Sturminster Newton Literary Festival focuses on celebrating three writers associated with the town (Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, and Robert Young), current Dorset and Wessex writers, and aspiring writers of the future. The festival has a range of talks, workshops, guided walks, and collaborative events with local businesses to promote writing from the region.

2024 FESTIVAL

Sturminster Newton Literary Festival 2024 will be held on 8-16 June. We’re busy planning an exciting programme which will be released in the new year. Our focus is on writers with a Dorset and wider Wessex connection.
We are looking for volunteers to help out with distributing programmes, event stewarding, and supporting some of our exciting new projects.
if you are interested, contact Rachael Rowe at sturlitfest1@gmail.com for more details.

2023 FESTIVAL

We have a wide range of events in 2023, celebrating the best of writing in the Dorset and wider Wessex region. From talks to literary walks, collaborations with local businesses, drama, and writing workshops, there is something for everyone at Sturminster Newton Literary Festival.

Forthcoming Festival Events

No Events

Past Events

The following events are now finished. Dates are still to be determined for the 2024 Literary Festival. Some events occur outside the festival week so follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or subscribe to our newsletter on Eventbrite to stay informed and get early access to new events.

Robert Young Walk
April 30, 2023 @ 10:30 at Museum, Sturminster Newton
A guided walk led by David Fox. Robert Young (1811-1908) served as Parish Constable in Stur during Victorian times. His chronicles give an insight into[...]
Self Publishing Workshop with John Jenkins
May 20, 2023 @ 14:00 at The Library, Sturminster Newton
Skills you will need as a self publisher include: writing, editing, proof reading, indexing, typesetting, typography, design, picture editing, production control, marketing, selling, bookkeeping, purchasing,[...]
Tess' Marlott
May 25, 2023 @ 10:30 - 12:30 at The Crown, Marnhull
This event has SOLD OUT! Join the waiting list on EventBrite, who will let you know if any cancellations come up. A meandering walk in,[...]
Rupert Brooke's Poetry at Shillingstone Station
June 3, 2023 @ 14:00 at Shillingstone Station, Shillingstone
This event has SOLD OUT! Join the waiting list on EventBrite, who will let you know if any cancellations come up. Rupert Brooke spent much[...]
Stained Glass Stories I
June 5, 2023 @ 10:30 - 11:30 at St Mary's Church, Sturminster Newton
“These Gothic windows, how they wear me out” - Thomas Hardy (poet and architect) with Harry Clarke (artist) It’s been said of the 1921 Art[...]
The Tennis Champion Who Escaped the Nazis : Liesl Herbst’s Journey, from Vienna to Wimbledon
June 5, 2023 @ 14:30 at 1855, Sturminster Newton
Author: Felice Hardy Liesl Herbst, Austrian National Tennis champion, fled Nazi occupation with her family - this is the moving story of their escape and[...]
From Sturminster Newton to The White House: the Fuller sisters in America
June 5, 2023 @ 19:30 at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton
A dramatic monologue performed by Rachel Alexander - as Rosalind Fuller - recounts the sisters’ three tours of America between 1911 and 1917. The drama[...]
Stained Glass Stories II
June 6, 2023 @ 10:30 - 11:30 at St Mary's Church, Sturminster Newton
“To zee the glassen house, an’ all / the lot o’things a-stow’d inside” - William Barnes (poet) with Dashwood family (solicitors) As a young boy, William[...]
Real Dorset
June 6, 2023 @ 15:00 at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton
Real Dorset is a personal, detailed, discursive, humorous and idiosyncratic look at Dorset. The county is famous for its spectacular coastline, for its historic towns,[...]
Going Wild About West Dorset
June 6, 2023 @ 19:00 at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton
BEST-KNOWN as a long-time champion of eco-tourism with a special interest in Africa, Dorset author Brian Jackman has been writing about the world’s wild places[...]
The Lost Orchards
June 7, 2023 @ 19:00 at 1855, Sturminster Newton
Author: Liz Copas and Nick Poole About two-thirds of Britain’s small, traditional orchards have been lost since 1960. The loss of an orchard means the[...]
Stained Glass Stories III
June 8, 2023 @ 10:30 - 11:30 at St Mary's Church, Sturminster Newton
“Did er wander down be river-zide, be banks o’ gentle Stour” - Robert Young (Sturminster’s poet) with Rev. J.C. Mansel-Pleydell (Young’s first biographer) When Robert Young died,[...]
The Vintage Shop of Second Chances
June 8, 2023 @ 19:00 at 1855, Sturminster Newton
This event has SOLD OUT! Join the waiting list on EventBrite, who will let you know if any cancellations come up. An author talk followed[...]
Stained Glass Stories IV
June 9, 2023 @ 10:30 - 11:30 at St Mary's Church, Sturminster Newton
“Miss Lowndes does not realise the power of story-telling she possesses” - Dorset stories written by Mary Lowndes (artist) Mary Lowndes is generally acknowledged as the[...]
Beyond Tess
June 9, 2023 @ 14:00 - 15:30 at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton
Michael Langridge, in conversation with Dr Tracy Hayes of The Thomas Hardy Society, talks about The Second Mrs Clare, his sequel to Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tess[...]
The Strands of Gold Trilogy
June 9, 2023 @ 19:00 at The Library, Sturminster Newton
Sadly, this event has been cancelled. Local author Elisabeth Conway will discuss how she uses real historical characters as a backdrop for her Stands of[...]
Book Fair
June 10, 2023 @ 10:30 - 16:00 at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton
A range of stalls selling second-hand and collectible books.  
The Test Pilot's Story
June 10, 2023 @ 13:30 at The Library, Sturminster Newton
Writer Chris Taylor talks about his extraordinary career as a test pilot both with the Royal Navy and with civilian aircraft. Chris Taylor has had[...]
Nature's Wonders
June 10, 2023 @ 16:00 at The Library, Sturminster Newton
With a mix of evocative writing, beautiful photographs and facts that are too good to keep to yourself, this book explores 50 magical moments that[...]
Warriors, Monarchs, and Monks: Illuminating the Dark Ages
June 10, 2023 @ 19:00 at The Library, Sturminster Newton
Matthew Harffy is the author of the action-packed, historically accurate series of novels, the Bernicia Chronicles, set in seventh century Britain. The ninth novel in[...]
Nature Writing Workshop
September 23, 2023 @ 14:00 - 16:00 at The Library, Sturminster Newton
Please note change of date for this workshop. Existing ticket-holders have already been contacted. Seasons, weather, animals, birds, fish, plants and humans ... how can[...]

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