Kendal Mountain Literature Festival

Exploring creativity and connection in landscape, nature, people and place.

Kendal Mountain Literature Festival is an interwoven and much loved part of the award-winning Kendal Mountain Festival, which takes place in Kendal each November.

Expect a diverse programme of events featuring some of the UK’s foremost authors of nature, landscape and mountain literature. You’ll be entertained and inspired by the mix of wonderful wordsmiths and artists gathering to share their work.

Spoken-word, photography, poetry, autobiography, illustration – through its many wonderful forms – literature and art awakens our imagination and transports us to landscapes on all corners of our planet.

Introducing the Nature Chronicles Prize


We are proud to be working alongside the The Nature Chronicles Prize, a brand new nature writing award, a global biennial competition.

Created in memory of Prudence Scott, a lifelong nature diarist who died in 2019, the award aims to find engaging and unique essay length works which share a commitment to truth telling and respond to the time we are in and the world as it is. 

We'll be hosting the award-ceremony in November 2022 when one writer will win £10,000! And a further 5 shortlisted writers will receive £1000. Shortlisted entries will be published in an anthology and it is hoped that the result will be a book of surprising works that vary in style but share a commitment to truth and fellow feeling.



'The Kendal Mountain Literature Festival celebrates the relations between people and places – between landscapes and the human heart – as they play out in culture and especially in literature. Its many and varied events seek to emphasise connection and community in an age of division.'


Open Mountain as a project is focused on inclusion in and connection with wild places, and on redefining mountain literatures and cultures to include voices and experiences often excluded or invalidated.

In 2019 we launched Open Mountain - a panel discussion with performance prose and poetry, showcasing people under-represented in the outdoors.

The 2020 event was presented by Polly Atkin and Kate Davis. We were delighted to invite to the screen; Kim-Marie Walker shared her essay ‘Scrambling’ – the voice of a Black American, a descendant of Africans enslaved & navigator of systemic racism, who is indebted to nature’s kinship; Andrew Wang described his fell running experiences; Elspeth Wilson discussed how we live in a body; Nayeli Urquiza-Haas shared a glimpse into climbing cultures and spaces in Mexico City; and Aileen Mckay spoke.

“Incredibly honoured to add my voice to mountain and outdoor literature.”  - Kim-Marie Walker

“THANK YOU! It was an amazing experience — such energy! Such enthusiasm! Such wonderful people!”

Deirdre Wolownick Author of The Sharp End of Life

“A superb, inspiring and groundbreaking event, the biggest and best so far.”

Dan Richards Author of The Outpost

“I was blown away by the breadth of what you were able to offer this year and enjoyed it hugely, as did everyone I spoke to.”

Ceri Holman Children’s Literature presenter 2019

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© Kendal Mountain Festival 2020