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Marlborough Literature Festival

Founded in 2010 by volunteers keen to celebrate fine writing, Marlborough Literature festival is held annually in the last week of September and has evolved into a much admired and popular event.

‘Famous authors and poets have roots in Marlborough so it made sense to establish a festival here. William Golding’s childhood home was on the Green and Siegfried Sassoon and John Betjeman attended Marlborough College. Local author Mavis Cheek was one of the main driving forces behind it.’

The focus is on good writing and supporting the unknown - they rarely feature politicians or celebrities. A more well-known author, The Golding speaker, opens the festival and past speakers have included Louis de Bernieres and Sally Vickers. There are street events, a translation duel and poetry in the pub and gleeful children take part in school events and listen to some of their favourite authors.

‘The best part of the festival is being surprised - you never know what to expect but authors are normal people like us, experiencing the ups and downs of life. I’ve been to talks where I’ve laughed and cried and really connected with the author’s story. The perception can be that literary festivals are highbrow but, that’s not the case at all, they’re really accessible and fun.’

The festival wouldn’t be possible without it’s fabulous sponsors, especially their headline sponsor Brewin Dolphin, and tickets go on sale in July. Don’t miss it!

Our Wiltshire

Marlborough has always had strong literary connections - Nobel prize winner William Golding was brought up in the town and Siegfried Sassoon attended Marlborough College - and the literary festival is a natural follow-up. Marlborough is the perfect setting for our festival - small, intimate and friendly. Authors love coming here. They can enjoy the lovely Wiltshire countryside as well as the delights of the town....

The Marlborough Literature Festival Team

Where to find us





Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th September


Golding Speaker: Rose Tremain

Max Hastings, Alan Johnson, Lois Pryce, William Boyd, Kate Mosse, Katie Hickman, Adelle Stripe, Mick Kitson, Chris Cleave


Our top things to do in Wiltshire

A gem in the High Street not to be missed

The White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough is a fantastic, multi award-winning independent bookshop. Situated in a beautiful, 16th Century building on the High Street, it’s always packed with interesting books and the staff are well informed and very helpful. A real treat to have in Marlborough!


Take a walk or ride through the landscape of the Vale of Pewsey

In the heart of Wiltshire, this vale is designated an outstanding area of natural beauty. You will see rare chalk flowers, butterflies, buzzards, kites, hawks as well as the stunning chalk undulating scenery – not forgetting the iconic white chalk horse carved into the hill at Alton Barnes. There are a number of pubs in the Vale to stop at too...


Wander around the prehistoric area of Avebury, a World Heritage site

The village of Avebury is the centre of some of the most important prehistoric monuments in Britain. You can walk around the impressive 4,000-year-old stone circle, the biggest in Europe, wonder at the mysterious Silbury Hill and then walk to the even older West Kennet long barrow. Stop for a pint in The Red Lion pub or buy a drink and sandwich in the local community shop.


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