Hay Festival announces free autumn schools programme

Hay Festival announces free autumn schools programme

Hay Festival has unveiled its free autumn programme for schools including a dedicated Winter Weekend, in-person Beacons Project and Welsh Scribblers Tour events.  

Welsh-language Scribblers Tour events will take place in-person on 3rd November at Bangor University and on 4th November at Aberystwyth University, “bringing creative inspiration direct to transition-year pupils in years six and seven,” according to organisers. The event will include Welsh poets Gruffudd Owen and Rufus Mufasa, among others.

A free in-person programme for schools will then take place from 24th–25th November at Hay Festival Winter Weekend in Hay-on-Wye across six events, featuring illustrator Rob Biddulph and rap-poet Karl Nova, among others. Sessions will also be broadcast online for pupils unable to travel to the town, adding to its free digital archive.  

The Beacons Project, a free workshop residency for 16 to 18-year-olds interested in writing, will run through Hay Festival Winter Weekend from 24th to 28th November, offering young writers a tailored weekend of guidance and advice featuring festival guests from across the main programme. 

Over the past 18 months, Hay Festival’s education events have taken place digitally, reaching 100,000 pupils in more than 1,000 schools across the UK and beyond, part-funded by the Welsh Government and Hay Festival Foundation.  

Aine Venables, Hay Festival education manager, said: “We’re back for our first in-person events for schools since 2019 and we’re energised to welcome pupils and teachers again to our events. In a year of enormous challenges for young people and educators all around the UK, we’ve been pleased to connect with thousands digitally and can’t wait to re-connect with that same spark of inspiration in live events.” 

Schools can explore the programmes in depth and register now for free online, while pupils can also apply to take part in the Beacons Project.