NEXT HULF TALK: Saturday 30th September 2023, 2pm-5pm
RESEARCH & INSPIRATION: The Stories Behind the Stories
with Ali Bacon, Lucienne Boyce, Jean Burnett, Heather Child, Kerry Postle, Julian Stockwin & Debbie Young
at the Bethesda Chapel, Park Street, Hawkesbury Upton GL9 1BA
Tickets will be available from Eventbrite from 30th May 2023 – click here to receive an alert as soon as they go on sale.


The Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival (HULF) is a series of public events celebrating books and reading. Founded by local author Debbie Young, it is now a permanent fixture in the Cotswolds’ cultural calendar.

HULF was originally launched in 2015 on World Book Night (Shakespeare’s birthday), the global celebration of books and reading that is focused on readers rather than authors. Its purpose was to provide an enjoyable and inclusive literary event for the local community, but soon grew to become a major event in multiple venues around the village attracting speakers and audience members from a very wide radius, including France and Australia.

Unfortunately Covid restrictions obliged us to cancel the 2020 and 2021 HULFs, and we have now relaunched the Festival in a different format offering smaller but more frequent events all year round.


HULF Talks are a single-venue event on a specific theme, to be held every two or three months, with presentations and discussion by a panel of four authors. Our venue is the Bethesda Chapel in Park Street. We have one more HULF Talk planned for 2022. The new programme for 2023 will be announced at the Christmas Special event in November.

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line drawing of Hawkesbury Primary School

Hawkesbury Primary School is just one of many village venues that have hosted HULF events (illustration copyright T E Shepherd 2017)


We are lucky to have so many venues in our beautiful village of Hawkesbury Upton on the Cotswold Way, on the southern border of Gloucestershire. We have used a variety of venues around the village over the years, including:

  • Hawkesbury Primary School
  • Hawkesbury Village Hall
  • The Bethesda Chapel
  • The Methodist Chapel and School Room
  • The Church of St Mary the Virgin
  • The Fox Inn

With the exception of St Mary’s, these venues are all a pleasant five-minute walk apart down the High Street. St Mary’s is a longer but beautiful steep walk or short drive.


We deliberately keep admission prices as low as we can so that you can save your money to buy our authors’ books!

All our speakers generously give their time for free, so please try to buy at least one book on the day as a thank-you to those who have given their time voluntarily to make this event free for you to attend.


We also support other local community events.

  • We run a stall at the Hawkesbury Village Show (August)
  • We enter a literary scarecrow in the annual village scarecrow festival (October)
  • We take stalls at community Christmas fairs (November-December)
  • We sponsor a book-themed Christmas tree at the parish Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary’s Church (December)

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We look forward to sharing our love of books and reading with you.