Dorchester Literary Festival 2018Welcome to the Dorchester Literary Festival

 

THE 2018 FESTIVAL IS NOW OVER. WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT AND WILL COME AGAIN NEXT YEAR

 

We had five days of extraordinary, informative and diverse events presented by fantastically enthusiastic speakers.

Peter Hart opened the festival with a wonderful talk on the end of World War I, then James Le Fanu revealed the dangers of taking too many pills, and Lynne Truss discussed her comic crime novel A Shot In The Dark. Crime, of a more serious variety, was also represented by a stellar line up of Mark Billingham, Lisa Jewell and Minette Walters, and the first day's grande finale came when Judy Murray gave a packed audience an insight into the world of international tennis, her rise as a leading coach, and time on Strictly Come Dancing.

Day Two was equally enthralling, begining with Jon Dunn on Orchid Summer, Miranda Seymour on Bryon's Wake and Mary Shelley,  before Diane Atkinson talked on the Suffragettes. Next, Tara Westover discussed Educated, her acclaimed memoir about her upbrining in a survivalist Mormon family in Idaho, and the irrepressible poet Brian Patten closed the day, performing some of his best loved works.

 Helen Rappaport was Friday’s first speaker talking about the Romanovs with Jason Goodwin. Then Jasper Winn entertained audiences discussing  British Waterways, and Mark Austin, took to the stage in conversation with veteran broadcaster Kate Adie to discuss his journey from Bournemouth Echo to award-winning foreign correspondent. That afternoon an uninvited press pack heralded the arrival of charismatic and contraversial MP and Afghan war veteran Captain Johnny Mercer. The day calmed down, with Julian Fellowes selecting his Desert Island Books, before the audience was revitalised with the energetically entertaining Jeremy Vine.

Over Saturday and Sunday more fabulous speakers came to visit and talk on a range of subjects: Dr Dawn Harper told us how to live well to 101, Tony Juniper discussed the the threat to the world's rainforests, Graham Hoyland revealed all about the Yeti , Joanna Trollope provided a taster of her latest book, An Unsuitable Match, before Vince Cable arrived straight from a march in London to talk about his first foray into novel writing - the thriller Open Arms.

The festival closed on Sunday with a lesson in editing from Helen Corner-Bryant, animal stories from global vet Jonathan Cranson, a class in Foraging from Tiffany Francis before veteran broadcaster Peter Snow and Ann Macmillan closed the festival regaling the audience with their  War Stories.

Over 2500 people came to our events and with many sold out - we couldn't have asked for more!

In a few week's time we will start work on the 2019 Festival so do keep in touch and we hope we will see you again next year. Meanwhile here are some photos of this year’s fabulous festival, taken by Pete Yendell and Finnbarr Webster. We are grateful to them both for capturing our speakers so expertly!

 

Paul Atterbury and Janet Gleeson

Festival Directors

 

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This Year's Events

Feedback

Thank you for asking me to take part in the Hardy Today event. I enjoyed it very much.

Virginia Astley
Feedback From 2017 Festival

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

Edwina Toone
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

Thank you very much for such a warm welcome and lovely (huge...) audience...Emma made the whole event such an easy pleasure for me.

Joanna Trollope
Feedback From 2018 Festival

...Enjoyable, engaging, enthralling...

Audience Feedback
Feedback From 2015 Festival

We thoroughly enjoyed the Literary Festival again this year and eagerly await the next one...Thank you for bringing a great event to Dorchester. 

Christina Hicks
Feedback From 2016 Festival