MANX Litfest is finally here. And just like all the literary creations of its stars, the four-day festival is sure to be bursting with juicy drama.
‘Manx Litfest has been two years in the making, and today (Thursday) it’s finally here,’ said festival director John Quirk, a published author and former Isle of Man Newspapers journalist.
‘We’re really looking forward to meeting the visiting authors, poets, performers, publishers and agents, not to mention the Isle of Man-based authors and poets, and with around 30 “names” involved, there should be something for everyone over the weekend - young and old, readers and writers alike.’
The main hub for the inaugural festival is the Villa Marina Gardens. The schedule includes more than 50 events over the weekend, many of which are free entry - including everything within the main marquee on the Saturday afternoon and evening.
Among the names appearing are Martin Bell, crime writers Stuart MacBride, Ann Cleeves and Chris Ewan, Jasper Fforde, Jeremy Strong, Tom Palmer, Hilary Robinson, Gez Walsh, Thommie Gillow and J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis scholar Colin Duriez. John explained: ‘We have the Gruffalo Hunt at Glen Helen; Narnia meets Middle-Earth at Castle Rushen; the crime writers’ panel at the Promenade Suite; Martin Bell OBE at the Gaiety and even Tolkien scholar Colin Duriez launching a new biography of the author on the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit. When we set out, what seems an age ago, the goal was to help put literature on the Isle of Man arts map,’ said John, ‘There’s such strong representation across the arts in the island, but perhaps literature has lived in the shadows for a while. We wanted to rectify that, to celebrate fine writing talent from around the British Isles, and present a platform for island writers to publicise their work. With workshops, seminars and panels about writing, it’s also about nurturing local literary talent.’
A brunch and talk with Ann Cleeves, the author behind TV hit series Vera and new book Red Bones, at Swiss House at Glen Helen at 10.30am tomorrow (Friday) morning, has just been added to the jam-packed schedule. Tickets are £8.
Two special ‘walk and talk’ sessions also promise to be unmissable. At noon on Saturday, nature writers Neil Ansell and Sara Crowe will lead a walk round Scarlett in Castletown with guide Steve Wright and then at 11am on Sunday around The Curraghs with guide John Dog Callister. Tickets are £10 or £16 for both - call 341823.
Plus any budding authors simply must get themselves down to the Villa Promenade Suite at 12.45pm on Saturday where literary agent Peter Cox will lead a discussion on the future of publishing. Tickets are £5 - call 600555.
And finally, there are still tickets left for tomorrow’s Martin Bell event in the Gaiety Theatre (Tickets start at £15 - call 600555).
John thanked all the festival sponsors, supporters, volunteers and committee members. ‘It’s been one heck of a ride,’ he exclaimed.
Programmes are available at the Lexicon Bookshop, Welcome Centre, Villa, Bridge Bookshop, library and St Paul’s Bookshop.
Manx Litfest 2012 Schedule:
• 12.30pm-2pm - Life and Times of Sir Hall Caine - a talk by Ulla Corkill at Greeba Castle. SOLD OUT.
• 12.30pm-4.30pm - Jasper Fforde’s Writing Masterclass: Noble Suite, Villa Marina. £50.
• 5.30pm-7.30pm - Manx Litfest Launch Party: Colonnade Suite, Villa Marina. Invite only.
• 7pm-8pm - Poet Gez Walsh talks about Dyslexia: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 8.15pm-11.15pm - Book Fanatics’ Quiz Night, with quizmaster Jasper Fforde: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina. £8 - call 600555 or email email@example.com
• 7.30pm-11pm - Open Mic Poetry Night, compered by Thommie Gillow: The Engine Room, Ship Inn, Castletown. Free. A chance to sample the Manx Litfest ale Bestcellar.
• 9am-4pm - Out and about with Fiona O’Brien - a Mobile Library tour: north of the island. Drop in for a chat with the Irish author. Visit www2.sch.im/groups/mobilelibrary to see the route.
• 10am-5pm - Storytelling and other activities for pre-school children: Family Marquee, Villa Marina Gardens.
• 10am-11.30pm - Talk and brunch with Ann Cleeves (author of the novels behind ITV series Vera): Swiss House, Glen Helen. Tickets: £8, includes a light brunch. Limited capacity
• 10.30am-12pm - Martin Bell OBE talk for sixth-form students only: Isle of Man College.
• 12pm-1pm - Stuart MacBride’s Big Fat Hairy Mid-life Crisis: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 1pm-2pm - Jasper Fforde signing in Waterstones, Strand Street, Douglas.
• 1.15pm-2pm - In conversation with leading literary agent Peter Cox: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 1.30pm-3pm - Trevor Norton - Misadventures of an Author: Peel Cathedral. £5.
• 1.30pm-3pm - Tolkien scholar Colin Duriez talk for English students only: Ballakermeen High School.
