Sponsorship boost for Manx Litfest

Matt Haig

Matt Haig

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Manx Litfest has secured sponsorship from Isle of Man Bank and Sure for two of the main events at this year’s festival, which takes place September 26 to 29.

The Isle of Man Bank is supporting the ‘National Story Day’ within Manx schools, which during last year’s inaugural Manx Litfest saw 12 authors and poets visit 22 schools and colleges around the island.

This year’s schools day will take place on Friday, September 27, and follow a similar format, with authors and poets delivering a range of workshops, talks and readings.

Meanwhile, Sure is sponsoring the Litfest ‘family day’ on Saturday, September 28, which will be held at the Arboretum, St John’s, and be based on Winnie-the-Pooh – and his friends. Full details for Winnie and friends, including timings, will be announced in the build-up to Litfest weekend.

Festival director John Quirk said: ‘The schools day was very popular last year, and it is something we want to build on for 2013. We covered all the associated costs of the day last year, and it accounted for a significant amount of our budget, so to have a sponsor on board for the day is a massive boost. Perhaps the most important aspect of everything we do for Litfest is the desire to leave a “legacy” behind, and inspiring children to read and write is what it’s all about.

‘Isle of Man Bank showed its support in our first year by sponsoring the poetry trail around Douglas town centre, and they’ve agreed to support this year’s poetry trail as well as sponsoring the schools day.’

John added: ‘Children and parents will hopefully remember a certain “Gruffalo Hunt” at Glen Helen on the Saturday of last year’s festival, which proved far more popular than we ever imagined, and this year the family day will turn its attention to Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the 100 Acre Wood.’

The Poetry Trail is being run by the Isle of Man Poetry Society in conjunction with Manx Litfest, and this year poets are invited to submit their poems for consideration within the trail, which will be in place around the town centre from Friday, September 13, until Sunday, October 6. For details of how to submit entries, visit www.iom-poetry.org

John Quirk said: ‘Once again, we’ve received significant funding from the Isle of Man Arts Council and Manx Heritage Foundation, without which the festival just wouldn’t be possible. As with last year, sponsorship from organisations and individuals is vital to the viability of the event and we’re so grateful to everyone who is supporting us and embracing what Litfest is all about.

‘We’ll be announcing the first part of our line-up in the next week or so, and we’ll again have a stall at Tynwald Day, when the first tickets for certain events will be on sale. As a taster, three names we can reveal are Andrew Taylor, one of the most renowned crime and historical novelists in the British Isles and author of The American Boy and the Lydmouth series; Matt Haig (pictured), whose new novel, The Humans, is drawing widespread acclaim from peers and reviewers, and island-based author Alan Bradley, whose Flavia De Luce crime novels – about an 11-year-old girl who solves crimes in 1950s England – have been optioned for television by Sam Mendes, director of the Skyfall Bond movie.’

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