Galle Literary Festival returns in 2024 with star-studded line-up

Saturday, 16 September 2023 00:37 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Galle Literary Festival, in partnership with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), announces its much-anticipated line-up for 2024. 

From 25 to 28 January, Galle will once again play host to an international cast of acclaimed authors and exceptional speakers. Inviting readers and thinkers from around the world, the Festival’s 11th edition will be a celebration of literary excellence on the shores of the Indian Ocean. 

A high-profile line-up promises to enrich discussions across the Festival’s events, covering topics from philosophy to cultural identity, cricket to crime thrillers. Speakers include Booker Prize-winning authors, Shehan Karunatilake and DBC Pierre; decorated war correspondent, Christina Lamb, together with Nujeen Mustafa, co-author and subject of her award-winning book, The Girl from Aleppo; novelist and screenwriter, Anthony Horowitz; Ukranian writer and intellectual, Andrey Kurkov; and Alexander McCall Smith, acclaimed author of more than 119 books.

“The speaker reveal marks a fantastic milestone for Galle Literary Festival 2024 and comes early enough to be secured in the calendars of holiday-makers,” said Festival Director Giselle Harding. “We are immensely proud to have such a diverse and talented line-up of participants, and feel strongly that there will be something there for everyone.”

Welcoming book lovers of all ages and backgrounds, the program features workshops and events for younger guests. Speakers at the Children’s Festival include Jasbinder Bilan, Nizrana Farook and Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Recognising the depth and diversity of Sri Lankan writing in English, the Festival will also host many diaspora authors. 

The Festival in 2024 will build on the format of previous editions, giving a unique platform to authors, poets and artists. The Art Trail returns to host contemporary works in a walkable exhibition. Tea and Poetry, as well as literary lunches hosted by speakers in heritage venues, will be complemented by a parallel series of culinary events, as Gourmet Galle showcases top chefs and local cuisine. A breakout day in Jaffna brings diversity to the schedule.

The Galle Literary Festival was last held in 2019. It returns in 2024 with a renewed vision.

Galle Literary Festival 2024 is held in partnership with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

(SLTPB). The Festival’s airline partner is SriLankan Airlines

Since its launch in 2005, orchestrated by Geoffrey Dobbs, the Galle Literary Festival has become one of the most anticipated arts and culture events in South Asia. A favourite among authors and attendees alike, the Festival hosts a wide variety of talks, workshops and exhibitions in an intimate, historic setting.

A celebration of the creative arts, the Festival champions the work of writers and poets, as well as giving space to painters, photographers and cinematographers. Through associated culinary events, the Festival also highlights the excellence of local and international chefs.

Held largely within the walls of the centuries-old Galle Fort, the Festival has a strong sense of community at its heart. A UNESCO World Heritage Site on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the Fort was first built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch and British. Now home to one of the island’s most diverse communities, Galle Fort’s cobbled streets, hotels and terracotta-roofed houses generously invite local and international visitors to gather for a long weekend intended to inspire, educate and entertain.  Event tickets will be available to book on the Festival website later this year. Further information can be found at