The Durham Book Festival began life in 1990 and is now one of the Country’s biggest and best literary festivals, it is also one of the oldest. Cultural diversity is part of the warp and the weft of Durham City and County with our rich historical heritage and of course the University of Durham so often leading the way in enriching our appreciation of all that is best in our civilisation. The Durham Book Festival, now part of the Durham County Councils festival programme, is supported by The University of Durham and Arts Council England along with other sponsors.

It is expected that the Durham Book Festival 2016 will attract substantially more than last year’s 17000 people with a rich array of writing talent in attendance and taking part. With such talented luminaries as Anthony Horowitz, David Baddiel, Labour stalwart Alan Johnson and Journalist Owen Jones there is a great deal on offer and at sensible prices, access needs to be affordable after all. There will be 60 events during the Festival at various locations, a full calendar is available on the Durham Book Festival web site at

Durham Book Festival 2016 Programme -
From Durham Book Festival 2016 Programme. Full version available on Festival’s website – courtesy of

A special event worthy of note is an evening with Michael Morpurgo author of the novel ‘War Horse’, and Durham author Pat Barker who is well known for her excellent novel ‘Regeneration’ both of whom will be talking about writing on ‘The Great War’. This interesting event will be held at the Cathedral on 14th October.

There are many exciting opportunities to learn more about writing and writers throughout the Book Festival and local people, plus visitors, are welcome to join in the literary and thought provoking fun.

Particular attention is paid to young people with a varied Schools access programme via Durham Book Festival for Schools bringing literary enrichment into the heart of the younger community with something for all ages.

Book festivals are about encouraging people to read and through their reading explore different genres and views on life and the human condition. Book Festivals have over the years encouraged many a visitor to release the book that is said to be inside almost all of us. Perhaps we can look forward to a flush of local new writers, who so excited by what they see and hear, will sit down and write?

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