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.



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