Planning Our Book Festival

An audience at Lincoln Book Festival 2018

It may be six months until Lincoln Book Festival 2019 begins but planning is in full swing and soon we expect to release the first confirmed authors in the exciting programme of literary events taking shape.

What does it take to organise Lincoln Book Festival? Although every year brings new ideas and a fresh look at what we can offer for audiences old and new, there are a few key components that underpin each iteration.


Without our wonderful venues, we simply wouldn’t have a festival. The Collection hosts most of our events with Lincoln Drill Hall staging some of our big name guest authors. We’re also lucky to have strong links to our universities and local organisations who offer spaces for workshops and other activities.

Lincoln Drill Hall

Lincoln Drill Hall


The festival enjoys crucial support from the local business community and our event sponsors are key to making the festival a success. We have a number of long-standing sponsors and some newer supporters too whose contributions help us cover costs like paying authors’ appearance fees.


It’s not just our venues and sponsors who are vital supporters, we also benefit from organisations who input in other ways, like key partners Visit Lincoln. Staging the festival is a genuine collaboration. Last year we were delighted to win grant funding from Arts Council England which helped us develop our digital presence (including this website!).


Lincoln Book Festival is organised entirely by a committee of trustees and volunteers. The Festival Chair is Phil Hamlyn Williams, Chair of Lincoln Drill Hall, and Our Patron is Lord Cormack, who provides invaluable support. The committee meets every few months to plan the festival, devoting many volunteer hours in between.


It wouldn’t be a book festival without books. When putting together the festival programme each year it’s a great joy to go trawling through publishers’ lists and scouring the stands at the London Book Fair looking for books within our chosen theme. Waterstones and Lindum Books ensure we have a steady supply on sale at our events too!


Our guest authors are the stars of the show. Household names can pack out a venue like the Lincoln Drill Hall but we look for lesser known gems too. Each year we aim to feature a wide variety of voices, including historians, novelists, broadcasters and public figures. We pay all our authors appearance fees and reasonable expenses in line with Society of Authors guidelines.

Tracy Borman signs books for fans


We do it all for you! Lincoln is a spectacular, historic city and we think there are few places more fitting to host a literary festival devoted to the best history writing and historical fiction. Increasingly we’re reaching younger audiences too as we diversify our programme with our first festival fringe events in 2018 introducing theatre alongside the classic talks, panel discussions and Q&As with guest authors.