The Dorchester Literary Festival

14th-21st October 2023

The 2022 Dorchester Literary Festival has now come to a close, after a stellar week of inspiring events. Enjoy photos of the wonderful event on the events below.

In 2023 we’ll be celebrating our ninth festival. We’ve already started working on the line-up and we’ll be posting details of the first of the events in May. We’ll aim to create a diverse programme to entertain, inspire and enlighten you and to bring a wide range of  leading writers and thinkers for you to enjoy in the relaxed and intimate settings of Dorset’s county town, one of the homes of great literature in England. 

2023 Tickets will go on sale in August. We look forward to seeing you in 2023. 
Become a friend and get priority booking.

Janet Gleeson and Paul Atterbury
Festival Directors 

  • Sue Baker 2021 Festival

    I really enjoyed this year's festival and all the extra work that must have been involved was greatly appreciated. Looking foward to next year already.

  • Leo McKinstry 2019 Festival

    I enjoyed my visit to Dorchester tremendously and I was touched by both the enthusiasm of the audience and by the warm generosity of you and your team

  • Professor Kate Williams 2019 Festival

    Thank you so much for having me, it was so kind of you and such a wonderful event! I am so thrilled with the audience response and all the signing.

  • Val McDermid 2017 Festival

    I enjoyed my festival event in Dorchester very much. What a friendly welcome the audience gave me! Good luck with future festivals -- and well done.

  • Pamela Mann 2021 Festival

    I thought the event was well organised and the ticket price was right, so well done to everyone.

  • Adam Nicolson 2019 Festival

    Thanks so much...it certainly was good fun.

The Dorchester Literary Festival

The Busiest Festival

A record number of visitors came to the 2022 Dorchester Literary Festival to meet the writers and discover their influences and passions

  • Tracy Chevalier – Patron

    Best-selling American historical novelist Tracy has written seven novels, including The Girl with the Pearl Earring, which was made into a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth, and Remarkable Creatures the story of the pioneering 19th century Lyme Regis fossil hunter Mary Anning.

  • Paul Atterbury – Director

    Antiques expert, lecturer, museum curator as well as writer Paul is best known as a specialist on The Antiques Roadshow. He has written over thirty books on subjects ranging from ceramics, architecture, travel, railways, canals and postcards to the First and Second World Wars. His most recent book World War One in 100 Family Treasures was the result of an appeal by The Antiques Roadshow for contributions for a special programme filmed in the Somme.

  • Janet Gleeson - Director

    Janet worked at Sotheby’s and Bonhams as a picture valuer before beginning to write. She is the author of seven books including the Sunday Times non fiction best sellers The Arcanum and The Moneymaker and three historical crime novels. Her most recent book The Lifeboat Baronet tells the story of Sir William Hillary, the founder of the RNLI.