Dorchester High Street
Maiden Castle
William Barnes
Jurassic Coast
Thomas Hardy
Weymouth

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

A warm welcome to the 2017 Dorchester Literary Festival. We were thrilled that last year’s festival was such a resounding success and this 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. 

Dorchester and the unspoiled countryside and dramatic coastal scenery have inspired many of Britain’s best-loved writers, including Thomas Hardy and our patron Tracy Chevalier.

We are working on an exciting programme to fill the five days of the festival with a dozen events confirmed already. Headliners include our patron, Tracy Chevalier, the eminent biographer A N Wilson, the incredible Holocaust survivor Iby Knill, comedian Christopher Biggins, foreign correspondent Fergal Keane,  accaimed poet and critic Tom Paulin, travel expert Alastair Sawday, celebrated chef Thomasina Miers, best selling historians Ian Mortimer and Katie Hickman, eminent heart surgeon Stephen Westaby, award winning writer Adam Nicholson and many more. Tickets will go on sale soon via our website. Meanwhile we hope you enjoy our gallery of photos from last year’s festival. Keep watching the website for the latest updates and contact us to let us know what you think.

Paul Atterbury and Janet Gleeson

Festival Directors

Special Thanks to our Main Sponsors: 

Latest News

Ian Mortimer The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain

If you could travel back in time, the period from 1660 to 1700 would make one of the most exciting destinations in history. It is the age of Samuel Pepys, the Great Fire of London and the libertine court of Charles II. Best - selling author and historian Ian Mortimer will tell the Dorchester Literary Festival what it would be like to really be alive in Restoration Britain: where you would stay, what you would eat, what you would wear, and how much a wig would cost as well as describing the changing 17th century world....



 

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This Year's Events

Feedback

  • I sip my Dorset tea and just wanted to say thanks so much for the invitation to the lit fest - I thoroughly enjoyed it...

    Rob Ryan
    Feedback From 2015 Festival

  • William and I had a very interesting and often hilarious time putting (our presentation) together – fortunately we both wanted to be thoroughly prepared, so we refined and refined… we enjoyed ourselves, aided and abetted by the helpfulness of you and yours behind the scenes, the warmth of the audience, and the pleasantness of the setting. Speaking at your festival was an altogether happy experience. I only wish I had managed to organise listening to many of the other talks, which I really wanted to do… Many congratulations to you and all your team, and all wishes for Festival no. 3!

    Penrose Halson
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • Very well organised, excellent variety in terms of author and presentation. Favourite was Tony Robinson, but I also really enjoyed Julia Shaw (memory very thought provoking), Richard Dannatt (good solid start to festival) JOHN Wright (local and good humour) Alison Weir (such research and knowledge) and Victoria Hislop (novel in a different style).

    Jeanne Holmes
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • Going from strength to strength, well done!

    Polly Greenway, Domvs
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • I'm now back at my desk after Ann Cleeves' mammoth book tour and wanted to send a note to say a huge thank you for hosting such a fantastic event for us. It was a definite highlight out of the 30 events!

    Maura Brickell
    Feedback From 2016 Festival

  • Paul was an excellent interviewer, and I loved the format. Great audience, acoustics...

    Tracy Chevalier
    Feedback From 2015 Festival