Dorchester Literary Festival 2018Welcome to the Dorchester Literary Festival

 THE 2018FESTIVAL 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.

Paul Atterbury and Janet Gleeson
Festival Directors

 

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This Year's Events

Feedback

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

Tracy Chevalier
Feedback From 2015 Festival

All of us in the Hardy Society were very positive about 'our' first night and the subsequent events. I thought Tony's event with Rachel and Dinah worked very well with interesting conversations from the both of the women.

You and Paul must be very happy with the positive way Dorchester people are continuing to embrace the Festival, and in impressively increasing numbers. Congratulations to both of you.

Next year's dates are already in our diaries and we are looking forward to meeting up with you soon to discuss our involvement.

Mike Nixon, Thomas Hardy Society
Feedback From 2016 Festival

I had a wonderful time in Dorchester. Very best wishes, Tom.

Thomas Williams
Feedback From 2017 Festival

I very much enjoyed the events I came to at the Dorchester  Literary festival. It was all very well organised. The sessions on The Seabird's cry, Bee Quest, and The Otter's Tale were brilliant. 

Helen Austin
Feedback From 2017 Festival

My wife and I really enjoyed our first visit to DLF to hear Henry Bloefeld. Having looked through the programme further we wished we should have chosen more, but at least we shall try to get the books via the Library. Looking forward to seeing next year’s programme.

Heather and Bryan Edwards
Feedback From 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.

Val McDermid
Feedback From 2017 Festival