In 2024 The Bridport Literary Festival celebrates its 20th year.  The Festival was spawned from the Bridport Prize, established in 1973 and one of the first significant international literary awards for short story writing and poetry.   In 2004 a group of literary loving locals – including the then director of the Bridport Arts Centre, the director of the Eype Centre for the Arts and the director of BridLit – got together to ‘brew’ the idea of a celebration of literary voices. Under Tanya Bruce-Lockhart’s direction, the Festival has grown and expanded over the years and events take place at venues throughout the town and West Bay, attracting audiences from across the County and beyond. The Festival became a registered charity in 2011 and is dependent upon the generosity of Sponsors and Donors and the Friends of the Bridport Literary Festival to sustain a high standard of programme of events while trying to keep ticket prices affordable. Once a prosperous centre of the rope and net making industry, Bridport has now reinvented itself to become a centre of excellence for Culture and the Arts. This year Dorset County of Culture’s pilot initiative has designated Bridport as  Bridport Town of Culture with a programme of events running from July to December. BridLit is very much a part of this initiative and welcomes to the festival all those who read books and love literature.

Festival Director

The Electric Palace | Wednesday 18th Sep 2024 | 2.30pm


Special Bookclub Event at the Electric Palace

Of all the ancient art that captures the imagination, none is more appealing than the Cycladic figurine. An air of mystery swirls around these statuettes from the Bronze Age and they are highly sought after by collectors – and looters – alike. In her new novel Victoria Hislop shines a light on the questionable acquisition of cultural treasures and the price people, and countries, will pay to cling on to them.

She says: ‘I have been down a long and exciting path to write The Figurine. I admired the beauty of the Cycladic figurine for many years and began to understand what a huge influence they had on 20th century art. I also began to realise that their beauty has an irresistible and seductive power and wanted to write about the crime that such beauty and antiquity can drive people to. My story is set during the period of the Junta, an army dictatorship that committed many crimes, effectively robbing people of their lives and driving others into exile. To me there seemed to be a striking parallel. I hope readers will be pulled into this period of history, and the question of where something, or someone, really belongs.’

 The conversation between Victoria Hislop and Sally Laverack will take place on 18th September at 2.30 pm.

Tickets £15

The tickets can be obtained from the Electric Palace online or  Bridport Tourist Office in South Street, Bridport. Either in person or by phone on 01308 424901

Bridlit 2023 Highlights

Bridlit Bursaries 2024

Bridport Literary Festival Bursary 2024 for Year 13 Students

The Bridport Literary Festival would like to invite students in Year 13 who are planning to progress to university, to apply for the Bridlit Bursary which will allow the 2 successful candidates £3,000 a year for each year of their three year degree course.

The Bridlit Bursary is open to any Year 13 student resident in the Bridport ward of the Dorset Council or who attends the Beaminster Colfox joint sixth form and who has applied or who intends to apply for an undergraduate course beginning in 2024. To be considered for one of the two bursaries available for this autumn, they should complete the application form. In no more than 4,000 characters, they will need to explain why they think they are a suitable candidate, why they have chosen their subject of study, and how they see the Bridlit Bursary helping them to achieve their goals. They will also be asked for the names and contact details of two referees.

Candidates should visit www.bridlit.com/bursaries to find full details of the Bursaries and fill out the application form. This process is very simple and every young person in the Bridport area who is planning to go to University this autumn is encouraged to apply.

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