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A C GraylingA C Grayling
Tue May 8

Harriet HarmanHarriet Harman
Thu May 10

Viv AlbertineViv Albertine
Thu May 10

Judy MurrayJudy Murray
Mon May 14

Matt HarveyMatt Harvey

Camila BatmanghelidjhCamila Batmanghelidjh
Wed May 16

Peggy SeegerPeggy Seeger
Thu May 17

Twenty-fifth Swindon Festival of Literature
7th - 19th May 2018


NEW WEBSITE with full programme and booking and online ticket details will be up from midday on 22nd March 2018.

Dawn Chorus

Darine Flannagan – Mon May 7

Children & Families Weekend – Sun May 13

Laura Glow Globe – Mon 7 and Sat 19 May

Matty Holland and Bafana Matea

Dawn Chorus

Love literature


Following last May’s splendid twenty-fourth Festival plans are now well underway for the twenty-fifth Swindon Festival of Literature, which will run from 7th – 19th May 2018.


Already booked to appear next May are the longest-serving female MP Harriet Harman with her book A Woman’s Work; philosopher A C Grayling, who will talk about the nature of democracy today; tennis coach and mother of champions Judy Murray, with her book Knowing the Score, which tell the story of how she helped to make her two sons Wimbledon winners; songwriter and queen of folksingers Peggy Seeger, who is indirectly responsible for one of the greatest love songs ever, with her book First Time Ever; international authority on urban change Charles Landry, with his book on how a town or city can be both creative and civic; kind but controversial carer Camila Batmanghelidjh, with her book Kids: Child Protection in Britain; acutely empathetic poet Matt Harvey; and former Punk musician and now brilliant writer Viv Albertine.

Among more than fifty events spread over two weeks, there will also be a number of Festival standing dishes, which include the first-day early-morning Dawn Chorus in Lawn Woods with performers, poets, and storytellers; a health and story-walk walk, a freedom run, and circus fun in Lydiard Park; the unique Swindon Think Slam; a Children & Families Weekend; the twenty-second Swindon Poetry Slam; and the fabulous Poems, Pints, and Music Finale!


If publishers and/or Festival followers wish to request, suggest, or recommend any other authors or speakers, now is the time to contact Festival organisers and tell us who you would like to see and hear in Swindon next May!

To celebrate the Festival reaching its quarter-century, its silver anniversary, organisers are keen to welcome back a number of Festival favourites. If you have any of your own, please let us know!



The Swindon Festival of Literature is established, thriving, well-organised, and independent. Its passion and founding spirit is rooted in love of the word, good reading, exploratory talk, finding out about things, making connections, and the notion that life is for learning, and pleasure.

Authors, performers, and speakers who have appeared at previous Festivals, had a good time and spoken well of their time in Swindon, include David Attenborough, Ian McEwan, Germaine Greer, Melvyn Bragg, Kate Adie, Fay Weldon, Ben Okri, Will Self, Joan Bakewell, Andrew Motion, Philip Pullman, Carol Ann Duffy, Richard Dawkins, and Benjamin Zephaniah!

During its twenty-four years, the Swindon Festival of Literature has gone from strength to strength. Each year it attracts new writers, terrific speakers, and a larger following. At every level, it has become a splendid celebration for Swindon of things well written and things well said.

The Festival is now firmly established on Wiltshire’s cultural calendar. It is loved locally and held in high regard nationally.


Festival Director Matt Holland says “Our twenty-fifth Festival is something to get excited about. And we are! It promises to be both fantastic feast and fabulous frolic. We will have adventurous authors, terrific talks, delightful discussion, wonderful workshops, and excellent entertainment.

The Festival offers experiences that make life memorable, for everyone. People of all ages and backgrounds will be able to have a good time. They’ll get together, meet authors, join in lively talk, explore new ideas, and even have a laugh. It is all very exciting!”


The Festival of Literature continues to thrive thanks to funding from Arts Council England, whose support represents recognition of the growth, value, and popularity of Literature-related activities in Swindon.

Other main partners and loyal sponsors of the Festival are Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Swindon Borough Council, Swindon Artswords, Swindon Libraries, Adult Community Learning, and Lower Shaw Farm. Further assistance comes from Wyvern Theatre & Swindon Arts Centre, Richard Jefferies Museum, Waterstones Bookshop, Switch on to Swindon, Acorn Press, Pink Handbag, Swindon Viewpoint, Swindon Open Studios, Swindon Advertiser, Link Magazine, The Swindonian, BBC Wiltshire, Total Swindon, Swindonweb, Swindon Community Radio 105.5, plus 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.


At 12 noon on Thursday 22nd March, the brand-new 40-page full-colour programme will be unveiled, hot off the press, at Swindon’s prize-winning Central Library.

Tickets for all events will be available from that date onwards.

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