Tickets have gone on sale for this year’s Dorchester Literature Festival, taking place from the 17-21 October and promising a fascinating line-up.

Over the five days there will be more than 30 speakers, including Julian Fellowes, Joanna Trollope, Orla Kiely, Jeremy Vine, Lynne Truss, Judy Murray, Mark Austin and Vince Cable.

Authors will be talking on subjects as diverse as escaping a survivalist Mormon family, food foraging, the dangers of over-prescription, the suffragette movement and seeking the abominable snowman.

Janet Gleeson, who founded the festival in 2015 together with Paul Atterbury, is delighted with the mix of literature, nature, history and current affairs.

“We know our audiences enjoy a wide range of subjects, which is something we work hard to achieve when putting the schedule together.

“Last year we sold more than 3,500 tickets for 24 core events. This year we’ve increased the size of some of our venues, adding both Thomas Hardye School and the Corn Exchange, and with more than 30 core events scheduled we hope to increase our visitor numbers.

“Given that we’re still a relatively young festival, we’re thrilled that it’s now established as one of Dorchester’s main cultural events.”

This year saw the introduction of the Hall & Woodhouse DLF Writing Prize, and the winner, Philip Browne (pictured), with his book, The Unfortunate Captain Peirce and the Wreck of the Halsewell was announced in July. Philip is a former teacher at Hardye’s School and lives in Dorchester.

“‘We launched the prize to provide a forum for the many local authors who contacted us, wanting to be involved in the festival,” said Paul. “In our first year we had 53 entries, and we hope the prize will continue to grow, throwing a spotlight on the wealth of talented writers in the South-West.”

This year’s programme also includes a session on how to edit your novel professionally as part of the drive to help writers as well as readers.

Tickets can be bought via the website,, or at the Tourist Information Centre in Dorchester Library.

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