What's on?


Friday 22nd September


8.30aM – Venue TBA

Boom, Bust and Brexit: The Welsh Economy Debate 2017

Leading Welsh business figures reflect on 2017 and look forward to what we can expect to see in the year ahead as businesses navigate the opportunities and challenges of leaving the European Union. Chaired by BBC’s Brian Meechan.
Sponsored by Quantum Advisory

Free tickets

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11am – Venue TBA

Improve your Writing: Novel Writing Workshop with Kate Hamer

£10 full price, £5 concessions


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6.00 pm – The Castle Arms, The Angel Hotel

Pitch in the Pub with Cathryn Summerhayes, Curtis Brown

Aspiring writer looking for an agent to catapult you and your story to mega-stardom? Then you’re in the right place.  The pub.  And this time, not just to moan to your mates about rejection letters, but a pub where you can pitch a real-life literary agent.  She’s Cathryn Summerhayes (@taffyagent on Twitter) from Curtis Brown and if you’ve got a story to tell, you need to be there.  You’ll have the opportunity to pre-pitch your idea through Twitter in the weeks running up to the event.  Look out for details from @cardiffbookfest.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

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6pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

John Gordon Sinclair

The award-winning actor who shot to stardom in one of Britain’s best loved and most acclaimed films, Gregory’s Girl. He traded in his screen success to turn his talents to crime writing in the tartan noir tradition. His new novel, Walk in Silence, is a taut, dark page-turner that sees lawyer, Keira Lynch, enter the brutal world of the Albanian mafia in her search for a kidnapped child. Saving him holds the key to bringing to justice a man who once put three bullets in her chest. John’s first two novels Seventy Times Seven and Blood Whispers were published to widespread acclaim.

£7 full price, £5 concessions

7pm – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

New Poetic Voices Showcase

“To be born Welsh is to be born privileged; not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but music in your blood and poetry in your soul.” There’s a whole raft of exciting new poetic voices breathing fire into Brian Harris’ famous words. This showcase gives a platform to some of Wales’ most exciting new poets: Rhiannon Hooson, Rhian Edwards, Emily Blewitt, Sophie McKeand, Susie Wild, Natalie Ann Holbrow and Rhys Milsom.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

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8.30pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Dylan Jones on David Bowie: A Life in conversation with Mike Williams sponsored by Capital Law

Dylan Jones is the award-winning editor of GQ magazine, a position he has held since 1999, winning the British Society of Magazine Editors “Editor of the Year” award a record ten times.  A former editor at i-D, The Face, Arena, the Observer and the Sunday Times, he is the author of New York Times best sellers on musical heroes including Jim Morrison and Elvis.  His new book David Bowie- A Life is an engrossing, magisterial biography unlike any Bowie story ever written.  It’s an epic, unforgettable cocktail-party conversation about a man whose enigmatic shapeshifting and irrepressible creativity produced one of the most sprawling, fascinating lives of our time.  Drawn from over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie, this oral history weaves a hypnotic spell as it unfolds the story of a remarkable rise to stardom and an unparalleled artistic path. By turns insightful and deliciously gossipy, David Bowie- A Life is as intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn. It sparks with illuminating, never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, drawn from a series of Jones’s interviews with him across two decades.  Dylan will be interviewed by Mike Williams, the editor-in-chief of NME, himself a winner of the British Society of Magazine Editors “Editor of the Year” award.

£7 full price, £5 concessions

9.30pm- late – The Castle Arms, The Angel Hotel

It’s Lit Disco

No, we don’t just mean the fire emoji/urban dictionary/youth slang for ‘hmm, that seems like an exciting social occasion’.  We mean DJs playing tunes inspired by literature. See what we did there?  Expect Wuthering Heights. Gravity’s Rainbow. Handsome Devil. Paperback Writer.  Sympathy for the Devil. Remember what they say: Dance drunk. Edit sober.

Saturday 23rd September

10AM – Venue TBC

Improve your Writing: Novel Writing Workshop with Laura Powell- Novel Writing

£10 full price, £5 concessions


10.45aM – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Remembering Rhodri Morgan

As the First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan steadied the ship of devolution following the early disruption of early years of the new Welsh democratic settlement. His memoir is released in September to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the vote that created the National Assembly for Wales by the slimmest of margins. Tragically, after dying suddenly this year, Rhodri didn’t live to see the publication of his book which gives the insider’s view of that dramatic period. Our panel discusses Rhodri’s contribution to Welsh politics and his legacy.



