Writeidea Festival returns to East London after three years

Tower Hamlets’ free literary festival finds a new home at Bethnal Green Library, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The Writeidea Festival 2022 returns to Tower Hamlets on 4 – 6 November for its 15th year (but 13th festival) after losing two years to the pandemic. 

A joint celebration, the festival’s grand debut will be held in Bethnal Green Library which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. 

The festival is based on local history and the history of London, featuring talks from authors of all ages and backgrounds, reflecting the diverse nature of Tower Hamlets and London as a whole. 

The Writeidea Festival has been running since 2007 at the Idea Store on Whitechapel Road that still runs the event. Its new venue, Bethnal Green Library, underwent a redevelopment before Covid, creating four beautiful halls that will be the setting for the weekend of talks. 

As events organiser Neal Smith said: ‘We don’t see ourselves as being highbrow … we are one of the only free literary festivals in the country and we are here to cater for the local community.’ 

The festival will include talks and conversations from a wide range of authors, writers, comedians and photographers whose work focuses on East London.

Smith said he was particularly looking forward to a talk by Panikos Panayi about his book, Migrant City, which is the first history of London to show how immigrants have built, shaped and made London.

Other highlights include an appearance from David Hoffman, local photographer famous for his work capturing Whitechapel Markets from 1972 – 1977, and a conversation between East End authors Jean Fullerton and Kate Thompson. 

All talks are free but it is recommended that you book your space online before attending. 


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One thought on “Writeidea Festival returns to East London after three years

  • I Love reading each of Polly Nash’s articles. I don’t know Roman Road, but through these articles I do have a good feel for the special place. Thank you, Polly

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