A festival that aims to give free books has won the support of high-profile writers and illustrators.

Candice Carty-Williams, Bolu Babalola, Caleb Femi, and Dapo Adeola are all backing The Free Books Campaign's biggest free literature festival to date.

The event will be held over three days from July 19 to July 21 at BSix sixth form in Hackney, with registration opening up on July 4 at 10am.


Started in 2020 with the goal of providing books by authors of colour to those who cannot afford them, The Free Books Campaign has distributed more than 8,000 new books across the UK and Ireland.

The campaign has partnered with initiatives like Marcus Rashford’s Book Club and has built up an online community of more than 7,500 supporters.

Campaign founder Sofia Akel said: "We envision a world in which barriers to reading no longer exist, where it is not a privilege, but a powerful form of education that all people can access freely and equitably."

She added that this year's festival is expecting more than 3,000 attendees who will experience the "power of storytelling".

The campaign aims to give books by authors of colour to those who cannot afford them (Image: Free Books Campaign)

The festival's focus ranges from visual arts to movement, literature to anime, and gaming to music.

Through this, The Free Books Campaign aims to create more readers from all walks of life.

Author Candice Carty-Williams said: "It’s been amazing to witness both the rise and the scope of the Free Books Campaign.

"Every single person deserves what the escape of reading brings, and it’s an honour to be part of this movement in a small way."

The festival is currently working with organisations, publishers, book clubs and brands including the Hackney Empire, Tate, Netflix and Gymshark.

However, founder Sofia Akel stressed that "without crucial funds and book donations, we won’t be able to continue".

With just three weeks until the festival, The Free Books Campaign is urgently calling on publishers for book donations, merchandise or sponsorship.

They have also launched a fundraiser that is now live and accepting donations.

For sponsorship and donations questions, contact Sofia via email at sofia@freebookscampaign.co.uk.