An eclectic and ambitious line-up has been announced for an upcoming celebration of books.

Now in its eighth year, Dorchester Literary Festival will take place from October 15 to 22 and organisers are thrilled to have signed up some top authors.

In something of a coup for the festival, 'king of the page-turner' Robert Harris, author of Fatherland and Enigma, will be joining proceedings.

He'll be joined by literary luminaries including Justine Picardie, Sophie Hannah and Max Hastings.

There will also be a talk from TV presenter Ray Mears on his book We Are Nature, which gathers his incredible lived experience and extensive practical knowledge of the outdoors into a compelling narrative.

An event was planned on Queen Elizabeth II before she passed away. Now with added significance, Robert Hardman will be talking about his new biography of the Queen - Queen of Our Times.

There will be plenty of thrilling tales to hear about. Endurance athlete Jenny Tough will be speaking about her book Solo, which charts her solo run across mountain ranges on six continents, starting with one of the most remote locations on Earth in Kyrgyzstan.

Another gripping tale will come from author Judith Mackrell, who will tell how six bold and resolute women became front-line war correspondents during the Second World War in Going With the Boys.

There's plenty for history buffs with Justine Picardie talking about her book Miss Dior on visionary designer Christian Dior and his beloved younger sister Catherine and their wartime experience. James Hamilton will talk about Constable, his fresh biography on the revolutionary British landscape painter John Constable.

Nature lovers will enjoy hearing Tim Birkhead talking about his book Birds and Us, an epic and dazzling journey through humans' mutual history with birds.

For those who want to get hands-on, there will be workshops to take part in, including Creative Clay for All, an online event on picture books for pre-school children and a creative writing masterclass with crime writer Sophie Hannah.

Events will be held mostly in the Dorford Centre in Bridport Road with some at Dorset County Museum and Dorchester Library.

Tickets for events are on sale now. They can be bought online at or from Waterstones, 45-47 South Street, Dorchester.