideas and to ensure that the active cultural networks and exchanges between Britain and Europe continue to thrive as we forge new paths and tackle the challenges of our times.

BEE ROWLATT, cultural events producer at the British Library, says:
The British Library is delighted to announce the return of its ambitious European Writers Festival. The festival brings together top-ranking writers from all over the continent to share ideas, inspiration and community. Alongside a weekend packed with panels and performances, there will be a keynote event featuring the internationally renowned Ukrainian novelist and commentator Andrey Kurkov. Last year’s first European Writers’ Festival was big, this year it’s even bigger!

RENATA CLARK, EUNIC London; Programme Director Czech Centre London, says:

We at EUNIC are thrilled to present the 2nd European Writers‘ Festival, which promises to be an electrifying weekend of readings and conversations with internationally acclaimed writers alongside dazzling new literary voices from a total of 30 European countries. Thanks to our enduring partnership with the British Library and with Rosie Goldsmith, the original European Literature Night to champion European writers launched in 2009, has evolved into a grand showcase for major literary works that transcend European borders and resonate globally.


About the British Library

We are the national library of the UK and we are here for everyone.  Our shelves hold over 170 million items – a living collection that gets bigger every day. Although our roots extend back centuries, we aim to collect everything published in the UK today, tomorrow and far into the future. Our trusted experts care for this collection and open it up for everyone to spark new discoveries, ideas and to help people do incredible things.

We have millions of books, and much more besides. Our London and Yorkshire sites hold collections ranging from newspapers and maps to sound recordings, patents, academic journals, as well as a copy of every UK domain website and blog. Our public spaces provide a place to research, to meet friends, to start up a new business or simply to get inspired by visiting our galleries and events. We work with partners and libraries across the UK and the world to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to use and explore our collections, events and expertise. And we’re always open online, along with more and more of our digitised collection.

About the European Literature Network

The European Literature Network was created with the mission of championing great writing from Europe in the UK – and doing it together. Open to writers, translators, publishers, agents, booksellers, festival directors, arts managers and journalists, ELNet is a free, collaborative hub for sharing news and views. Founded in 2010 by former BBC journalist Rosie (‘The Riveter’) Goldsmith, ELNet spreads the word about European literature and translation on its website and through the Riveter magazines, Riveting Interview podcasts, #RivetingReviews, workshops, events and festivals. ELNet operates without funding or grants (unfortunately) and is therefore dependent on the passion, professionalism and dedication of the core ELNet team and on an extensive network of volunteers, supporters, partners and donors. ELNet is both an online and physical gathering place for sharing content and discussion, with the goal of encouraging the promotion, professionalism and popularity of European literature in the UK.

About EUNIC London

EUNIC London (European Union National Institutes for Culture) is the network of the cultural institutes and embassies from the member states of the European Union in London. A branch of EUNIC Global, the London network was established in 2007 and has at present 37 members who share knowledge and resources in order to promote greater cooperation and develop partnerships between European nations and UK organisations. EUNIC London is a proud initiator, organiser and supporter of creative projects highlighting Europe’s fantastic diversity in arts, culture and language. EUNIC London is grateful for the support of the Delegation of the European Union to the UK, the European Parliament Liaison Office to the UK and our UK partners.