About us

Cambridge Literary Festival (CLF) began as Cambridge Wordfest in 2003. We had our first annual Spring Festival and added a Winter Festival in 2008.   

In 2014 we became a charity and graduated to Cambridge Literary Festival which is now firmly at the heart of the cultural scene in Cambridge. We continue to present two literary celebrations each year plus one-off events and now with fresh digital content in the new CLF Player packed full of recordings from our archive. 

Find out all about our Governance here.

Cambridge Literary Festival soon became a much-loved and regular highlight drawing large audiences from Cambridge and the rest of the UK 

Thousands of wordsmiths, writers and authors have graced our festival stages and have enthralled, entertained, educated and sometimes enraged our audiences. We now welcome over 350 writers and speakers to Cambridge each year and stage events which cover a huge variety of topics.  

We debate current issues, present the literary greats alongside debut writers, host scientists, artists, politicians, comedians, historians, journalists, poets, and a vibrant programme of events for our younger audiences.   

Cambridge is one of the world’s greatest cities and is home to a university of global significance. We are fortunate to hold our events in some of its most beautiful venues and our audiences love gaining access to previously unexplored places including the historic Cambridge Union Chamber, the Old Divinity School which is part of St John’s College, and the Babbage Lecture Theatre.  

We are enriched by the involvement of the academic community who regularly give us their time and brilliance by chairing events and discussing their own books.  

We do what we do for the love of books.  

 

Our response to Covid 19 

When lockdown hit on March 23rd 2020, we were forced to cancel our Spring Festival which had been due to start on April 16th. With little time to deliberate we made the decision to salvage some of our planned events and provide an online offer.

A combination of serendipity, generosity and hard-work saw us launch The Listening Festival 17-19 April with 12 events and 6 podcasts. The response was positive and found us new audiences across the world and in marginalised communities closer to home.  

The Listening Festivabecame the focus of our fundraising campaign and was instrumental in helping us replace the income we lost. This income was vital to cover our overheads and allow us to continue and our  website re-developmentWe recently received some very helpful income from the Arts Council Recovery Fund which is vital to keep us going whilst we develop our online offer further and until we can once again run live and in-person events. 

 

Martin bond Queens Bridge Cambridge

Our Tiny Team

The Festival is run by our “Tiny Team” of very hardworking people, who all get excited about books! 

Cathy Moore – Founding Director

Angela Martin – Fundraising & Marketing Manager 

Marina Scott – Administrator

Jackie Latham – Finance Manager 

Holly Knox – Intern (part-time)

And our amazing part-time freelancers:

Sabine Edwards – Children’s Programmer 

Tom Robbins – Digital Producer

Matilda Reith – Digital Producer

 

Honorary Patrons

The Festival is greatly enriched by the generosity and brilliance of our talented and esteemed Honorary Patrons.

We are so very grateful for their investment, support and belief in us.  

Dame Gillian Beer
Melissa Benn
Sophie Hannah
Alex Clark
Jill Dawson
Dame Margaret Drabble
Robert Macfarlane
Robert McCrum
Michael Morpurgo
Rowan Pelling
David Reynolds
David Runciman
Elif Shafak
Ali Smith
Frances Spalding
Preti Taneja
Bee Wilson

Contact us

If you have any questions about programming, events, getting involved, accessibility, or anything else Festival related, please drop us a line! We love hearing from you. 

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