The Literary Vein of Dorset
This wondrous corner of Dorset has more than its fair share of literary associations. From Jane Austen and John Fowles centring dramatic action on The Cobb in Lyme Regis to the sweeping views on ‘Hardy Country’ as we move eastwards a literary vein runs deep through Dorset.
As a consequence, the county also punches well above its weight in terms of literary festivals and events. Here’s a quick guide as to what’s coming up over the next few weeks:
Sherborne Literary Festival 10-14th October
A varied repertoire of workshops for aspiring authors and talks by authors about their latest work including a writer in residence offering free daily drop in writing clinics. Diana Cambridge is on duty throughout the festival to offer critiques on a sample of writing. She will work through plotlines or ideas or indeed discuss any other writing issues you may have.
Other authors attending the event include Gill Sims, whose debut novel stayed in the Sunday Times Top 10 for 6 months. She presents her new novel ‘Why Mummy Swears’
Other topics for discussion include areas as diverse as Van Gogh, the over prescription of medicines and the texts of medieval carols.
Dorchester Literary Festival 17-21st October
Dorchester’s festival has been known for attracting big names and this year is no exception
Judy Murray is discussing her new autobiography covering the struggles of bringing up future tennis champions, sexism in sport and her role is promoting grass roots initiatives. Jeremy Vine is also in town, discussing what he has learned from the phone in slots of his Radio 2 show. As an insight into the nation’s psyche, it is hard to beat and Jeremy notes the shifts in beliefs of the past 10 years. Who knows, Judy and Jeremy may even share some Strictly anecdotes?
Best-selling author Joanna Trollope will be discussing her latest novel and the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, will be walking us through his desert island books. Events are not limited to seated discussions – Learn about the town with a walk around Thomas Hardy’s Casterbridge (Dorchester).
Bridport Literary Festival 3-7th November
Our most local of festivals is hosted principally in the Bull Hotel and includes many topics of local interest. Gill Meller, local chef and award-winning writer will be talking about his latest book, Time. He will also be cooking and serving dishes from the book at Sladers Yard in West Bay. The area’s foodie focus is continued by Prue Leith offering her wisdom on cooking, teaching, campaigning for better food in schools and almost undoubtedly, judging the country’s most popular cookery show.
Other highlights of the festival include an insight into the life of the Seagull which will be of particular interest to residents of Lyme Regis, a biography of Oscar Wilde and Mark Cocker considering our overcrowded landscape.