Birmingham Literature Festival 2-11 October 2014
The Birmingham Literature Festival is back with a ten day take-over of the fabulous Library of Birmingham. Launching on National Poetry Day (Thursday 2 October) poet and novelist Jackie Kay
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales will be given a modern day update and re-told on Chaucer Night with Lavinia Greenlaw & Patience Agbabi (October 9), while Olivier Award-winning producer, actor, director and writer Guy Masterson will bring the words of Dylan Thomas to life with Fern Hill & Other Pieces (3 October). Weekly Guardian columnist Owen Jones will give the festival’s fourth ‘Urban Sermon’.
Jennifer Worth’s bestselling Call the Midwife books inspired a wealth of correspondence which have been collated, alongside previously unpublished photos and journal entries, in Letters to the Midwife. Jennifer’s husband Philip, and her two daughters, Suzannah and Juliette, will talk more about her life. Other happenings include a Shakespeare flash-mob event (Saturday 4 October) and Ghost stories after dark (Friday 3 and Thursday 9 October).
Undaunted by last year’s experience of writing a novella in just ten short days (with a broken finger), Heart Breakfast presenter Rachel New will be back for a brand new writing challenge One Page Wonders. This year will see Rachel produce ten pieces of flash fiction a day for the duration of the festival. Novelist, playwright and TV writer Stephen May (Friday 3 October) will host an interactive session he calls ‘Wake up Happy with Stephen May’.
The ‘Patron saint of poetry’ Roger McGough will perform on Saturday 4 October, supported by poet Liz Berry, whose debut collection Black Country is out now and for the second year running the BBC (Sunday 5 October) will be here for a full day of free, live recordings including Poetry Please and With Great Pleasure.
Other events will include Stephen Knight, writer of Bafta-nominated Peaky Blinders; writer, comedian and classicist, Natalie Haynes, who will present a specially commissioned piece involving ten writers entitled ‘A Midlands Odyssey’; and writers on the Man Booker Prize 2014 shortlist. There’s a strong international strand to this year’s Festival: Director, writer and actress Janet Suzman joins us and we are holding an event celebrating Danish Noir, with writers including Dagmar Winther, one half of the Danish writing duo Sander Jakobsen (The Preacher).
We’re delighted to welcome Malorie Blackman back for a special event for young people and adults. Poet and novelist Sophie Hannah talks about writing a new Hercule Poirot novel, the first ever book to continue Agatha Christie’s work; and finally writer, comedian and actor Meera Syal will be in conversation with journalist and writer Sathnam Sanghera.
For further information and to book tickets visit www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org
WELLS FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE 10-18 October
Win 2 tickets to hear Guardian Weekend columnist Tim Dowling talking about How to be a Husband on Saturday, October 11th at The Bishop’s Palace (2.15 pm). Click here to enter our prize draw. Draw closes 27.9.14 and the winner will be notified by 30.9.14.
Guardian columnist, banjo playing Tim Dowling is coming to tell the husbands of Wells how to be good. Tim writes a hilarious weekly account of his family life in the Guardian Weekend magazine. Pieces such I have known my wife for a long time and the children are right to be afraid have attracted a huge fan base. Tim will be talking about his new book How to be a Husband, a very funny, surprisingly wise and always quirky reflection on what he has learnt from the last 20 years of his marriage. We are hoping his wife will be in the audience. She has been known to heckle.
Other highlights include Katie Fforde, writer, mother, wife and for those who don’t know, a struggling flamenco dancer. She is also a Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller (Recipe for Love), who writes two romantic novels each year, her most recent being The Perfect Match and A French Affair. Best-selling author Ruth Rendell discusses her gripping new book, The Girl Next Door, with crime writer Tobias Jones, giving a glimpse into her writing life and her 50-year career. We are delighted to welcome Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall and winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2013, to the 6th Festival Book Group event which offers readers the rare opportunity to discuss a novel in detail with its author.
We are also hosting a series of Literary Lunches in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace with authors including the Countess of Canarvon, Kate Williams, Claudia Renton and Robert Sackville-West covering topics ranging from Josephine – mistress to Napoleon, courtesan and Revolutionary heroine – to the Sackville-West family described by Vita Sackville-West as “a rotten lot and nearly all stark-staring mad…”.
