Dorchester High Street
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William Barnes
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Thomas Hardy

Dorchester Literary Festival 2017Welcome to the Dorchester Literary Festival 18-22nd October 2017


Click the link below to hear Co Director Paul Atterbury talking about his personal highlights: You can still buy tickets for all these events, so do come along to some of them and let us know what you think:

 We were thrilled that last year’s festival was such a resounding success and in this, our third year, our aim is to make it bigger and better, bringing you acclaimed authors that will enlighten, amaze and entertain you, in the picturesque setting of our lovely county town. 

With only two days to go until the third festival starts we are looking forward to  an exciting five day programme. Headliners include our patron, Tracy Chevalier, the acclaimed crime writers Minette Walters and Val McDermid, the eminent biographer A N Wilson (now sold out), the incredible Holocaust survivor Iby Knill, comedian Christopher Biggins, foreign correspondent Fergal Keane, celebrated Cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, best-selling royal biographer Penny Junor, acclaimed travel expert Alastair Sawday, best selling historians Ian Mortimer and Katie Hickman, novelists Amanda Craig, Marianne Kavanagh and Jane Corry , eminent heart surgeon Stephen Westaby, award winning writer Adam Nicolson and many more.

You can still buy tickets on line for most events. Tickets will also be sold on the door - but do check the website for venues and timings as there are some new venues this year and we sometimes have to change times. Events last approximately one hour so you will always have time to attend consecutive events in the timetable, even when you have to change venue.

Carparks are marked on the map at the back of the brochure.

We look forward to seeing you later this week.

Download the Dorchester Literary Festival Programme for 2017 as a PDF file here.

Paul Atterbury and Janet Gleeson

Festival Directors

This year our chosen charity is Dorset Community Foundation.



Special Thanks to our Main Sponsors: 

The Festival Charity for 2017 is

Latest News

A N Wilson Festival Event SOLD OUT

A N WILSON's Dorchester Literary Festival Event is now SOLD OUT!...


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This Year's Events


  • I very much enjoyed giving my talk and meeting you and all your colleagues. I can think of no way you could have been more accommodating. 

    John Wright
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • It is excellent that Dorchester is now on the literary map

    Audience Feedback
    Feedback From 2015 Festival

  • I felt truly privileged to be able to enjoy so many events in your excellent programme...quite sumptuous! Had I been able to, I would have booked every event!

    Evelyn Price
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • We thoroughly enjoyed all of our visits and all being well will be there again next year.

    Edwina Toone
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • Absolute pleasure, thanks for such an enjoyable night. I think having Tony Robinson there promoting his autobiography was a great idea...

    Phil McMullen
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • I was particularly delighted by how many of the audience seemed to know and appreciate my work. As you know, authors are solitary creatures - mostly - and for me at least it's a real pleasure to have good reason to leave my work-room (a shed in the garden with a too-seductive view of the Cambrians) and meet and talk with readers and fellow writers (not forgetting that many of us are both).

    Elisabeth Luard
    Feedback From 2016 Festival