Why we believe in paying our authors

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Jemma Wayne and Alex Hourston

We get great feedback from the authors who come to Marlborough LitFest.


Philip Pullman’s resignation as patron of Oxford Literary Festival yesterday led to much comment and debate in the world of authors, publishers and literary festivals. He was protesting about author’s fees – or rather the lack of a fee – as the Oxford festival does not pay authors to appear.

Today, an open letter from over 30 authors, including Francesca Simon, Joanne Harris and Anthony McGowan, has called for a boycott of festivals that do not pay. Happily, we are one of the festivals that does pay a fee to all authors and interviewers appearing at our events.


Jan Williamson, our Chair, said:

“We’ve always paid our authors right from the beginning. We believe we should as we’re asking them to do a job and they may need to prepare and take time away from writing. We also pay our chairs and interviewers for the same reason. It’s important to us as a literary festival because we value our authors and it’s not fair to ask them to do it for nothing.

No one on the LitFest Committee is paid and we rely on volunteers to help us during the festival. About 50 per cent of our income is from sponsors and Friends of the Festival. The rest is money from ticket sales. We’re a charity and we manage our money carefully.”