11am – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

Gaslight with Eloise Williams

‘Have you seen her?’- that’s the big question of Eloise Williams’ Gaslight, a gothic mystery for children and young adults set in Cardiff with thrilling action, mystery and an irresistible heroine.  A professional actor as well as an author, Eloise will have you hooked on Nansi’s tale, her search for her mother and her attempts to protect her best friend.  

£5 full price, £3 concessions

11am-4pm – Cardiff Central Library

Green Man Festival: The Library of Imagined Genes 

How might Lady Macbeth’s torment or Cinderella’s sunny disposition be influenced by their DNA? The Library of Imagined Genes is a biobank containing genetic samples of fictional characters. Browse amongst the books and samples to discover how our stories are shaped not just by actions and choices but also by our genes.

Produced by Einstein’s Garden in collaboration with Cardiff University and Angel Exit Theatre.

Free drop-in event- no ticket needed

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12.00pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Happily Ever After?

In these troubling times, who can blame readers for escaping in a heartwarming rom com read? Take a look at the shelves in any supermarket and you’ll see a wide range of takes on human-meets-human-and-falls-head-over-heels, from sweet and saccharine to more grounded in reality relationship studies. Cardiff-based Laura Kemp writes ‘unashamed love letters to the everywoman’ and her fifth book- A Year of Surprising Kindness- is published by Orion in February 2018.  Laura’s joined by Jo Carnegie.  Jo’s published seven women’s fiction novels with Penguin Random House and two young adult novels for Harper Collins. She is ex-deputy editor of heat magazine and has twenty years experience working in the women’s magazine market writing for a variety of titles, including ELLE, Grazia, In the Moment and The Telegraph.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

1pm – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

Scientists of Wales/Gwyddonwyr Cymru

The University of Wales’ series of books Scientists of Wales/Gwyddonwyr Cymru charts the lives, times and works of Welsh scientists, and of people active in science in Wales.  This event will see lively discussion in Welsh and English about Wales’ place on science’s world map, taking in the stories of William Robert Grove, a pioneering researcher who anticipated the general theory of the conservation of energy, and was a pioneer of fuel cell technology and Evan James Williams, whose work included attempting to prove the existence of Hidiki Yukawa's hypothetical pi mesonparticle, and working on the MDS (magnetic detection of submarines) system to tackle the U-boat menace of World War II.

 £5 full price, £3 concessions

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1.15pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Alys Conran and Rebecca F. John- The Debuts

For avid readers, there’s little more exciting than discovering a new novelist publishing their debut. We’ve brought together two exciting writers who’ve made the move from short stories to novels. Swansea-based writer, Rebecca John's book, The Haunting of Henry Twist, is an atmospheric debut set in 1920s London about a young widower suddenly plunged into single fatherhood while in the depths of grieving for his wife. It’s a beautifully written novel that contrasts the traumas of the post-WW1 generation with the decadence of London’s Bright Young Things and, in the year of the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, it’s also a clandestine love story. Alys Conran’s Pigeon, the first novel to be published simultaneously in English and Welsh, was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Authors’ Club First Novel Award. It’s a tragic, intense and stunning story laced with rich humour. Set in rural Wales, a childhood friendship is torn apart and innocence lost in a novel described as “exquisite” and “pitch-perfect”.  Chaired by Cathryn Summerhayes of Curtis Brown.

£5 full price, £3 concessions


2.30 pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

35 years of Fighting Fantasy with Ian Livingstone

Ian co-founded iconic games company Games Workshop with Steve Jackson in 1975, launching Dungeons & Dragons in Europe. In 1982, he co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook in the series which has sold almost 20 million copies worldwide. His best-selling titles include City of Thieves, Forest of Doom and Deathtrap Dungeon, and his new book, The Port of Peril, marks the 35th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy. When serving as Executive Chairman at Eidos, he launched global video games blockbusters including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Ian has a passionate belief in the power of play as a contextual hub for learning, and he is a leading advocate for the importance of having Computing on the National Curriculum.  His book Hacking the Curriculum is an essential guide for teachers to promote creativity, computational thinking and problem solving in the classroom – meta skills for the digital age. He was awarded a BAFTA Special Award in 2002 and a CBE in 2013.  Ian will share a reflection on his career before a Q & A session chaired by BBC Radio 1’s Steffan Powell.

