The Big Book Weekend


Coronavirus-hit literary festivals to be kept alive with BBC-backed virtual festival, The Big Book Weekend.


MyVLF is delighted to be hosting The Big Book Weekend. It’s a three-day virtual festival that brings together the best of the cancelled British literary festivals, with a range of events ‘sponsored’ by the relevant festival, featuring the authors and other artists that would have appeared. 

With sessions planned for both adults and children, the event has been co-founded by the authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt, is supported by BBC Arts and will be hosted by  MyVLF.

“Over the past few weeks, as one literary festival after another shut down due to Coronavirus, we recognised the devastation this would cause to organisers, authors, publishers, booksellers and readers alike,” de Waal explains. “So we came up with the idea for an event that would not only help boost the industry in a difficult time, but showcase the brilliance of our national book festivals to a whole new audience.”

As well as keeping book lovers in touch with the artists they love, the event – which will feature big names alongside unknown debut authors and rising talents – is also aimed at readers who may have previously been unable to attend a literary festival due to geography, access or cost. 

“We are deeply committed to ensuring that the Big Book Weekend reflects all of the communities across the UK, and the widest choice of reading tastes,” says Flatt. “We hope that it will become an annual opportunity to offer a carbon-neutral taster of the best British literary festivals have to offer, and put books firmly back on the national cultural agenda by encouraging people and families of all backgrounds to talk more about books, read more books, and in the future – where possible – attend the physical festivals too.”

The festival –  which will host the festival using technology from award-winning startup MyVLF – will consist of video interviews, panels, ‘in conversation’ debates, performances and interactive sessions broadcast ‘as live’ across three days over the first bank holiday weekend in May, 8th-10th. There will be live chat sessions with authors after each session, plus the chance to download free assets and content. There will also be competitions, giveaways, and an associated Book Club.

The BBC is supporting the creation of the festival and will publicise the sessions on radio and TV. 

Cancelled literary festivals in the UK wanting to get involved should email Please note the BBW does not accept direct approaches from publishers, agents or artists 

Readers can join in for FREE. Sign up now for access and to be kept informed of the schedule as it’s announced: