All about

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.  


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Our response to Covid 19

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we are unable to deliver our usual programme of live events. Instead, we have developed a rich online offer and will continue to bring you some of today’s best writers and the most current issues.

For budding writers, we will run masterclasses with skilled creative writing tutors, for lovers of fiction we have a monthly online Book Club hosted by critic Alex Clark, for children there are regular events full of engaging content. Alongside this, we will continue to run our twice-yearly festivals online until we can safely open our doors once more and welcome you in.

Our 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

And our amazing part-time or volunteer freelancers:

Jackie Latham – Finance Manager 

Tom Robbins – Online Producer

Helena Fox – Festival Intern

Sabine Edwards – Children’s Programmer 

Matilda Reith – Digital Producer

Clare Munday – Digital & Customer Happiness

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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+44 (0) 1223 515335

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Our phone lines are open Mon-Fri between 10am – 6pm, except on Festival days.

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