THE 32nd annual spring Hay Festival literary event gets under way at Hay-on-Wye next Thursday, May 23, with more than 600 writers and thinkers featured, plus music, comedy and children’s events, through to June 2.

Latest announcements include the line-up of Welsh writers taking part in the 2019 Writers at Work creative development programme which will include new writers and poet Rhiannon Hooson from Presteigne and poet and children’s writer Mari Ellis Dunning from Aberystwyth.

They join a selection that blends emerging and established Welsh writers from all over Wales, including the Wales Arts Review’s Young People’s Book of the Year-winner Eloise Williams from Saundersfoot.

Writers at Work is a long-term professional development strategy to nurture Welsh talent writing in both languages.

The fully programmed week allows the selected writers to engage in the main festival events, to attend masterclasses and workshops with publishers, agents and, crucially, with established international artists.

More than 270,000 tickets were sold to last year’s event transforming the celebrated little book town of Hay-on-Wye into the biggest town in Powys for 11 days.

It spans award-winning fiction, non-fiction and poetry; science and tech; UK politics, global affairs, sustainability in Green Hay; a rich strand for children and families in HAYDAYS; a free programme for schools; and a vibrant line-up of music, comedy and performance.

Appearances will include Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey, Sara Pascoe, The Waterboys, The Gipsy Kings, Jo Brand, Jacqueline Wilson, Welsh Minister Eluned Morgan, Eve Myles, Germaine Greer, Joanna Lumley, Fintan O’Toole, Mary Robinson, Robert Macfarlane, Noel Fitzpatrick, Moby, Monty Don, Greg James and DJ Target.

Award winning writers gather to launch new work, while global policy makers, pioneers and innovators seek solutions to the biggest issues of our time, from the rise of populism to the climate crisis.

Major global anniversaries are marked through the week, including Da Vinci 500, Rembrandt 350, Kindertransport 80 years on, Stonewall 50, and Tiananmen Square 30 years on, plus a range of milestones in the children’s book world: 'Elmer' and 'We’re Going on a Bear Hunt' at 30, 'The Gruffalo' at 20, and 20 years of the Children’s Laureate.

The 2019 Hay Festival Medals will be awarded and literary award winners will be celebrated including winners of the Man Booker Prize and the New Welsh Writers Awards.

Free to enter, the festival village is composed of 10 tented venues, the Festival Bookshop, HAYDAYS courtyard, Wild Garden, Make and Take Tent, the Scribblers Hut, the Cube, the Mess Tent, and market stalls, cafes, exhibitions and restaurants.

To explore the full line-up for yourself online go to