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Twenty-fourth Swindon Festival of Literature
1st - 13th May 2017


NEW WEBSITE with full programme and booking and online ticket details will be up from midday on 16th March 2017.

Love literature

Following last May’s terrific twenty-third Festival plans are now underway for the twenty-fourth Swindon Festival of Literature, which will run from 1st – 13th May 2017.

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 1st 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 history, science, politics, philosophy, sport, art, and even comedy.

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, a bookish weekend for Children & Families, the unique and eighth-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 is a veritable festival of ideas. Each year it attracts new writers, terrific speakers, and a larger following. At every level, it has become a wonderful 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 2017 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, 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 16th March; and the hardcopy full-colour 40-page Festival programme will be unveiled at midday on Thursday 16th March 2017 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

Lower Shaw Farm Dominic Winter Book Auctions