Cheltenham Literary Festival director – position available

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The Role

The Literature Festival Director is responsible for the development of the Literature Festival and is the main advocate and spokesperson for the Festival. The postholder has responsibility for all aspects ofthe Festival from concept, development, content creation, delivery and evaluation and works closely with colleagues in a matrix structure to achieve all the success criteria; audience reach and development, ticket sales, income and expenditure and educational objectives.

Key Responsibilities of the Post:

  • Responsible for the implementation of the strategy and the management of the budget which is in excess of £1.85 million.
  • Lead the artistic vision and development of the plan to ensure Cheltenham Literature Festival stays ahead of the competition and is distinct nationally and internationally. Uphold the artist integrity and ambition through innovative programming, new idea development, stretching the boundaries and working in partnership to achieve goals.
  • Manage and develop the Literature Festival Advisory Board and form a strong and effective working relationship with the Chair of the Advisory Board to develop themes, new ideas, new formats and approaches.
  • Be responsible for exceeding the box office targets and total income and expenditure .
  • Manage and develop the literature team directly reporting to the Director and to work effectively and productively with colleagues for whom you do not have management responsibility.
  • As a member of the Senior Management Board to contribute to the delivery of the strategy of Cheltenham Festivals and to support the CEO and colleagues through change and development.
  • Work with the Development Director to develop the fundraising plan and be the lead contact for the major sponsors as well as leading the large pitches for the Literature Festival.
  • Represent the organisation with Patrons and Donors as well as other key influencers
  • Work with the Marketing and Communications Director to develop a marketing plan that increases our national and ultimately international reach, increases ticket sales and diversifies audiences.
  • Work with the Education Director to ensure synergy in the development of programmes for audiences who are new to the subject, have barriers to attendance and inspire young people to engage with Live Literature.
  • Oversee the development of a visitor experience which consistently outstrips expectation General management
  • Ensure that the Festivals’ environmental, Health and Safety and equality policies are followed
  • Ensure that the Festivals’ equal opportunities policies and other policies are followed and actively practiced within their team.
  • Participate in Cheltenham Festivals’ agreed performance appraisal system, use and proactively ensure the team use the data systems and management systems in place, currently Tessitura and Artifax.
  • Ensure you are up to date in your area of specialism including new developments

The post-holder may be expected to take on other responsibilities and tasks as the strategy and Festivals develop (in consultation with the post-holder)  .

  • Flexible working may be considered
  • You will be expected to work evenings and weekends during the Literature Festival
    • Holiday 25 days per year plus bank holidays
    • 5% employer pension contribution
    • Other benefits Childcare vouchers, staff ticket allocation
    • Salary will be in keeping with the calibre of the role
Criteria Essential
Skills required
  • Strong leadership skills and exceptional people skills.
  • Ability to build high performing and motivated teams
  • A team worker
    • Excellent writing skills
    • Ability to influence people
    • Able to identify and develop ideas that will deliver the vision
      • Financially competent
      • Good communicator
  • A knowledge of literature, publishing, digital media or writing /journalism
    • Understanding of managing a large event: planning and scheduling
    • A knowledge of current affairs
    • An understanding of audience engagement and customer care
      • Understanding of marketing



3   I P a g e

Relevant experience
  • A successful track-record of leading a team
    • Experience at a senior manager level
    • Professional experience in either event development, marketing and PR or Publishing I Cultural sector
    • Ability to be a spokesperson
  • Able to lead
    • Openness
    • Ability to develop relationships at a senior level and work collaboratively
    • Ambition
      • Commitment to excellence & continual improvement
  • Education to degree level or equivalent experience


Experience  of working  in a  Festival is not a  requirement






To submit an application please send a full CV, to include the names and contact details of two referees, one of which should be your current or most recent employer, plus a personal statement explaining your interest in the post. Please provide evidence of your ability to match the criteria outlined above.         Please include your current or most recent salary and indicate when, in the process, we are able to contact your referees.


Applications should be sent.


  • Closing date:


1st round Interviews will be held in Cheltenham on Friday 28th August and 2″d round interviews on September 18th 2015: