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UPDATE: Festival statement on author payments

Festival wants to maintain a broad and diverse range of speakers

The Oxford Literary Festival recognises and understands the strength of feeling in the literary community regarding the payment of speaker fees to authors and writers and we are sympathetic to this cause.

The festival’s aim has always been to showcase as wide a variety of writers and their work as possible. Each year, as well as famous and successful writers from Britain and overseas, more than half of the speakers at the festival are lesser known writers or those starting out on their literary careers. Our ethos has been to support them all.

Our festival’s unique character comes from the fact that most events are staged in the historic and beautiful university and college buildings, providing both speakers and audience alike with inspiring venues. Our remit is to provide a rich variety of topics each year, from adult and children’s fiction to poetry, philosophy, history, biography, science, nature and the environment, religion, art, design, music, film, theatre, business, health, politics and lifestyle.

Notwithstanding the grandeur of our setting and scale of our vision, the festival is a registered charity that receives no taxpayers’ money or public funding. For every £12 ticket sold a further £20 in support has to be raised from our generous sponsors, partners and donors in subsidy.

The festival is supported by a loyal team of 40 unpaid volunteers and has no full-time staff.

We have, of course, been aware of the debate regarding author payments for some time, but given the limitations of the tight budgets we run to (the festival’s last audited accounts show a loss of £18,000 in 2014), paying each speaker would require an additional 15% in costs or £75,000 for the 500 speakers across our 250 events planned for 2016.

However, once April’s festival is over, we will meet with all interested parties to discuss how to achieve payment of fees for all speakers while safe-guarding the presence of our record levels of unknown writers for 2017 and beyond.

Finally, we acknowledge that Philip Pullman has been an extraordinary supporter and ally of the festival in his role as patron, appearing on our platforms on many occasions and receiving the festival’s honorary fellowship in 2013. We have always had enormous respect for his views and commitment, and we thank him sincerely for all he has done for us.

Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Symington Wines of the Douro Valley International Literary Properties Supporters of the festival green room The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award BBC World Service International radio partner University of Oxford FT Weekend Title partner Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Sponsor of the festival crime fiction programme Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Trinity College Trinity College St Cross College St Cross College Lincoln College Lincoln College Worcester College Worcester College New College Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Paul Bloomfield Ltd Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Royal Academy of Arts Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland Pasture to Plate

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Symington Wines of the Douro Valley International Literary Properties Supporters of the festival green room The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award BBC World Service International radio partner University of Oxford FT Weekend Title partner Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Sponsor of the festival crime fiction programme Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Trinity College Trinity College St Cross College St Cross College Lincoln College Lincoln College Worcester College Worcester College New College Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Paul Bloomfield Ltd Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Royal Academy of Arts Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland Pasture to Plate