Bridport Literary Festival’s first student bursary scheme has been boosted by a private trust fund.

Two bursaries of £3,000 a year are now available to two local students who are in Year 13 or just finishing a gap year and planning to go to university in the autumn.

The bursaries are for a three-year undergraduate degree course in any subject. The application deadline is 31 August.

Festival chairman Deirdre Coates said: ‘Initially we had planned to award £1,000 a year to two students and had ring-fenced £18,000, thus allowing six students to benefit.

‘We were amazed and delighted when a very generous local couple, who manage a private trust, decided to make this £1,000 into £3,000 for each of the successful candidates for each year of their degree.

‘This is enough to make a significant difference to university expenses, a factor which has been deterring many young people from applying for tertiary education.’

The Bridlit Bursary is open to Year 13 students applying for an undergraduate course beginning in 2023 who are in the Beaminster-Colfox joint sixth-form or who live within Dorset Council’s Bridport ward.

To be considered for one of the two bursaries, students should complete the application form on the Bridport Literary Festival website at

BridLit already supports Read Easy, a nationwide charity with an active branch in Bridport, which helps adults with reading difficulties. It also helps the Bank of Dreams and Nightmares, a registered charity which offers free creative writing workshops to West Dorset children aged 7-18.

This year’s Bridport Literary Festival takes place in venues in and around the town from 5 – 11 November.  The programme will be unveiled at the beginning of August, with priority booking for sponsors and Friends of Bridport Literary Festival from 4 August and then the general public three weeks later.

To become a Friend of the festival, visit