 £7 full price, £5 concessions

3pm – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

Lost Lines of Wales with Tom Ferris

Take a nostalgic steam-powered journey back in time with Tom Ferris, author of eight illustrated books looking at the ‘lost lines’ of Wales:  Aberystwyth to Carmarthen; Brecon to Newport; Cambrian  Coast; Ruabon to Barmouth; Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth; Vale of Neath and Chester to Holyhead.  Join Tom as he explores the history, heritage and social background of the railway and its passengers brought to life using archive photography, some of which has never long-closed line between Ruabon and Barmouth some of which has never been seen before.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

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4pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Kate Hamer

Cardiff’s own Kate Hamer took the publishing world by storm in 2015 as her haunting debut, The Girl in the Red Dress, became a Sunday Times bestseller and went on to be translated into 16 languages. Carmel’s story as she’s torn away from her family and the grief of the separation suffered by her and her mother, Beth, stays with the reader long after the book is finished. Expectations were high for her second novel and Kate didn’t disappoint. The Doll Funeral firmly establishes her as one of the most original voices in contemporary British fiction. Crossing two decades it skillfully weaves together the stories of Ruby and her mother Anna. “Her fascination with the thresholds between childhood and adulthood, sanity and insanity, chosen and blood families, and her subtle understanding of the clean, often disturbing logic of childhood morality, evoke both Jeanette Winterson and Ian McEwan”- The Guardian.  Chaired by Laura Powell, commissioning editor at The Daily Telegraph and author of The Unforgotten.

£7 full price, £5 concessions

5pm -  Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

Why Wales Never Was/Pam Na Fu Cymru with Simon Brooks

Written as an act of protest in a Welsh-speaking community in north-west Wales, in this bilingual event, Simon Brooks discusses his book Why Wales Never Was which combines a devastating analysis of the historical failure of Welsh nationalism with an apocalyptic vision of a non-Welsh future. Originally a comment on Welsh acquiescence to Britishness at the time of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the book's emphasis on the importance of European culture is a parable for Brexit times. Both deeply rooted in Welsh culture and European in scope, Why Wales Never Was brings together history, philosophy and politics in a way never tried before in Wales. First published in Welsh in 2015, the English translation followed this year.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

5.30pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Marcel Theroux

The award-winning novelist and broadcaster's latest novel, The Secret Books, is an epic adventure through a world of spies, propaganda and revolution in search of answers to a question that people will kill and be killed for: what happened during the lost years of Jesus Christ? In this mesmerising tale, a manuscript holds the key to what could unravel centuries of belief. Based on real events, the gripping thriller journeys through 19th Century Paris, the Roman Empire and the high plateau of India. The son of novelist, Paul Theroux, and the brother of Louis, Marcel’s fifth novel, confirms his place as a profound and talented writer from a remarkably accomplished family.

£7 full price, £5 concessions

7.00pm – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Laughter: The Best Medicine? with Adam Kay and Dr Dean Burnett

Before his sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show, comedy writing credits (Mitchell & Webb, Crims, Mrs Brown’s Boys) and regular appearances on Radio 4’s The Now Show,  Adam Kay was a junior doctor.  He kept a diary throughout his training, and his new book This Is Going To Hurt is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.  Ever wondered why your brain is sabotaging your life? Dr Dean Burnett might just have the answer. He’s a doctor of neuroscience at Cardiff University, but moonlights as a comedy writer and stand-up comedian.  Whoopi Goldberg’s production company has bought the rights to his book The Idiot Brian, which celebrates the imperfections of the human brain in all their glory, and the impact of these quirks on our daily lives.  The pair will be in discussion with comedian Dan Thomas.

£7 full price, £5 concessions

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7pm – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

The Clydach Murders, John Morris

The lives of the Power family were taken in 1999: a mother, her two daughters and their grandmother.  In The Clydach Murders: Miscarriage of Justice, author and solicitor John Morris asks whether an innocent man, Dai Morris, was wrongfully convicted of this horrific crime. Join John and his wealth of captivating evidence as he illustrates his powerful case that Dai Morris’ conviction was a miscarriage of justice.

 £5 full price, £3 concessions

9.30pm – The Castle Arms, The Angel Hotel

The Big Boozy Book Quiz

Libraries gave us power, then quizzes came to set us free. That’s how the lyric goes, right? Know your Finn from your Finch, your Scarlett O’Hara from your Humbert Humbert? Then get your best book brains ready, find your best buddies and come on down, this is your moment to shine.  But don’t fret, you won’t need a doctorate to get down.  Expect picture rounds. Musical interludes. Laughter. One star Amazon reviews. Fun. Prizes. And seven teams called Agatha Quiztie.

