7 literary festivals worth a visit

These thought-provoking gatherings feature the biggest names in the literary world.

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Festival goers relax on the lawn at the Hay Festival. The festival has been such a success that Queen Elizabeth recognized it with an award in 2009 Festival goers relax on the lawn at the Hay Festival. The festival has been such a success that Queen Elizabeth recognized it with an award in 2009 (Photo: The Hay Festival)

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Hay Festival: Hay-on-Wye, Wales

Once described as "The Woodstock of the mind" by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, the Hay Festival has been attracting the finest writers around since its inception in the late 1980s.

In recent years it has expanded to include musical performances and film screenings (you'll definitely spot a movie star now and again) and family-friendly programs. It has also expanded across the globe, with sister festivals in Nairobi, The Maldives and Segovia, among several other locations.

Hay has become such a success that in 2009 Queen Elizabeth bestowed upon it her Award for Enterprise.

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