Visitors will be descending on Oxford next month in their thousands to take part in 2024’s Oxford Literary Festival, another huge celebration of literature, culture and debate, now in its 27th year, with over 300 events running from March 16-24. So here’s a quick round up of what to see!

Nedum Onuoha – Kicking Back, Thursday March 21 at 6pm, Oxford University Mathematical Institute. The BBC football pundit, and former Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers footballer, talks about life on and off the pitch, minority groups in football, the end of a professional sporting career and the importance of having an identity outside the game. Held in partnership with Oxford United Football Club. BOOK HERE

Nedum Onohua

Gelong Thubten and Ruby Wax – Hard Times and Fearless Living. Monday March 18. Sheldonian Theatre, 2pm. Bestselling author, comedian, actress and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax, and Buddhist monk, meditation teacher and author Gelong Thubten, discuss their recent books about dealing with hard times. Thubten’s latest book Handbook for Hard Times: A Monk’s Guide to Fearless Living helps with inner strength. Ruby Wax’s latest book, I’m Not as Well as I Thought I Was, discusses how she had to check into a mental health clinic in 2022 and what happened after her mental breakdown. BOOK NOW

Ruby Wax author photo hi res, credit Steve Ullathorne

Nick Wallis: Exposing the Post Office Horizon Scandal, Sheldonian Theatre, Fri March 22, 12 noon. The campaigning journalist and broadcaster talks about his work with postmasters fighting the injustices of Post Office prosecutions and his book, The Great Post Office Scandal, while reflecting on the sensational impact of the recent ITV docu-drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office and the ongoing public inquiry. BOOK HERE

Nick Wallis

Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Sheldonian Theatre, Sunday March 24, 10am. Age 9-12. Join the much-loved children’s author and discover how she started her writing career, created some of her best-loved characters and about her brand new book The Girl Who Wasn’t There, a story about siblings and friendship with a hint of ghostliness. The former Children’s Laureate and author of over 100 books, best-known for Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather, she has legions of loyal fans both in the UK and throughout the world. BOOK HERE

Jacqueline Wilson

Zeinab Badawi. An African History of Africa: From the Dawn of Civilisation to Independence, Oxford Martin School, Sunday March 24. 12 noon. The well-known journalist, broadcaster and filmmaker explains how Africa’s history has been dominated by western narratives of slavery and colonialism or simply ignored, as she sets out to put the record straight. From ancient civilisations and medieval empires, to the misery of conquest and the elation of freedom, Badawi visited 30+ countries and spoke to historians, anthropologists and local storytellers to unearth buried histories that give Africa its rightful place in the global story. BOOK HERE

Zeinab Badawi. pic by Jamie Simonds

Sharron Davies talks to Andrew Billen, Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport, 2pm, Sheldonian Theatre, Thurs March 21. The sports commentator and Olympic medal swimmer argues that while women’s sport appears to be on the rise, progress is stalling or recessing. She infamously missed out on an Olympic gold because of blatant doping by East German athletes in the 1980s. She says that allowing biological males to compete against women by self-identifying as trans women threatens the integrity of women’s sport, while suggesting a way forward for trans inclusion in sport. BOOK HERE

Sharron Davies

Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves. Some Places Cry Out For Murder, 6pm, Sheldonian Theatre. Chaired by Alan Johnson. McDermid is an international bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her multi-award-winning series and standalone novels have been adapted for TV and radio, most notably Wire in the Blood and an ITV adaptation of the Karen Pirie series, the latest of which is Past Lying. Cleeves has written more than 35 critically acclaimed novels, creator of ITV’s Vera, BBC One’s Shetland and ITV’s The Long Call. Her latest book is The Raging Storm, her third Venn novel set in North Devon where she grew up. These two leading crime writers will discuss the evocation of place in their work as part of the festival’s crime fiction programme. BOOK HERE

Val McDermid pic by Charlotte Graham

William Hague talks to Dinah Rose. President of Magdalen Lecture: A Political Life. Sheldonian Theatre. Sunday Feb 24, 5pm. One of the most recognisable politicians of the last 40 years, Lord William Hague talks about his political life, his writing and offers his perspective on the current, turbulent Westminster scene. Hague first rose to prominence as a 16-year-old schoolboy giving a speech at the 1977 Conservative Party annual conference. He was an MP in John Major’s cabinet by 1995, elected as leader of the party at the age of 36, and the youngest leader of a major UK political party in 200 years. BOOK HERE

Amir Khan talks to Philip Lymbery -Transforming Food Production: The Peter Roberts Memorial Lecture, Sat March 16 Sheldonian Theatre, 4pm. The NHS GP, writer and TV personality talks about his passion for wildlife conservation, support for wildlife friendly and healthy farming practices. Khan was among signatories of an open letter to delegates to the COP27 climate conference in 2022 calling on world leaders to end factory farming and transform the global food system. Khan will speak for 20 minutes before a short discussion with chief executive of Compassion in World Farming Philip Lymbery in association with Compassion in World Farming. BOOK HERE

Amir Khan

Katie Melua, Aka Morchiladze and Dato Turashvili. Chaired by Maya Jaggi, Out of Stalin’s Shadow: Writing the New Georgia, Sheldonian Theatre, Sun Feb 17, 6pm. Multi-award-winning writers Aka Morchiladze and Dato Turashvili, launch the festival’s new programme of Georgian literature and culture with a discussion of Stalin’s legacy, their own writing, and personal experience of the Soviet and post-Soviet eras. The event includes performance by Georgian-British singer-songwriter Katie Melua, winner of 56 platinum awards. BOOK HERE

Katie Melua

Oxford Literary Festival runs from March 16-24. More info on these and other events at