Festival 25 appeal

Help us secure the next 25 years.

In 2022 we celebrated our 25th Oxford Literary Festival – returning after the heavy impact of Covid-19 when the pandemic threatened our very existence.

Recovery has been very challenging. We are the only one of the big literary festivals not to receive UK government or public grants and rely on private sponsors and donors. Your support is vital…

Reasons why the festival needs to be here for another 25 years

Reducing fear of cancellation

In an era of increasing rhetoric, in a world where the cacophony of voices grow louder and more divisive by the day, the festival encourages the art of listening to diverse views and engaging in dialogue that seeks to understand not vilify. The festival brings authors, speakers and visitors together so different views can coexist and understanding can flourish. The festival is a reminder that, in a world of noise and division, words also have the power to heal and bring us together. It’s a reminder that, despite our differences, we all have the right to be different and learn from one another. Support us in keeping the festival as a safe, family space where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to listen to diverse views and cultures, ask questions and share their ideas and perspectives without fear of being vilified or cancelled.

Donate options here – as little as £5 will help

The festival is for lovers of life and literature

The world of literature is a magical one, full of wonder and beauty. It’s a place where words and ideas come together to create something truly special. And for those of us who love literature, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing, listening, asking questions, and meeting the authors. The festival celebrates the transformative power of literature, its ability to transport us to different worlds, to connect us to our shared humanity, and to inspire us to be better versions of ourselves. The festival is a place to hear authors without a media filter, to hear what inspires them to create, to see the passion that drives them to create, to gain insights into the creative process, and to be inspired by their work. And it’s a great place to meet other festival-goers who share your passion for literature. It’s a reminder that literature has the power to connect people, to inspire, and to move us in ways that nothing else can. So come and join us, support us. Love to see you…

Donate here

Antidote for short attention spans

In a world where our attention is constantly pulled in a million different directions, it can feel like our ability to focus is slipping away. The incessant onslaught of messages from social media and streaming platforms has led to a society with poor attention spans. But there is an antidote… the act of active reading or listening. Whether cuddling up with a book on the sofa, enjoying coffee with a magazine, or listening to an audiobook or podcast during a walk, words have the power to slow us down and refocus our minds. It’s an opportunity to step away from the constant distractions of technology and to immerse ourselves in a story, an idea, or a different world. Reading bedtime stories to children or grandchildren is also a wonderful way to bond and to pass on the love of reading to the next generation. Literature is a simple and yet radical solution to the problem of short attention spans.  It’s a way to lose oneself in a story and to find oneself in the process. We hope you’ll join us, immerse yourself in the world of words and ideas and support the festival as a true oasis in a desert of distraction

Donate here

Literacy is key to civilisation and opportunity

Throughout history, those in power have understood the immense power of literacy and the written word. From restricting access to books to burning them outright, the ability to read and write has been weaponised as a means of control and oppression. Why? Because literacy is the key to civilisation and opportunity. It is the foundation upon which all progress and understanding is built. Literature has the power to change hearts and minds, to give voice to the voiceless, to inspire empathy and understanding, and to create a more compassionate world. It’s a power that we must not take for granted. We must use it to fight against ignorance and bigotry, to promote literacy and education, and to create opportunities for all. So let us strive for literacy for all, to use this power to build a better world before we lose it. Support us here in the fight for another 25 years.

The choice is yours - one off or monthly - £5 or any amount you specify - everything helps

Sharing and community

A sense of community is vital to our wellbeing and growth, and your support is essential in bringing together an incredible line-up of writers and speakers, and in creating an unforgettable event that will inspire and challenge us all. The festival is not just an event, it’s a family. A community of people who come together to share ideas, perspectives, and to be challenged and inspired. Your support allows us to build that community and to create unforgettable experiences that will stay with us long after the event is over. Thank you Sally Festival director

How to donate

You can donate to our appeal through our page on the Charities Aid Foundation website. You can donate a one-off amount of your choice or set up a regular direct debit. Alternatively, you can add a donation when you purchase a ticket through our box office. We are grateful for every amount, small or large, which will help us to keep the festival going for the next 25 years.

Find out how to donate here

The Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

The Telegraph Festival media partner University of Oxford Netflix European Union Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the UK Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme BBC World Service International radio partner Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Oxford Mathematics Spanish Embassy The Spanish Embassy: supporters of the programme of Spanish literature and culture Cervantes Institute, London The Cervantes Institute, London Italian Embassy The Italian Embassy: supporter of the programme of Italian literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner International Literary Properties Festival literary heritage partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Festival hotel Old Bank Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Old Parsonage Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Jim Mellon John Roberts Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture Tim and Marion Stevenson Martin and Elise Becket Smith Miles Young Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Carole and John Allen David Isaac Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Anna Hunter Rhys and Kerry Phillip Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival. Founded 1314 New College New College founded 1379 Worcester College Worcester College founded 1714 Lincoln College Lincoln College founded 1427 St Cross College St Cross College founded 1965 Trinity College Trinity College founded 1555 Magdalen College Magdalen College founded 1458 Critchleys Accountants to the festival Pasture to Plate Compassion in World Farming Human Ecology Project MACROVegan Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner. Celebrating 25 years in Europe in 2024 European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sponsor of the EBRD Literature Prize since 2018 ROOMS Georgia's leading lifestyle hotel brand since 2012. Supporters of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Jewish Book Week Partner of Oxford Literary Festival Foodbuy Thje Menu Partners Institute of Hospitality Goldmoney Properties Project People Oxford Brookes University Oxford International Centre for Publishing Confucius Institute Pusey House British Academy Festival academic partner Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford United Football Club Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Paul Bloomfield Ltd University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Conference Oxford Felicity Bryan Associates CAV Oxford The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Images Oxford University Images Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Oxford Georgian Translation Project Supporter of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Force4Good Consultancy Corporate communications OX magazine Ox in a Box K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography The Litmus Partnership Schoolreaders Windrush Group James Currey Society