This year’s Manx Litfest is set to take place in September, with novelist, playwright, stand-up comedian and actress Sukh Ojla heading a star-studded lineup.

The six-day festival will take place between Tuesday, September 24 and Sunday, September 29 at a variety of venues around the island. 

Audiences will be entertained by a whole host of visiting and local authors, illustrators, poets and storytellers, as well as much-loved regular events such as the ‘Book Fanatics’ Quiz Night’, ‘Celebration of Poetry’ and ‘Writers’ Day’.

There will also be plenty of provision for younger readers, with numerous school visits included in the schedule alongside library events with children’s authors and illustrators.

Headliner Sukh Ojla may be recognised from her many film and television appearances, including ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Mock the Week’, ‘The Big Asian Stand-Up’ and ‘Victoria and Abdul’.

In 2017, she starred in her own play, ‘Pyar Actually’, which toured the UK, and in 2021 Hodder & Stoughton published her first novel ‘Sunny’, a romantic comedy about a woman living a double life, which was hailed by critics as ‘heartwarming and utterly relatable’.

Joining Sukh in the line-up of visiting guests are:

Beth Porter and Ben Please from the Bookshop Band

- The Bookshop Band. Old friends of Manx Litfest, Ben Please and Beth Porter have both performed their book-themed songs at literary events around the world, and collaborated with many well-loved authors including Hilary Mantel, Margaret Atwood and Philip Pullman.

Chris Bonnello

- Chris Bonnello. Chris is an autistic advocate, author and speaker, who writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, notably the neurodivergent dystopia series, ‘Underdogs’ and the highly-acclaimed website, ‘Autistic Not Weird’.

Amina Atiq

- Amina Atiq. An award-winning poet, performance artist, community activist and ‘BBC Words First’ finalist, whose work has been described by critics as ‘straight-talking, beautiful and powerful.’

Monique Roffey

- Monique Roffey. A Trinidadian-born British writer of fiction and memoir, and ‘professor of contemporary fiction’ at Manchester Metropolitan University, whose 2020 novel, ‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’, was named Costa Book of the Year.

Caroline England

- Caroline England. A bestselling writer of domestic psychological thrillers, such as ‘My Husband’s Lies’ (2018) and ‘The Stranger Beside Me’ (2023), and author of gothic-flavoured fiction under the pen-name ‘C E Rose’.

Martin Edwards

- Martin Edwards. Winner of the ‘CWA Diamond Dagger 2020’, the biggest honour in UK crime writing, Martin is one of the longest-serving chairs of the ‘Crime Writers’ Association’, as well as president of the illustrious ‘Detection Club’.

Sam Sedgman

- Sam Sedgman. A multi-award-winning author of mysteries, adventures and non-fiction books for children, and presenter of a podcast about children’s books, called ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’.

Luke Thompson

- Luke Thompson. Co-founder of ‘Guillemot Press’ and senior lecturer at Falmouth University, Luke’s latest book, ‘Domadomadoma-Blumblumblum: Conversations with Other Animals’, includes discussion of our very own Gef the Mongoose!

- Lydia Silver. Director and literary agent at ‘Darley Anderson Children’s Agency’, representing a dynamic, diverse and award-winning list of children’s writers and illustrators.

Local writers Elizabeth Brooks, Sue King, Rakie Bennett and Jacqueline Shirtliff will also be taking part in and running events during the festival.

Festival director Helen Jessopp said: ‘We are thrilled to announce another great lineup for our annual festival, and are so excited to build on the success of last year's events, many of which were sold out.

‘As ever, we have tried to invite a wide range of visitors to cover a myriad of genres, so that there’s something for everyone to come along to and enjoy - whether you’re a music lover, someone who enjoys a great story, or the person who makes a beeline for the non-fiction section of the bookshop.

‘We are passionate about promoting the wealth of talent on the island, and hope to see some new faces at Writers’ Day and the Poetry Celebration, sharing their work with the Manx community.’

Lydia Silver

Visiting guest Lydia Silver will be available for one-to-one pitch slots at Writers’ Day, which takes place on Saturday, September 28.

Ms Jessop said: ‘This is an incredible opportunity for writers of all levels to learn more about the writing craft, meet and talk to fellow writers, and make invaluable contacts within the industry.’

If you would like to enquire about availability for the agent pitch slots, you can email [email protected]

For more details of the 2024 line-up, you can visit, where the festival programme and ticketing information will be available soon.