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Sandi Toksvig

A C Grayling

Nell McAndrew

Patrick Gale

Shami Chakrabati

Jacqueline Rose

Suzannah Lipscomb

Twenty-second Swindon Festival of Literature
4th - 16th May 2015


The NEW FESTIVAL WEBSITE with full programme and booking and ticket details will be up from midday on 19th March.

Love literature

Following last May’s terrific twenty-first Festival plans are now underway for the twenty-second Swindon Festival of Literature, which will run from 4th – 16th May 2015.

Once again, Festival frolics will begin at dawn on that beautiful ridge in Lawn Woods, overlooking Swindon, at 5.30am on Spring Bank Holiday Monday 4th May, with the ever-popular Dawn Chorus, where Festival-following early-birds will gather with Spring songs, sunrise stories, verbal and physical acrobatics, music, Maypole dancing, hot breakfasts, plus a good deal of other early-morning merriment and mischief!

During the subsequent 12 days, authors and speakers appearing at venues in town will include established names not only from the world of Literature, including novelists and poets, but also from politics, history, science, sport, philosophy, and even comedy.

Writers already booked to appear include Jung Chang, Patrick Gale, Sandi Toksvig, Shami Chakrabati, Rory Bremner, Suzannah Lipscomb, Nell McAndrew, A C Grayling, Jacqueline Rose, Vanessa Lafaye, Rosie McGregor, and Daisy Christoloudou.

Of course, in true Swindon Festival of Literature tradition, it will not just be published names that make this festival a high spot on Wiltshire’s cultural calendar.

During the 13 days of the Festival, described by John Carey as ‘terrific’, by Joan Bakewell as ‘delightful’, by John Major as ‘punctual’, by Jon Snow as ‘a real surprise’, and by Shaun B as ‘comparable to sex’, there will also be the first-day Walk & Run in the Park, the now nationally-famous Swindon Performance Poetry Slam competition, the schools’ Youth Slam, a bookish weekend for Children & Families, the sixth-ever philosophical Think Slam, a Writing Workshop, and the oh-so-exciting Poems, Pints, & Music Finale, plus a wide range of literary talks, discussions, and readings at main theatres, arts venues, libraries, schools, pubs, parks, and even in an ex-cowshed, in Swindon!

Festival Director Matt Holland says “The Festival has become a veritable festival of ideas. Each year it attracts new writers, terrific speakers, and a larger following. At every level, it has become a fantastic celebration for Swindon of things well written and things well said.”

He added, “It offers experiences for everyone that make life memorable. People of all ages and backgrounds have a very good time. They get together, meet authors, join in lively talk, explore new ideas, and even have a laugh. It is all very exciting!”

The 2015 Swindon Festival of Literature will be made possible by funding from Arts Council England, South West, whose support represents recognition of the good things that have been achieved in Literature development in Swindon.

Financial support is also provided by Dominic Winter Book Auctions; Swindon Borough Council and Swindon Artswords; the Council’s Adult and Families Learning Project; and Lower Shaw Farm; plus valuable support and assistance from the Swindon Advertiser, the Link Magazine, Acorn Press, Waterstone’s, Pen & Paper Bookshop, Friends of the Festival, as well as a host of other local organisations and individuals.

It is heartening that all these people see the value of a festival of Literature in Swindon!

The new website will go up at midday on 19th March; and the full-colour 40-page Festival programme will be unveiled at midday on Thursday 19th March 2015 at Swindon’s prize-winning Central Library.

Festival Mailing List

To go on the Festival mailing list, or for further information:
telephone 01793 771080 or e-mail

Dominic Winter

On 20th October 2014, DOMINIC WINTER died peacefully at his home.

Dominic was key in the founding of the first Swindon Festival of Literature in 1994. It was his idea and his wish that there be ‘something bookish’ in Swindon.

His company, Dominic Winter Book Auctions has supported the Festival throughout its twenty-one years.

Dominic was a fan of the Festival, a loyal supporter, and key member of our Steering Group.

He was a good friend and is sorely missed.

Note. Dominic’s funeral service is private, for family only, but a memorial service is planned for early in 2015.
In his memory, donations can be made to Cancer Research UK

Lower Shaw Farm Dominic Winter Book Auctions