Dorchester Literary Festival 2017About the Dorchester Literary Festival

Now in its forth year, the Dorchester Literary Festival is organised by writers for all those who enjoy the written word. Our aim is to give you the opportunity to hear stimulating talks and discussions by leading authors in a relaxed and beautiful setting.

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.

Julian Fellowes – Supporter

Dorset resident, and an acclaimed film director, novelist, actor and Conservative member of the House of Lords, Julian Fellowes is the Oscar winning screen writer of Gosford Park and writer and director of the much loved TV drama Downton Abbey.

Minette Walters – Supporter

Crime writer Minette Walters began her career as an editor on women’s magazines and writer of romantic fiction. Her highly successful crime novels include The Sculptress, The Ice House and Scold’s Bridle. Several of her award-winning books have been adapted for the screen and she is the recipient of two Golden Dagger Awards.

Jason Goodwin – Supporter

Specialist in Byzantine history, Dorset resident and author of nine successful books, Jason is the son of writers Jocasta Innes and John Michel. He won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize for his book On Foot to the Golden Horn, an account of his walk from Poland to Istanbul. He has also written on the history of the Ottoman Empire and most recently published a series of detective novels set in 19th century Istanbul, one of which, The Janissary Tree won the Edgar Award for best novel in 2007.

Dorset County Museum – Supporter

Dorset County Museum is within easy walking distance of Dorchester South Station which is served by South West Trains running routes to and from London Waterloo, Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth. It is also easily accessible from Bristol, Bath and the south west by First Great Western trains to Dorchester West Station.

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.


Latest News

Local Writers Competition update

Hall & Woodhouse DLF Local Writers Prize...

Kate Adie

Broadcaster Kate Adie OBE is joining the DLF team as patron...

This Year's Events


I thoroughly enjoyed all six events I attended and would have done many more if my time had allowed. Congratulations to all the people involved for a very well organised event. I am most certainly looking forward to next year's events calendar- the dates are already in my diary.

Andrea Clarke
Feedback From 2016 Festival

We really enjoyed the talks we attended... and look forward to next year's event... Kate Adie was brilliant

Audience Feedback
Feedback From 2015 Festival

Going from strength to strength, well done!

Polly Greenway, Domvs
Feedback From 2016 Festival

...Enjoyable, engaging, enthralling...

Audience Feedback
Feedback From 2015 Festival

I thought the event had a really good feel to it - and people couldn't have been friendlier and more welcoming. Good luck with future events.

Adam Ockelford
Feedback From 2017 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