Our mission is to celebrate books and their authors and promote the art of writing and the enjoyment of reading.

About our Festival

Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on East Devon’s World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast, Budleigh Salterton hosts the most outstanding literary festival in South West England. As a registered charity, our mission is to celebrate books and their authors and promote the art of writing and the enjoyment of reading in our East Devon community and in our local schools.

Festival in Schools

A very important part of the charitable activity of the Festival is encouraging children to read and enjoy books. Good literacy and a love of books brings enormous benefits for life outcomes and well-being. Young people have lost so much of their education because of the pandemic and it has never been more important to help them bridge that literacy gap by introducing them to real live authors. So the Festival takes authors into schools to inspire children and help to get them reading. See our Festivals in Schools blog here for more information about what we do.

Widely embraced by our local community

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival was founded in 2008 by the late Susan Ward. Susan’s aim was to attract critically acclaimed authors, poets and playwrights to come to Budleigh and share their work. For five days each September, the Festival continues to flourish and expand year upon year whilst retaining its warm and intimate atmosphere, consistently attracting leading contemporary fiction authors, poets, travel writers, sports journalists, scientists, food writers, historians, economists and current affairs commentators.

Supported by the local community, who embrace the variety of events and workshops, this is a literary festival which offers delights few other festivals can match.


We also run an extensive programme for families, offering subsidised tickets to young people’s events, free events and free activities during the Festival.

Dame Hilary Mantel

The success of the Festival has been reinforced for many years by the enthusiastic support of its Honorary President, double Man Booker Prize winner, the late Dame Hilary Mantel DBE. Dame Hilary was particularly supportive of new and emerging writers – something we plan to continue by organising a debut authors event in her name from September 2023.

Join our Mailing List

Sign up to receive all our latest news and events
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.