With just a couple of days to go until Manx Litfest 2013 gets under way, the organisers have thanked sponsors and supporters for helping make the festival happen.
Manx Litfest starts on Thursday (September 26) with visiting and local authors, poets and storytellers taking part in four days of events, alongside a literary agent and publisher.
The organisers wanted to build on last year’s successful inaugural event and they say that the way the community has come together to support Manx Litfest, a registered charity, has allowed that to happen.
In addition to significant funding from Isle of Man Arts Council and Culture Vannin, the festival drew key sponsorship from Isle of Man Bank for the National Story Day in Manx schools, in addition to the Poetry Trail around Douglas town centre, from Sure for Saturday’s Winnie the Pooh family day at the Arboretum in St John’s, and from Pokerstars for its support of Andrew Taylor’s writing masterclass, the writers’ day at King William’s College on Saturday and the Isle of Man Writers’ Showcase at The Sefton on Sunday.
Festival Director John Quirk explained: ‘We are indebted to all of our sponsors and supporters. It’s not just about the direct financial support either. We receive a lot of support “in kind”, such as the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, which is bringing author Victoria Lamb and her car over for the weekend, and Citywing, which donated flights to cover Andrew Taylor and Robert Bullock’s flights from Gloucester and Blackpool respectively. Tower Insurance has kindly agreed to cover our public liability insurance, Assist Consultancy has been a great help with our merchandising, while the printing support from Bridson & Horrox has enabled us to give the programmes out free of charge, in addition to posters and other promotional material.
‘Several of our individual events have also attracted sponsorship, which is a huge help to us - ManSat is sponsoring the talk on Hall Caine at Greeba on Thursday lunchtime, Xela Ltd is sponsoring the Book Fanatics’ Quiz on Thursday night, Shoprite is supporting our “Ladies Night In” event with Adele Parks on Friday night, and Lingua Franca is sponsoring Victoria Lamb’s talk on Tudor Historical Fiction on Saturday afternoon, with the crime panel on Saturday night being supported by IQE.
‘Another major supporter is the Bridge Bookshop in Port Erin, our partner bookseller, which has been with us from the beginning, teaming up with us for stalls at Tynwald Day, the agricultural shows and the Food and Drink Festival last weekend.’
John added: ‘We’ve also been humbled by the support from individuals, along with companies such as Marsh, who have made kind donations towards our general expenses, all of which works alongside the event sponsorship and support in kind to enable us to bring Manx Litfest together.’
This year’s festival sees a host of authors and poets visiting the island, including Adele Parks, Andrew Taylor, Barbara Erskine, Matt Haig, Curtis Jobling, Holly Webb, Elen Caldecott, Joe Beech, Robert Bullock, Craig Bradley and Paul Canon Harris, with performance storyteller Ben Haggarty from the Crick Crack Club returning following his success at last year’s festival. They’ll be joined by Isle of Man writers including Alan Bradley, Rakie Keig, John Du Cane, Ruth Blindell and Thomas Moffatt, and Isle of Man poets are invited to try their hand at the open mic Poetry Slam on Thursday evening at Jabberwocky.
Printed programmes have been distributed around the Island, to shops, libraries and offices, and a PDF of the programme is available online at http://manxlitfest.com/book-tickets/
Manx Litfest is a registered charity (number 1100) and book fans can keep up-to-date on developments by visiting the website and signing up to the email newsletter, or following on Twitter (www.twitter.com/manxlitfest) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/manxlitfest).