The Durham Literature Festival is now in its sixteenth year. Below you will find links archived websites for some of those festivals:


The 2006 Durham Literature Festival ran from 6th October - 27th October 2005, and included Anthony Joseph, Simon Armitage, Paul Batchelor, Vic Reeves, David Almond, Andrew Crumey, Margaret Wilkinson, Sharon Olds, Colette Bryce, Anna Woodford, S J Litherland, Sean O'Brien, Owen Sheers, Jacob Polley and Don Paterson.

Visit the website


The 2005 Durham Literature Festival ran from 25th September - 25th October 2005, and included Cat Weatherill, Simon Fanshawe, Yvonne Brewster, Frances Fyfield, Christopher Brookmyre, Ben Haggarty, Jacques Darras, Ruth Padel, Vane Women, Gillian Allnutt, Peter Bennet, Brian Patten, Sheree Mack, Kitty Fitzgerald, Joolz Denby, Cathi Unsworth, Wendy Robertson, Mary S. Lovell, Margaret Elphinstone, Jane Glover, Ian McMillan, General Sir Peter de la Billiere, Gillian Clarke, Chris Bostock, Rachel Unthank, Jane Hirschfield, Tim Dalling & The Dog Leap Stars.

Visit the website


In 2004, Durham's Literature Festival celebrated its fifteenth birthday. The mood was one of celebration, but also of retrospection, of reconnection with the roots of the Festival. The festival included Hugh Lupton, Diamond Twig, John Murray, Ian Rankin, Jill Paton Walsh, Alex Ferguson, Debbie Taylor, Vane Women, Bloodaxe Anthology: Being Alive, Michael Standen, Iain Banks and Roy Hattersley.

Visit the website


In 2004, Durham's Literature Festival had a horror theme, the festival included Cat Weatherill, Daniel Morden, Sean O'Brien, Linda Francem, Patrick McCabe, Tony White, Humphrey Carpenter, Vane Women, Fern Hill, Ken Campbell, Shonaleigh Cumbers, Kate Fox and The Travelling Waverlies, Valerie Laws, Ann Alexander, Ben Haggarty, Sianed Jones, Alexei Sayle, Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, Chaz Brenchley, Elle Ludkin, Gail-Nina Anderson,Uwe Kolbe, Johannes Bauer, Sean Burke, Ron Butlin, Joel Lane, Henry Sutton, John Williams, John Hegley, Dan Rhodes, J Robert Lennon, Anne Fine, John Kinsella, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Medbh McGuckian, Micheal O'Siadhail, Steve Bell and Terry Jones.

Visit the website


The 2002 Durham Literature Festival ran from 29 June - 13 July.

Visit the website


The 2001 Festival described itself as "a festival where writers and readers head into uncharted territory". It included Ian Duhig, Sean 0' Brien, Andy Croft, Gillian Allnutt, Cynthia Fuller, Kitty Fitzgerald, Wendy Robertson, Ciaran Carson, Marina Warner, WN Herbert, Matthew Hollis, Selima Hill, Neil Astley, Jonathan Coe, Jeremy Dyson, Chrissie Glazebrook, Helen Cross, Pat Barker, Michel Faber, Nicholas Blincoe, Matt Thorne,Scarlett Thomas, Tony White, John Kirtley, Jonathan Tulloch, Wendy Cope, Fleur Adcock, Andrew Motion, Keith Waterhouse, Lesley Glaister, David Almond, Maureen Duffy, David Aaronovitch, Vane Women, Marilyn Longstaff, Anne Hine, Barbara Trapido, Debbie Taylor and Livi Michael.

Visit the website


The 2000 Festival Word4Word included Gillian Allnutt, Simon Armitage, Jake Arnott, Andrea Badenoch, Margaret Burt, Andrew Crumey, Imtiaz Dharker, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, UA Fanthorpe, Charles Fernyhough, Catherine Fox, Linda Grant, W.N. Herbert, Kathleen Jamie, Amy Jenkins, Joolz, Daren King, Toby Litt, Sarah Maguire, Andrew Motion, Don Paterson, Clare Pollard, Will Self, Jo Shapcott, Lemn Sissay, Subhadassi, Jonathan Tulloch.

Visit the website


The programme for the first Bede Literary Festival in 1989 filled four sides of A4 paper; the Festival was repeated the following year, but the programme was a single sheet of A4, and the main content of the Festival was a day of workshops for writers (sponsored by Hammick's Bookstore). Even the illustration on the front of the leaflet was simpler.

The Festival was held on Sunday 24th June, at the College of St. Hild and St. Bede, with the headlined theme: Write Better and Enjoy Yourself.

Visit the website


The city of Durham has literary associations which can be traced back far beyond the 1980s; nonetheless, the Durham Literature Festival as we now know it originated with the inspiration of one woman in 1989. Mary Bell, a writer from Easington Colliery, drew up plans for a literary festival and sent them off to the organisers of County Durham's Land of the Prince Bishops campaign. Her ideas were welcomed, and Mary was rewarded, alongside novelist Denise Robertson, with the award of a floral garland.

Visit the website