Cheltenham Literature Festival reveals more than 200 free events for 2021

Cheltenham’s Lit Crawl returns for 2021, along with an exciting programme of 200 free events including an immersive new venue, VOICEBOX, this October 2021.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
A huge array of free events will be coming to Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021, with brand-new venue VOICEBOX and the return of the Lit Crawl too.
A huge array of free events will be coming to Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021, with brand-new venue VOICEBOX and the return of the Lit Crawl too.

Cheltenham Literature Festival has announced its programme of free events for 2021 – with a brand-new venue called VOICEBOX coming to Montpellier Gardens, as well as the return of the legendary Lit Crawl.

There are over 200 free events taking place from Friday 8 to Sunday 17 October 2021, with the new VOICEBOX venue giving a platform to younger people to raise awareness of issues they care about, from climate change to creativity.

Highlights from VOICEBOX include workshops with illustrators Natalie Byrne and Kazvare Made It; poetry performances from Nikita Gill, Sophia Thakur, Raymond Antrobus and Monika Radojevic alongside local artists Rizpah Amadasun, Jussara Nazare and JDPL; an appearance from TV star Dr Alex George to talk about mental health; and a live episode of Cheltenham student podcast, Spill The Tea.

Programme manager, Emma Whittle, said: ‘VOICEBOX is home to unmissable experiences and one-off moments, and we can’t wait to share this brand-new immersive programme with the public.

‘VOICEBOX is a fun and vibrant space for conversation, celebration and debate: a place to soak up the atmosphere, explore today’s hottest topics, discover the freshest new voices and to get your views heard when it comes to the issues that matter.’

The Cheltenham Lit Crawl, in association with Cheltenham BID, returns on Saturday 9 October 2021 for an evening of quirky, literary-themed entertainment at venues across the town.

Lit Crawl highlights include Dr Sandy’s Gallery of Stories – an immersive, original theatre production from Cheltenham-based Moth Sanctuary Productions at The Old Courthouse; a Literary Ghost Tour at Sandford Park Ale House; The Memsahib Experience at Memsahib Gin and Tea with the Cheltenham Promenaders; Open Mic Night with JDPL at Boston Tea Party; and The Cat and The City, discussing author Nick Bradley’s love letter to Japan and BBC Radio 2 book club pick, at Waterstones on the Prom.

The Huddle will play host to writers from around the world, showcasing the very best in international and translated writing; as well as announcing the 2021 shortlist for the prestigious The Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction. ‘Cheltenham Writes’ also returns to showcase local writing talent at the drop-in Costa Space.

There are plenty of free family events too, with highlights including Winnie the Witch sharing her exciting adventures at the new drop-in Costa Space; Story Shack to discover traditional tales from different cultures; arts and crafts activities including flag making at The Den; and We’re Going on a Book Hunt family trail, starting at Waterstones on the Prom.

For more information, and a full list of free events taking place at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2021, visit

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