Live: Book launches, festivals and tours postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak

Live: Book launches, festivals and tours postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak

In light of the coronavirus outbreak and the government's new advice regarding social distancing, many publications are being postponed for as far away as the new year.

Following in the footsteps of Transworld, who delayed the publication of Ruth Jones' Us Three relatively early on Friday 13th March, the majority of publishers are now rescheduling major titles until bookshops are back up and running. Where publication is going ahead, authors and publishers are being creative with online book launch events, as in person events and festivals are also cancelled for the foreseeable future. 

Please email Tamsin Hackett with any information about publications, events or festivals being postponed.

Posponed Publications
Cancelled Events and Tours
Cancelled Festivals 

Postponed Publications

Josie Lloyd's The Cancer Ladies Running Club
Published by HarperCollins, the title was orignally scheduled for June 2020, but has been delayed by almost one year until 13th May 2021. 

Mari Hannah's Without a Trace
The title was originally scheduled to come out in June, however the title has been pushed back until January 7th 2021, possibly the longest postponement to date.

Patrick Freyne's OK, Let's Do Your Stupid Idea
The debut from Irish Times journalist Patrick Freyne has been postponed until 17th September. Original publication was scheduled for 14th May. OK, Let's Do Your Stupid Idea is a collection on personal essays which explore family dynamics, models of masculinity, male friendships, losing friends, caring for another human being, music and childlessness.

Frances Cha's If I Had Your Face
Viking has moved the publication date from 23rd April to 23rd July 2020. The book is a debut novel for Korean-American novelist Frances Cha, set in beauty salons, plastic surgery clinics and drinking dens of Seoul. 

Victoria Hislop's Those Who Are Loved paperback
The paperback publication of Victoria Hislop’s sixth novel, Those Who Are Loved (Headline Review), has been postponed from 30th April to 20th August "to avoid jeopardising publication plans during the unprecedented current situation". Read the full story here

Elaine Feeney's As You Were
The debut was originally scheduled to come out in April. Publication is now set for 20th August to coincide with the Irish release date. 

Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke's Loud Black Girls
Edited by the authors of Slay in Your Lane Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke, Loud Black Girls was scheduled for publication on the 14th July. Fourth Estate has pushed the date back until 1st October.

Jean Yves-Ferri's Asterix Vol. 38 "The Chieftain's Daughter"
The title was orignally scheduled to be published by Papercutz on 14th May, but has been pushed back until 14th July. Asterix has be re-translated for a North American audience for the first time, with Vol. 38 to be the stand-alone edition of the newest book.

David Mitchell's Utopia Avenue 
Sceptre have postponed the publication of Utopia Avenue. Originally scheduled for the 2nd June, fans will now have to wait until 14th July 2020. A "global publishing event" for Mitchell's first major novel in six years is still promised. 

Sophy Henn's Pizazz
Originally scheduled for 11th June, S&S have announced that publication of the middle-grade series is now postponed until 6th August. 

Jeff Kinney's Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure 
PRH Children's have postponed publication of Kinney's book until August 4th. Kinney said: "We don't take this decision lightly, as we know it will disappoint many fans. But we've decided changing the release date will give us a better chance to support its launch and have the book reach its readership in the way we had intended." 

Sophie Mackintosh's Blue Ticket 
Mackintosh's Blue Ticket (Hamish Hamilton) will be now be published on Thursday 27th August (originally 7th May). The publisher decided to move the publication because of the significant impact on launch events.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa's A Ghost in the Throat- Tramp Press has decided to postpone publication until August 27th. This date is still subject to change as events unfold. Pre-orders are still possible, and will be honoured at the later date of the 27th August. 

Tramp Press said: "We're very grateful for the patience and support shown to us and to our authors during this difficult time, and very encouraged by the solidarity and ingenuity in the literature sector."

