Ilminster Literary Festival

The Illminster Literary Festival Committee are looking forward to welcoming Martin Bell OBE, Fay Weldon CBE, Chris Mullin, Laurie Graham, Daisy Waugh, Alastair Sawday, Georgie Newbery, Robert Parry, Stephen Moss, Philip Wilkinson, Graham Lloyd ,Rob Barratt, and many more exciting guests from 30th May.  Tickets can be booked online here from 11th April.

Please note that the details of our 2018  programme and Where to buy Tickets in the early edition of Lamp are incorrect, and the magazine has apologised for any confusion that may have arisen.  Please use our Events at a Glance page.  Our box office is situated at Airs and Graces, Silver Street, Ilminster.  Open Tuesday -Saturday.

History of the Festival.

The Ilminster Literary Festival was set up to offer local people of all ages in Ilminster and the surrounding areas an exciting and enjoyable opportunity to meet a variety of authors, editors, and script writers through discussion, talks and meetings, at affordable prices.

The Ilminster Literary Festival is now a Registered Charity No 1169618

The Festival is now run by a group of 6 trustees, and a Management Operations committee of around 6 volunteers. No one is paid a salary or wage.

The first Festival ran from the 1st to 9th of June 2016 in a variety of locations in Ilminster and surrounding villages with the emphasis being on local authors. Our second Festival was equally as successful and varied and became an annual event. Our third Festival in June will be launched at a Book Fair in April, followed soon after by a Quiz Night on May 11th (all welcome see programme and tickets) The  2018 Festival starts on 30th May with 20 plus varied and interesting events, finishing with a one act play with supper on Friday 8th June. Hopefully  there will be something interesting for everyone to enjoy.

Tickets for the various events will be available from 11th April either online via this website or if you prefer to purchase a ticket direct from a local shop, Airs and Graces in Silver Street, Ilminster.

The Festival is being supported by local people, businesses, the Library, Friends or Sponsors, and by generous donations  in the past from Ilminster Town Council, SSDC, the Gooch Charitable Trust, Ilminster Education Foundation, and Tesco Stores. All of these contributions have enabled the Festival to build year on year, with well known speakers appearing  from across the UK and even further.


  1. Hi, It’s Ilminster Library here. We would love to be involved in the literary festival and would like to offer the library as a venue for an event.


    1. Hi
      We would very much like to keep the Library involved in the Literary Festival but at this moment in time not sure exactly how.
      Perhaps we could arrange some book signings in the Library?
      if I may I would prefer to speak with you directly and maybe the best way is for me to call in asap?
      Brenda Lake


  2. Hi Brenda, this is Fiona Day from Stocklinch. I was wondering if I might be able to pay for an ad to appear in the festival program advertising our shepherds hut? I look forward to hearing from you. Very many thanks.


    1. Hi Fiona
      Good to hear from you..its been a little while.
      We are at the printing stage right now so sorry as we would love to have your shepherd hut in our advertising section,it looks amazing.
      May we ring or contact you next year..we start again around October time?


      1. Hi Brenda, thank you for getting back to me and I’ll be in touch later in the year about next year’s programme. I’ve just booked some tickets – the programme looks great – very exciting! Bye for now, Fiona.


  3. Dear Brenda
    Would you like to promote the festival in the Programme for this years Royal Bath & West Show? It runs over four days May 30th to June 2nd. Happy to forward you further details if you could forward me your email?


  4. Hi there, could you please give me some information on any events in the festival that are aimed at children?


    1. Hello, For the last two years we have had illustrated talks from well known authors (which to be honest were very costly to stage) and at no event did we have more than, at most, 4 children despite publicising the events through over 40 local schools and throughout Ilminster and being free entry for chidren. Consequentally we reluctantly decided that the only specific children’s event we would run this year through Greenfylde School was the Children’s Poetry competition. If you are asking for older children ie teenagers they would probably enjoy Murders Most Horrid on Wed 30th May or (definitely not younger than teenager) the Two Ghost stories on Thu 31st May. Regards, Gill Walker


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