Sunday 24th September

11am - Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Lucy Owen

Swapping the serious business of news for the joys of entertaining children with her talent for rhyme, Lucy Owen reads from her book, Boo-a-Bog in the Park. It’s a heartwarming story about a little boy called Tom who finds it hard to make friends. Lucy will be joined by her son, Gabriel, and husband, Rhodri Owen, who’ll also be reading as characters from the book in both Welsh and English. There’s even the chance for some colouring in.  All royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

1.00 PM – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

Myths and Legends with Horatio Clare

In Visit Wales’ Year of Legends, Horatio Clare re-tells ten myths and legends of Wales’ famous Brecon Beacons, including Arthur and his Slumbering Knights, the White

Lady of Tretower Court and the gory tale of Black Vaughan.  These brilliantly written short stories bring to life the extensive history and supernatural mystery that resides in these beautiful hills, illustrated by Jane Matthews who he worked with on his 2015 children’s book Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot.  Horatio is the author of two memoirs, Truant, and the Somerset Maugham Award-winning Running for the Hills as well as volumes dealing with travel and nature; the Dolman Best Travel Book Award-winning A Single Swallow, Orison for a Curlew and Down to the Sea in Ships #YearOfLegends

£7 full price, £5 concessions

1pm – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

Merthyr: the crucible of modern Wales? Sponsored by Modern Wales, Parthian

Dai Smith interrogates Joe England's claim that Merthyr was the crucible in the development of Wales in the 19th Century and moving on a century asks why Huw Lewis's moving memoir of growing up in Aberfan in the 1960s and 1970s, The Skylark's Song, has so much to say about the past as a foreign country.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

2.30 PM – Dragon Suite, The Angel Hotel

How Bullshit Conquered the World with James Ball

2016 marked the birth of the post-truth era. Sophistry and spin have coloured politics since the dawn of time, but two shock events – the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s elevation to US President – heralded a departure into murkier territory.  This is the story of bullshit: what’s being spread, who’s spreading it, why it works – and what we can do to tackle it.  This is bigger than fake news and bigger than social media. It’s about the slow rise of a political, media and online infrastructure that has devalued truth.  The Pulitzer Prize-winning James Ball should know.  He’s worked in political, data and investigative journalism in the US and the UK for BuzzFeed, The Guardian and the Washington Post in a career spanning TV, digital, print and alternative media.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

3pm – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

The Arthurian Place Names of Wales with Scott Lloyd    

The legend of King Arthur lives on in Wales.  Explore the sites the fifth century warrior chief is associated with under the stewardship of Scott Lloyd, whose new book examines source materials dating from the ninth century to the presentthat have associated Arthur with sites in Wales. The material ranges from Medieval Latin chronicles, French romances and Welsh poetry through to the earliest printed works, antiquarian notebooks, periodicals, academic publications and modern books that have made various claims about the identity of Arthur and his kingdom.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

4pm – Dragon Suite, THE Angel Hotel  

Hinterland Landscapes

If ever a television show cast a landscape as brooding protagonist, it’s Hinterland / Y Gwyll.   Show co-creator Ed Thomas, alongside the photographer David Wilson are in conversation on how the west Wales landscape inspired the noir police detective drama, which has taken images of Ceredigion to televisions in over 100 countries throughout the world, as documented in the book Hinterland: Ceredigion Landscapes, a collection of photographs, essays and snapshots from the making of the show.

£5 full price, £3 concessions

5pm – Prince of Wales Suite, The Angel Hotel

Dark Land, Dark Skies: The Mabinogion in the Night Sky  by Martin Griffiths

For millennia, humans have looked to the night sky and wondered.  Wonder no more as Martin Griffiths shows off his stargazing expertise and his Celtic interpretation of the night sky.  He’ll share stories from his book Dark Land, Dark Skies is an engaging astronomical guide complete with star charts and other helpful materials for star gazing which reclaims the night sky for the Welsh peoples by repopulating it with the myths superseded by classical mythology, including figures from The Mabinogion.

£5 full price, £3 concessions


Neil M.C. Sinclair

Afro-Celtic author and historian, Neil M.C. Sinclair is a native of Tiger Bay, the oldest multi-ethnic community in Wales. He has written extensively on the history of his unique hometown, a place which is now the subject of the new musical ‘Tiger Bay’,  premiering in Cardiff this November. Sinclair’s insider’s view of the area draws on personal memories, family history and a lifetime’s worth of connections within one of Cardiff’s most celebrated communities.