Preparations are underway for this year’s 12th Marlborough LitFest being held from September 30 to October 3.

Organisers say ticket sales are going well for the hybrid festival, which the LitFest committee hopes audiences will flock back to, either in person or online, after such a challenging year.

Tickets are still available for a range of author talks, which include established names such as the acclaimed Irish writer Colm Tóibín, local author Gill Hornby, journalist and writer Sathnam Sanghera, and environmental campaigner Jonathon Porritt.

The festival also features debut writers, poetry events and children’s authors, and an exclusive finale event with LitFest patron Sir Simon Russell Beale.

As well as established names, LitFest is delighted to welcome a mix of authors with fiction and non-fiction titles across many genres for 2021.

Author and illustrator Matthew Dooley will talk about his debut graphic novel, Flake, which won the 2020 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction (the first time a graphic novel has won this award) in a tale of a skirmish in the ice-cream van wars of the north-west of England, that has echoes of Alan Bennett.

Award-winning novelist and short story writer Jon McGregor has been called one of the most exciting voices in English literature and has been nominated for the Booker Prize for three of his books, most recently Reservoir 13. He will be appearing in a virtual event at LitFest to talk about his latest, fifth novel Lean Fall Stand.

Cricket and memoir-lovers can hear writer and journalist, Ian Ridley, talk about his book, The Breath of Sadness: On Love, Grief and Cricket, which was shortlisted for the 2020 William Hill Sports Book of the Year and recounts how Ridley found the game of county cricket helped him deal with the grief of losing his wife to cancer.

Marlborough LitFest chair Genevieve Clarke said: “There’s real enthusiasm for the return of LitFest which is so encouraging. We’re delighted to be putting on live events in Marlborough once again and also offering an online option so that people can join in from wherever they are.”

For further details on the full Marlborough LitFest programme, visit or pick up a programme from The White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough.

Marlborough LitFest has partnered with Swindon-based video creative agency, StreamWorks, in order to livestream events from the Town Hall so that the festival can reach as wide an audience as possible. Please check the festival brochure for details of each event.

LitFest is offering a special bundle of tickets for all 13 online events at this year’s festival, for £50.

LitFest would like to thank its new lead festival sponsor, Sarah Raven, livestream sponsor Hiscox Insurance, and event sponsors William Golding Limited, Marlborough College, St Francis School, and new event sponsor, Adam Matthew, as well as Hamilton Trust, Katharine House Gallery, The Arts Society Kennet & Swindon, Haine and Smith, The White Horse Bookshop and Wiltshire Life for their continued support to the festival.



Telephone: 0333 666 3366 (Mon-Fri 9am-7pm; Sat 9am-5pm)

(through TicketSource £1.80 telephone booking fee applies)

In person: The White Horse Bookshop 136 High Street, Marlborough

(Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm; Sun 11am-4pm)