The Bridport Literary Festival is now in its 16th year and goes from strength to strength, hosting a programme of events featuring an eclectic cast of writers of fiction and non-fiction as well as emerging talents. The Festival was spawned originally from the international Bridport Prize, founded in 1973, to encourage and reward writers of short stories and poetry. Tanya’s vision for The Bridport Literary Festival has always been to welcome writers to talk on a myriad of subjects which stimulate, intrigue and entertain audiences who read books, love literature and wish to engage with authors. The Festival takes place annually and has become a firm fixture in the West Dorset calendar for November.
Tanya moved to Dorset from London twenty years ago following a successful and fulfilling career in television and journalism. She started as a Girl Friday on the day London Weekend Television, won the contract for weekend programming and went on to work as a researcher on chat shows with David Frost, Frank Muir, Simon Dee and David Jacobs. She produced the Russell Harty Show and when he left for the BBC, Tanya joined Humphrey Burton as a producer of arts documentaries for Aquarius and then worked with Melvyn Bragg on the South Bank Show. Latterly she joined Granada Television to head up Arts programming and was instrumental in bringing the ballets of choreographer Kenneth Macmillan to ITV
On arrival in Dorset, Tanya became the Director of the Beaminster Festival for Music and the Arts and was able to use her journalism and television contacts to expand the content of the festival considerably, increasing its diversity and range. The Bridport Literary Festival has benefitted from this same breadth of vision, a desire to encourage and stimulate ideas and provoke debate and a commitment to fuel a wide range of interests of audiences from West Dorset and much further afield.
Now regarded as one of the major Literary Festivals in the country, Tanya has ensured that BridLit (which is now what it is affectionately referred to) is recognised for quality and diversity and a forum for literary excellence.
Photo: Robin Mills