For further information and to book tickets visit www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk
Harrogate History Festival in association with the Historical Writers’ Association 23-26 October
A special 10% discount on tickets is available to Lovereading members; visit www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com and use the code LOVEHISTORY! to book any tickets or weekend break packages. Alternatively ring the box office on 01423 562303 and quote LOVEHISTORY!
The second Harrogate History Festival features an epic line-up of authors, cementing Harrogate’s profile as a leading destination for book lovers, hot on the heels of the success of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.
Giants of the genre, including Peter Snow, Sandi Toksvig and Bernard Cornwell are guests in a long weekend of events exploring the crooks and crevices of historical writing. Other special guests include a rare appearance by C.J. Sansom, the BBC’s James Naughtie, Elizabeth Chadwick, Elizabeth Fremantle, broadcaster and former presenter of the Late Show Sarah Dunant, Guardian writer Charlotte Higgins, and the author and journalist Stephanie Merritt writing as S.J. Parris.
Dr Irving Finkel, the Assistant Keeper of the Ancient Mesopotamian script at the British Museum, will discuss his quest to reveal a radical interpretation of the Noah’s Ark myth. Former adventurer and English teacher, Conn Iggulden, whose worldwide smash, Dangerous Book for Boys, was a publishing phenomenon also headlines with his War of the Roses series.
Sharon Canavar, CEO of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “History is in the throes of a cultural renaissance dominating our bookshelves and TV screens. Harrogate is a beautiful location and of course steeped in its own history, so we hope it will attracts tourists, as well as giving local audiences a chance to experience big name authors in the genre. It’s a fantastic opportunity to grapple with leading literary minds on some of the most gripping conflicts, personalities and epic tales in history.”
Panels include ‘New Blood’ showcasing the best new historical writers, the role of the supernatural, and an exploration of Vikings in an age of blood and poetry. Panel authors include Toby Clements, Robert Goddard and Michael Ridpath.
’50 Shades of Grail’ debunks the myths and legends that dominate history, and for Downton fans there is a fascinating discussion on social history in ‘If Walls Could Talk’ through the eyes of those who served, featuring Dr Pamela Cox, author and TV presenter of the BBC’s Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter.
The festival will also open with the Historical Writers’ Association Crown for Debut Historical Fiction Awards, featuring a presentation for the Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award.
For individual tickets, day rovers or weekend rovers, visit www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com or call the Box Office on 01423 562303 quoting LOVEHISTORY! for our special Lovereading 10% discount.
Windsor Festival (15-25 September)
The Windsor Festival aspires to be amongst the premier Music and Arts Festivals in the UK, playing an important part in the cultural life of the community and reflecting Windsor’s special position as a royal town. Playing host to an eclectic mix of musicians, artists and authors, highlights include:
Fibber in the Heat, a talk by Miles Jupp (7pm Thurs 25 September). Comedian, actor and writer Miles Jupp is best known to audiences as Nigel in BBC Two’s sitcom Rev, as well as for appearances on Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week and Just A Minute. However, back in 2006, whilst disillusioned with acting and comedy, the former Perrier award nominee decided to pack it all in and pursue a dream of becoming a cricket journalist. Join Miles as he relives an adventure which saw him head off to India with the English press pack under-prepared and under-qualified. A sorry tale of how one man attempted to become a cricket journalist by pretending to be one, but ended up enduring a month-long, sun-soaked disaster (with the occasional minor triumph).
Lunch with Emma Bridgewater (12.30pm 19 September). Since establishing her pottery business 28 years ago, Emma Bridgewater’s cheerfully distinctive kitchenware has found its way onto the dresser shelves and kitchen tables of homes all over Britain and beyond. Now Emma has put together Toast & Marmalade, a collection of personal stories filled with the characters, values and challenges that have been involved in the success of this particularly English brand. So enjoy a three course lunch at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel and plunge into her world of pottery and the family life which inspired the business and is still the focus.
For more information and to book tickets, visit: www.windsorfestival.com
The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival (3-12 October 2014)
The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival attracts hundreds of the world’s leading authors, journalists, comedians, politicians, actors, broadcasters and more.
