Dorchester Literary Festival

Summer now a distant memory, heavy rain showers as I sit typing this blog – Autumn heralds the time when we can look forward to some great events and festivals in Dorset where sunny weather may not be as important.

dorchestercounty museumSThe first ever Dorchester Literary Festival will take place from 23rd to 25th October. Dorchester is the county town of Dorset and has a long standing connection with some well known writers, like Thomas Hardy, T E Lawrence, William Barnes, Ian McEwan and Tracey Chevalier. All of these authors have been inspired by the dramatic coastline, which is equally awe inspiring on a wet, wild and windy winters day as it is on a calm, sunny summers day, and the wonderful unspoiled countryside which is home to a magnificent array of flora and fauna, and many winding footpaths and byways, all of which I am sure would have their own tale to tell.

Festival highlights will be the latest books by some of today’s original authors, there will be workshops on writing and publishing your own work and should you wish to discover more about new biographies, books on recent history, art, politics or the natural world there will be something here for you.

Running over 4 days the festival will have a plethora of speakers and authors discussing a variety of books from comedy to sport, the past to the present, fiction and non-fiction. So there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

To pick a couple, from the many events taking place:


Saul David is an historian, broadcaster and the author of several critically-acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction. He will retell the true story of Operation Thunderbolt – the audacious rescue mission by Israeli Special Forces of passengers and crew of Air France Flight 139 from Tel Aviv to Paris, which had been hijacked by a group of German and Palestinian terrorists and taken to Entebbe in Uganda. Saul will be telling a tale of human drama and unbearable tension in which courage, comradeship, fanaticism, incompetence and luck all play their part.



Tom Fort – Channel Shore – a tale of cycling from the White Cliffs of Dover to Lands End – this intriguing  journey covers life in the towns and countryside along the South Coast of England – with stories about smugglers, shipwrecks, beachcombers and fossil hunters and introducing us to the quirky characters he meets and fascinating places he visits along the way.



Others to look out for are household names like – Richard and Judy Finnigan who will discuss Judy’s second novel “I Do Not Sleep”, Paul Atterbury (best known for appearances on the Antiques Roadshow) will ask American historical novelist, Tracey Chevalier, to select her “Desert Island Books” and Julian Fellowes, British actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter, will be interviewed by Danny Danziger about his career in writing.

Tickets can be purchased at the Tourist Information Centre in Dorchester, Dorset County Museum or from the festival website.

To stay around Dorchester for the week simply check out the Dorset Coastal Cottages website.