From Inverness to Budleigh Salterton, and Folkestone to Tenby, 60-plus literary festivals, many of them formed only in the last year or so, fill the cultural calendar between now and December.

It’s testament to a relatively new and seemingly insatiable demand to hear what the faces behind a vast range of literature have to say-at Appledore, a North Devon fishing village (September 25-October 3, www.appledorefestival.co.uk), the sessions with P.D. James, Kate Adie, Gen Sir Mike Jackson and Ann Widdecombe are already sold out, as are Deborah Devonshire, Shirley Williams and Craig Brown at the Henley Literary Festival (September 29-October 23, www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk). A stellar line-up at The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival on October 8-17, for which bookings opened this week (www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature), includes Salman Rushdie, A.S. Byatt and Stephen Fry.

Biographer Anne Chisholm, chair of the Royal Society of Literature, which puts on events all year round in London, comments: ‘We’re finding that not only are talks by |RSL Fellows such as Hilary Mantel, Ian McEwen or Christopher Ricks, packed out, but that aspiring writers jump at the chance to join in discussions with them and work closely with them in masterclasses. It’s wonderful that the public appetite for celebrating and exploring good writing is growing so strongly.’

Many festivals represent great value: at the latest to spring up, the new Marlborough LitFest (September 24-26, www.marlboroughlitfest.org), you can hear writers of the calibre of Margaret Drabble, Adam Foulds and Lynn Barber for just £8. It is the brainchild of local novelist Mavis Cheek. Organiser Kay Newman explains, ‘Mavis was at a festival introducing a cricketing star when she had a sort of Damascene moment: literary festivals need to go back to basics, which means good writing. So we haven’t got any “celebrities” at ours, just very good writers. It’s encouraging in this age of dumbing-down and with the internet replacing human interaction to see that people do want to go to something intellectual, and writers seem to like to get out and about, too.’

The best literary festivals to attend this autumn:

September Literary Festivals

25 – 3 Oct: Appledore Book Festival www.appledorebookfestival.co.uk
24 – 3 Oct: The Bath Festival of Children’s Literature www.bathkidslitfest.co.uk/
13- 19: Bristol Poetry Festival www.poetrycan.co.uk
24 – 26: Budleigh Salterton Festival www.budlitfest.org.uk
19 – 21: Hamstead and Highgate Literary Festival www.hamhighlitfest.com
22 – 25: Havant Literary Festival www.havantlitfest.hampshire.org.uk
6 – 7: Islay Book Festival www.ohhnice.com/islaybook
11 – 26: Rye Festival www.ryefestival.co.uk
23 – 26: Small Wonder, The Short Story Festival www.charleston.org.uk/smallwonder
9 – 30: SW11 Literary Festival www.clapham-Junction.com
18 – 25: Tenby Arts Festival www.tenbyartsfest.co.uk
18 – 20: Throckmorton Literary Festival, Coughton Court www.coughtoncourt.co.uk/literary-festival.html
24 – 3 Oct: Wigtown Literary Festival www.wigtownbookfestival.com/
4 – 5: Wordplay Shetland www.shetlandarts.org/events/wordplay/
24 – 26: Frinton Literary Festival www.frinton.org/events

October Literary Festivals

22 – 7 Oct: Brighton International Poetry Festival www.thesouth.org.uk
15 -30: Belfast Festival at Queen’s www.belfastfestival.com
1 -10: Beverley Literature Festival www.beverley-literature-festival.org/
8 – 17: Bewdley Festival www.bewdleyfestival.org.uk/index.htm
29 October- 7 November Bridport Literary Festival www.bridport-arts.com
22 – 28: Bournemouth Literary Festival www.bournemouthliteraryfestival.co.uk
16 – 30: Canterbury Festival www.canterburyfestival.co.uk
8 -17: Cheltenham Festival of Literature www.cheltenhamfestivals.com
18 – 31: Chester Literature Festival www.chesterfestivals.co.uk/site/literature-festival
23 – 1: Durham Book Festival www.bookfestival.org.uk
27 – 9 Nov: Dylan Thomas Festival: A Refusal to Mourn www.dylanthomas.com/index.cfm?articleid=8653
23 Sep – 8 Oct: Essex Poetry Festival www.essex-poetry-festival.co.uk
18 – 23: Eype Autumn 2010 ‘Book’n Author’ Weeks Literary Festival www.eypechurcharts.co.uk
7 – 10: Exeter Poetry Festival www.exeterpoetryfestival.com
13 – 17 The First Chapter and Verse Literature Festival, Liverpool www.thebluecoat.org.uk
30 Sep – 3 Oct: Graham Greene Festival www.grahamgreenebt.org
14 – 23: Guildford Book Festival www.guildfordbookfestival.co.uk
29 Sep – 3 Oct Henley Literary Festival www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk/
1 – 17: Ilkley Playhouse www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk
5 – 10: Inverness Book Festival www.invernessbookfestival.co.uk/
8 – 24: Knutsford Literature Festival www.knutsfordlitfest.org
15 – 24: Lancaster Litfest www.litfest.org
15 – 31: Liverpool Irish Festival www.liverpoolirishfestival.com
14 – 25: Manchester Literature Festival www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk
11 – 17: Mere Literary Festival www.merelitfest.co.uk
11 – 17: Morely Literature Festival www.morleyliteraturefestival.co.uk/
12 – 14: North Pennies Storytelling Festival www.npenninestorytelling.org.uk
5 – 20 Nov: The Orange Birmingham Book Festival www.birminghambookfestival.org
29 -31 Pooleliterary Festival www.poolelitfest.com
3 – 22: Saffron Walden Literary Festival www.hartsevents.co.uk
24 Sep – 10 Oct: Sevenoaks Literary Celebration www.sevenoaksliterarycelebration.com/
Oct – Dec: UEA International Literature Festival – details announced 23rd Aug
1 – 10: Warwick Words: Festival of literature and spoken word www.warwickwords.co.uk
8 – 15: Wells Festival of Literature www.wlitf.co.uk
7 – 10: Wetherby Festival (Biennial) www.wetherbyfestival.co.uk/
24 Sep – 3 Oct: Wigtown Literary Festival www.wigtownbookfestival.com/
13 – 24: Wolds Words www.woldswords.org.uk/festival.html
10 – 12: Woodstock Celebrates Books www.wakeuptowoodstock.com/
18 April – 19 Oct: Wordsworth Trust – Poetry season www.wordsworth.org.uk

November Literary Festivals

5 – 7: Aldeburgh International Poetry Festival www.thepoetrytrust.org
Various dates in Nov: Book now literature Festival , Richmond www.richmond.gov.uk/book_now_literature_festival
16 – 21: Chorleywood Literature Festival www.cwlitfest.org
5 – 13: Folkestone Book Festival www.folkestonelitfest.co.uk
8- 20: Northern Children’s Book Festival www.ncbf.org.uk
12 -13: Small Publishers Fair www.rgap.co.uk/spf.php
11 – 15: Southwold Literature Festival www.wayswithwords.co.uk/festivals/southwold-19
Oct – Dec: UEA International Literature Festival- details announced 23rd Aug

December Literary Festivals

April
2- 10: Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival www.oxfordliteraryfestival.com/