• 3.30pm-4.30pm - Sara Crowe in conversation with Neil Ansell: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens. • 3.30pm-4.30pm - Ann Cleeves signing in the Bridge Bookshop, Port Erin.
• 4.30pm-5.10pm - John Du Cane: The Cry of the Jets: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 5pm-6pm - Jasper Fforde: Onchan Library.
• 5.30pm-6.30pm - The Irish Connection with Limerick-based author Roisin Meaney and Mark Lloyd, of new Irish e-publisher Pillar International Publishing: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 7.30pm-9pm - The Hobbit: 75 Years Young, with Tolkien scholar Colin Duriez: Manx Museum. £8.
• 8pm-10pm - An Evening with Martin Bell OBE: Gaiety Theatre. £15 stalls/£17 dress circle. Call 600555.
• 9.30am-12am - Writers’ seminars - Trevor Norton and Jo Swainson: St John’s Mill. £10.
• 10am-2pm - The Gruffalo Hunt: Glen Helen. £1 for a trail map.
• 10.30am-11.30am - Jeremy Strong Children’s Show: Family Library, Westmoreland Road, Douglas. Free - but book at the library.
• 10.30am-11.30am and 1.30pm-2.30pm - Tom Palmer’s Football Reading Games: Henry Bloom Noble Library, Victoria Street, Douglas. Free - but book at the library.
• 11am-12pm - Martin Bell OBE - UNICEF Ambassador: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina. Donations to UNICEF.
• 11am-5pm - Storytelling and other activities for children of all ages: Family Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 12pm-2pm - Walk and Talk around Scarlett, Castletown, with Neil Ansell and Sara Crowe. Meet outside Castle Arms pub. £10 - limited to 20 places.
• 12.45pm-2pm - What the e-book is going on in the world of publishing? Discussion led by literary agent Peter Cox: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina. £5. Call 600555.
• 1pm-2pm - Gez Walsh’s Litfest Extravaganza: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 2pm-3pm - Author Elizabeth Buchan signing at St Paul’s Bookshop, Ramsey.
• 2.30pm-3.15pm - Poetic Inspiration from the Isle of Man by Jacob O’Sullivan: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 3pm-4.30pm - Jeremy Strong Entertains: Villa Marina Promenade Suite. £6. Call 600555.
• 3.30pm-4.15pm - Voices - In The Mood For Love readings: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens. • 4.30pm-5.30pm - The Copper Tree: Helping Children Deal with Bereavement: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 6pm-9pm - An evening of wine, nibbles and literature with Elizabeth Buchan and Thommie Gillow: Milntown, Ramsey. £20 with hot buffet.
• 6pm-6.40pm - Rakie Keig - Inside the Mind of a Horror Writer: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 7.30pm-9pm - Crime writers’ panel - Ann Cleeves, Stuart MacBride and Chris Ewan: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina. £8. call 600555.
• 7.30pm-9pm - Launch of Horizons, an anthology of poetry by Michael Curtis: Jabberwocky in Duke Street, Douglas. £4 - from Jabberwocky or firstname.lastname@example.org
• 8pm-10pm - Fairytales for Grown-Ups, by Ben Haggarty: Erin Arts Centre. Tickets: £8.
• 10am-1pm - Agent One-on-Ones and Pitch the Publisher: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina. £15.00 - email email@example.com
• 11am-4pm - Narnia meets Middle-Earth Family Fun Day: Castle Rushen. Free for children with ACE cards, £5 for adults on the door.
• 11am-1pm - Walk and Talk with John Dog Callister and nature writers Neil Ansell and Sara Crowe. Meet outside Curragh’s Wildlife Park. £10 - limited to 20 places.
11am-4pm - Storytelling and other activities for children: Family Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 12pm-12.40pm - Keeping my Head: Dealing with Domestic Violence and Mental Illness by Tamsin Wedgwood AKA Charlotte Chapman: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 1pm-1.40pm - Jennifer Kewley-Draskau - researching Illiam Dhone: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 2pm-3pm - Archibald Knox: Art, Word and Symbol by Liam O’Sullivan: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina.
• 2pm-2.40pm - The Unlikely Author - Keith Salmon: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 2.30pm-4.30pm - Poetry Workshop - with Michael Curtis in the IOM Poetry Society office, 11 Meadow Crescent, Saddlestone, Braddan. Limited to eight places - email firstname.lastname@example.org
• 3pm-3.40pm - Foxgloves - a reading by Pat Skillicorn: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 4pm-4.40pm - Readings from novels by C.L. Davies: Main Marquee, Villa Gardens.
• 4pm-5pm - The Devil, The Tsar and The 3 Dry Biscuits by Ben Haggarty: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina. £5. Call 600555.
• 7.30pm-11pm - Poetry for Adults - with Thommie Gillow: Promenade Suite, Villa Marina. £6. Call 600555.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
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Temperature: 10 C to 13 C
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