Raynor Winn's The Wild Silence
Raynor Winn's follow up to The Salt Path, titled The Wild Silence (Michael Joseph), will now be published on the 3rd September (originally published 30th April). Winn said on Twitter that she needed to consider her husbands health before continuing with her book tour. Winn assured readers that they were "working hard" to reschedule events. Read the full story here

​Ruth Jones' Us Three
Publication of Ruth Jones' second novel Us Three (Transworld) has been moved from 14th May to 3rd September to avoid jeopardising promotional plans for the book following the coronavirus outbreak. Read the full story here. Transworld was clear that Jones' book tour, originally scheduled for 10th–19th May in collaboration with FANE, has not been cancelled. The tour will be rescheduled to coincide with the new publication date. 

Events and Tours

Fane Cancels All Events- Fane productions postponed all shows that were due to take place in March and April. Ticket holders will be contacted directly and will be offered to transfer their tickets to the new dates or be offered a full refund. For now, events from May are to go ahead as scheduled.

International Publishers Congress- The International Publishers Association and the Norwegian Publisers Assocation have cancelled the 33rd International Publishers Congress, which was originally scheduled for the 28-30 May in Lillehammer Norway.  

Author's Club- The Author's Club have cancelled their Best First Novel Award shortlist lunch, originally scheduled for 26th March. Refunds will be given to all ticket holders. Instead, the shortlist will be drawn up by the judging panel, based on the reader reports submitted by members. 

Future Author Club events will be reassessed as the situation develops. 

English PEN- The charity has decided to postpone or cancel all events until at least April 30th 2020. Ticket holders must contact the venues to arrange a refund. This includes: 
20 March: Displaced memories: recollection and exile at the British Museum
27 March: Vigil for writers at risk at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia
31 March: Rebecca Solnit in conversation at Tyneside Cinema
6 April: Liberating Languages at the Free Word Centre
17 April: No frontiers: celebrating writing in translation at the British Museum

Director Daniel Gorman said: "We'll do everything we can to either reschedule or find digital ways to bring you the brilliant events we had planned, and we’ll be working closely with our friends and partners to keep our work going as best we can during these difficult times."

Jenny Offill's UK Tour- Granta Books had to cancel Jenny Offill's UK tour. The tour was to be Offill's first in the UK. There is no word yet of rescheduling for later in the year. 

PRH UK Cancels all events
Tom Weldon said PRH UK had made "the very difficult decision" to cancel all planned events from Tuesday 17th March- including its annual company showcase, Penguin Presents- and publishers would need to "be imaginative and creative" in the interim.


The Bath Festival- The Bath Festival, which celebrates books and music across the city, will not be taking place, individual events will either be rescheduled for later in the year or cancelled. The team is working to reschedule events across three primary weekends in the autumn, which they are calling 'The Bath Festival Season'. These will be the 11th-13th September, 23rd-25 October and 6-8 of November. 

Information for ticket holders will be available by the end of April.

The Bath Children's Literature Festival Will go ahead, as planned, on 25th September - 4th October. 

Boswell Book Festival- The tenth anniversary of Boswell Book Fetsival has been postponed until 9th-11th October. The festival, which is dedicated to memoir and biography, was orignally scheduled to take place from the 8th-10th of May. 

Caroline Knox, director of the festival said: "We are currently talking to all the authors who had been booked to appear in May in the hope that they can re-schedule until October. We are hopeful that many of them from this programme will joining us in October."

The Brideshead Festival- In the interest of the health and well-being of our participants, visitors, employees and partners the festival has been postponed.

Vicky Howard said: "We will continue to monitor the situation in order to decide when the Festival will be reinstated." At the moment, they are asking customers to refer to their website for further updates. 

Chipping Campden Litfest
The festival was scheduled to run form the 4th-9th May. All ticket holders and Friends and Sponsers of the festival are being offered refunds. According to the festival's artistic director Vicky Bennett "an amazing number are not taking back donations and are leaving all or some of their ticket money in the festival account to cover expenses already incurred." 

Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival- The festival was due to take place from the 22nd-28th June but in light of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been cancelled. This year was the festival's tenth anniversary but it is still due to come back in 2021. 

James Hollad, chair of the festival said: "We cannot thank everyone enough for all their enormous support of the Festival over the past decade and we are truly sorry it cannot take place this summer, our tenth anniversary year. We are, however, looking into alternative ways of continuing our mission to promote the understanding and enjoyment of history to the widest possible audience."

Edinburgh International Book Festival- The Edinburgh International Book Festival, The Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh Art Festival have all been cancelled. The charity aims to hold online events in the summer. 

Festival director Nick Barley said: "This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but it has been reached in unison with Edinburgh’s other August festivals. Whether it’s our authors, audiences, supporters, staff and suppliers, or citizens and visitors to our wonderful city, the health of the people we exist for is of paramount importance." Read the full story here.

Hay Festival- Hay festival has had to cancel this year's events. Refunds for tickets are being made available but, with 70% of the income dervied from tickets and sales, the cancellation comes at a time of "maximum exposure" for the organisation, which has committed to large infrastructure costs, it said. 

Organisers have said that the festival is in "immediate financial jeopardy" and a £150,000 GoFundMe Page has now been set up to help support the event's immediate future. Other ways to support the organisation are available on the festival website. Donors will be recognised as official "Haymakers" and credited on a commemorative board displayed at every festival edition to follow. 

Read the full story here

Update April 2nd: Hay has announced it will be hosting its first ever series of digital events throughout May. The online festival will feature highlights from the now cancelled festival as well as a schools programme. Read the full story here.

Huddersfield Literature Festival- Originally planned to run from the 21st-31st March, the festival has been cancelled. Some pre-Festival events were able to go ahead as scheduled, but due to the coronavirus outbreak the main festival was called off. 

Festival Director Michelle Hodgson said: "The festival team are devestated to be in this position after all our planning, especially as we hoped to be able to support authors, performers, booksellers and suppliers again through our events this year." 

The festival are hoping to reschedule a small number of events in the autumn, but it is not known whether this will actually be possible or for which events. 

Ticket refunds are being issued, but the festival kindly asks customers to be patient whilst they are processing the refunds as it may take a few weeks to work through all of the orders. 

Update: The festival have announced that the Gentleman Jack event with Anne Choma has been rescheduled for 4th October. Ticket holders have been emailed and refunds are still available up until 31st August. 

Oxford Literary Festival- The festival was originally scheduled to run from the 27th March to 5th April. However, the festival has been postponed. This was the festival's 24th year, which would see around 28,000 ticket holders flock to events over the course of the week. 

Festival Director Sally Dunsmore said: "We are deeply committed to the future success of the festival, and a good part of what we had scheduled we plan to carry over until later this year or next year." 

Dunsmore added: "because we could not be covered by insurance for this kind of eventuality and because we are a self-funding charity not making a profit, we would like if at all posisble to treat any ticket sales as a donation. 

However, we will treat ticket sales as a credit for future festival events if requested. Unfortunately, we are unable to refund at this stage. We will be in touch at the end of May to explain how you can make your donation of your ticket or claim your credit." 

Primadona Festival- The Primadona Festival, whcih was founded last year to give "prominence to work by women" and "spotlight authors from the margins", has cancelled its July programme of events. The festival is already asking supporters to save the date for next year when it will run from Friday 30th July to Sunday 1st August 2021. Read the full story here.

Stratford Literary Spring Festival- The literary festival was cancelled and ticket holders will be given a full refund. The festival will return with its Winter Weekend on 20th-22nd November. The winner of the Salariya Picture Book Prize was also due to be announced at the festival, but this will now be done online. 

Words Weekend- Fane has announced the cancellation of Words Weekend at Bury St Edmunds Festival which was due to take place at the Apex on the 15th-17th May.  

Words Weekend artistic director, Beth Gallimore's said: "This is a devastating decision to take, but we are consistent in our belief that the health of authors and audiences must be our top priority."