A fantastic line-up of world-class authors and public figures will gather in Oxford next March for the 2012 Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.

More than 80 events are already available to book from today. Speakers include double Booker-winner Peter Carey on the eve of publication of a new novel, Vikram Seth, William Boyd, Robert Harris, Anthony Horowitz, PD James and Ian Rankin.

Children’s writer Michael Morpurgo will discuss his work War Horse, which was recently translated to the West End and Broadway stage and has now been made into a Hollywood film by Steven Spielberg.

Sir David Hare will discuss his life in the theatre and film director Sir Alan Parker will look back on his career.

On the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, several events are given over to the life, work and impact of our greatest novelist. Philip Pullman leads a debate on Dickens’ impact on children’s literature, and John Crace and John Sutherland take a humorous look at his work.

The festival will also feature a number of stimulating debates on the big issues of the day.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will discuss with Eliza Griswold conflicts over religion, nationhood and secular power in the region of the world where Christianity and Islam meet.

And Alain de Botton will talk about his book Religion for Atheists.

Subjects of debate also include high finance, the cultural identity of Iraq, Afghanistan, and storytelling and fiction – with Turkish author Elif Shafak.

Once again, the topics covered will range widely from history to science through gardening, philosophy, architecture, travel and much more. There is a strong children’s programme including Andy Stanton, Jeremy Strong, Axel Scheffler and Penelope Harper.

Organiser Sally Dunsmore said: "We have a tremendous line-up of authors and speakers already confirmed this year.

"We are particularly pleased with our series of Sheldonian events that include Peter Carey making a rare appearance on the eve of publication of his new novel The Chemistry of Tears and Vikram Seth giving the Chancellor's lecture.

"We have something for everybody with Michael Morpurgo talking about how his children's novel War Horse was turned into a West End stage play and Spielberg movie; some fantastic philosophical and political debates on the big issues of today; and writers on history, science, gardening, biography, literature and much more.

"We will be based at Christ Church once again, so it is a great opportunity for people to meet and talk to world-class writers and public figures in a magnificent setting."

Many more events have yet to be confirmed, and the programme will be updated regularly at oxfordliteraryfestival.org. There will also be regular updates on twitter.com/@oxfordlitfest and also at facebook.com/oxfordliteraryfestival

You can book now by clicking on the links from the events pages at oxfordliteraryfestival.org or by telephoning the box office on 0870 343 1001.