“The biggest gathering of incredible minds talking about everything that affects and informs our daily lives.” The Star

The Festival is a four day celebration of stories, ideas, writing and contemporary culture through storytelling, books, live discussion forums, workshops, debates, live performances, competitions, mchongoano and music. It is organized in collaboration with Storymoja, the Hay Festival (UK) and British Council. The Hay Festival held in the UK every May attracts up to 150,000 people ranging from presidents to authors to fans.

The Storymoja Hay festival attracts the most exciting local and international writers and thinkers. With four event tents, and the Storyhippo children’s village, this year’s line-up has something for all tastes. From a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, to  Man Booker Prize winning author, from  the earth’s only stand-up comedian for children to funky science experiments, from storytelling workshops to sessions with the world’s funniest travel author; the Storymoja Hay Festival promises both engaging and stimulating discussions as well as light-hearted entertainment.

Be sure to check out the full programme.


What others say about the Festival

The Storymoja Hay Festival in 2009

“The Nairobi Hay Storymoja Festival was an absolute blast. The writers and others there included Vikram Seth, Hanif Kureishi, Tony Kan, Kate Adie, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Francois Devenne, Monica Arac, Tolu Ogunlesi, Chika Unigwe, Lee Siegel, Doreen Baingana, Dayo Foster, Billy Kahora, Judy Kibinge, Yvonne Owuor, Parselelo Kantai, Wambui Mwangi and the inspirational and inspired Muthoni Garland, the force of nature behind the whole shebang.” Petina Gappah, author of ‘Elegy for Easterly’ 

“I think it’s a great festival. The habit of reading will be kept alive through such events. I’m amazed by the huge response and liveliness of the participants.” Vikram Seth, author of ‘A Suitable Boy’

“In case you missed it, you missed the biggest gathering of incredible minds talking about everything that affects and informs our daily lives.” The Star

“This year’s Storymoja Hay International festival seems on the way to opening a new page on book marketing in Kenya. On radio, TV, newspapers and other non-traditional spaces like facebook and twitter, Storymoja Hay Festival organizers have been announcing to Kenyans that the festival- which begun last evening – is in town.” Business Daily

“The festival has circumnavigated the reluctance of Kenyan publishers to promote local writers in favor of that sure-fire bestseller called The School Textbook, which is enough to put you off reading for life.” The East African Magazine


The Storymoja Hay Festival in 2010

“The hot African sun is shining generously over festival tents. Inside the tent in Nairobi, children sketched out their dreams with charcoal pencil, felt-tip pen and considerable talent. The stories, reflecting ideas as bright as the paper written on, are sure to linger on long after the festival. Emerging from one tent are beaming children, brandishing brightly coloured books, which they themselves have made in two hours. Anita Sethi on Publish Your Own Book sessions in the Storyhippo Children’s Village

“The very first time I attended the annual Storymoja Hay Festival, I was shocked by the number of people who turned up….many literary minds were present, from poets to publishers and journalists, where they met readers from all age groups and interacted well.” Young Nation 

“At the Hay fest, we were chattin wit Kiriamiti (of da life in crime fame) who used ta bust banks wit real kalashnikovz. We hope Lady Muto Garland gets G4s guys and representative rapper-type krapper, Sonko to ‘boost the talk’ next year.”  Pulse, The Standard 

I attended two days of the Storymoja Hay Festival which is two more than some of y’all and it was lovely…..Aly Khan Satchu, who runs Rich.co.ke,  reminded us that with technology world changing quite rapidly and Kenya being at the centre of it all, the list of the richest Kenyan families will be changing soon. Nairobi Star