The Big Book Weekend was co-founded in March 2020 by the authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt. Seeing book festivals across the UK get cancelled due to coronavirus, and spotting an opportunity to give people a free taster of how brilliant events powered by books can be, they collaborated with the festivals, the BBC and the Arts Council to produce the first ever Big Book Weekend.

Broadcast on from 8-10 May 2020, Big Book Weekend 1 featured 28 sessions from the cancelled festivals, featuring speakers including Neil Gaiman, Marian Keyes, Bernardine Evaristo, Juno Dawson, Abir Mukherjee, Luke Jennings and Maggie O’Farrell alongside dozens of bright new debuts and rising stars.

With over 20,000 views over the weekend, and thousands more on catch-up, people from a whole range of backgrounds and communities reached out to tell us that it was the first time they’d ever considered watching a book event – and that they wanted more.

The result? Big Book Weekend 2, coming live to the BBC online on 19-21 March 2021. Created from scratch this time, BBW2 will bring together the UK’s most exciting fiction and non-fiction writers, thinkers and influencers from the widest range of communities to explore everything from lying to love in honest, fresh and intimate conversations and talks. All virtual, all free.

Whether you’re a lifelong bookworm or you haven’t read in years, we hope there will be something to delight, inspire and uplift you.

In the meantime, all 28 sessions from BBW 1 are still available to view, for free, right here on our website.

Enjoy – and let us know what you think.