Big names from the world of Art & Design appearing at the Festival include Grayson Perry, Jonathan Yeo, Alan Aldridge and Simon Schama. A stellar line-up of speakers will be touching on everything from Marvel comics to the self-portrait, from WW1 art to the Ming dynasty.
In the realm of fiction, the Festival brings big names such as One Day author David Nicholls, David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas; The Bone Clocks), Margaret Atwood presenting her MaddAdam trilogy or PEN Pinter Prize winner Salman Rushdie to the Cheltenham stage. In a special event about Young Adult Fiction, The Sunday Times Children’s Books Editor Nicolette Jones talks to two readers with their fingers on the pulse of this exciting genre, her daughter Rebecca Clee and teen book blogger Lucy Powrie, about the latest trends and what to read next.
Moreover, forward thinking author Kazuo Ishiguro will be interviewed by Peter Kemp. Celebrating Sci Fi and Fantasy, River of London author Ben Aaronovitch, Mitch Benn and Joe Abercrombie discuss their latest work and another special event featuring Jem Roberts, Ed Victor and Terry Jones will pay tribute to Douglas Adams, best known for his iconic work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Another part of the festival’s rich programme is the category of Poetry, which includes numerous well-known guests and exciting performances and talks. Two of Britain’s finest actors, Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory, will take you on a journey through poetry, bringing to life some of the greatest love poems of all time, followed by a fascinating onstage interview. They will read from Allie Esiri’s The Love Book. Moreover, the award-winning actor and comedian Alexander Armstrong (Pointless, Peppa Pig, Dr Who) and Downton Abbey-star Julian Ovenden will perform poetry’s greatest hits, from A. A. Milne to Spike Milligan to Roger McGough.
Celebrate 20 years of Europe’s grandest poetry slam and witness the heated battle of words in the Slam! final live on the Cheltenham stage and enjoy a rewarding reading by award-winning poet Ruth Padel, presenting her powerful new collection on the Middle East, Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth. Hear Simon Armitage read from The Last Days of Troy and travel through time to the front lines of WW1 with historian and biographer Max Egremont, focusing in particular on the life and work of the nature-loving Edward Thomas.
Taking place over ten days, the Festival also offers a brilliant Book It! family programme, which boasts around 100 children’s events designed to celebrate story telling in all its forms.
For tickets visit http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/
CLICK HERE to read an interesting article by Dan B of Money.co.uk on how get best value out of your trip to Cheltenham Literary Festival.
Wimbledon Book Fest 3-12 October
The eighth annual Wimbledon BookFest is back this autumn with a wonderful line-up showcasing leading names and local talent.
Headliners include: global best-seller Alexander McCall Smith; Olivier Award winning actress Juliet Stevenson who will be reading the poetry of Pablo Neruda; TV and radio presenter Clare Balding; comedian Paul Merton, who grew up in Wimbledon; and Man Booker Prize winning novelist Ian McEwan, who will be in conversation with BBC Radio 4 presenter and BookFest regular, James Naughtie.
Set on the glorious Wimbledon Common, a specially commissioned Big Tent seating up to 500, and an intimate William Morris themed marquee, provide the focal point for the festival. With the sociable attractions of Wimbledon Village a step away, Wimbledon BookFest is one of the most charming festivals in London today.
The Festival also includes an eclectic programme of film screenings, live music, workshops, the popular Comedy on Wimbledon Common event with Josh Widdecombe and sports nights with hosts John Inverdale and Brian Moore.
Other programme highlights include:
- For the first time ever the Agatha Christie estate has invited an author to write a new Hercules Poirot novel. Listen to Sophie Hannah discuss Monogram Murder
for an evening of Crime in the Library.
- Go back in time with David Starkey, Andrew Roberts and Charles Spencer.
- Desert Island Books with Radio 4 presenter Jayne Thynne chairing Adam Foulds, Daisy Goodwin and Rachel Johnson.
- Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson discusses his memoirs Please Mister Postman, the sequel to This Boy.
- A Literary Lunch with Wimbledon writers Penny Vincenzi and Sophie Kinsella.
- Delve into the life of The Unexpected Professor with John Carey.
- Victoria Hislop discusses her new work The Sunrise.
- A day long writing course and a short story competition for budding writers in the beautiful historic location of Southside House.
For more information and to book tickets visit www.wimbledonbookfest.org
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