Literary Liverpool

Bringing Together Literature Organisations Across Merseyside

Host to an exciting series of readings from internationally acclaimed authors, the Centre for New and International Writing also provides a central calendar for all live literature events taking place across the city and Merseyside.

As part of our membership of the Merseyside Literature Partnership, the Centre is actively collaborating with other partner organisations such as the Windows Project, Writing on the Wall, North End Writers, the Bluecoat and many others. 


Merseyside Literature Partnership members

News from Nowhere logo Logo of the Windows Project   Logo of the Liverpool Poetry Cafe

The Liverpool Literary Lecture: Val McDermid - Killing People for Fun and Profit

6-7pm | 19 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

Val will be discussing her writing, her inspirations and the fatal attraction of crime fiction! Dubbed the Queen of Crime, bestselling author Val McDermid has sold over 15 million books and is translated into over 30 languages. She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green. Her awards include the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure, the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award and the LA Times Book of the Year Award, as well as Celebrity Mastermind champion and captain of the 2016 winning University Challenge alumnae team. Her latest novel is Insidious Intent.

Cost: Standard ticket - £10 Concession - £8

More information and tickets here.

Sarah Perry reading and in Conversation with James Naughtie

8-9.15pm | 20 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

Sarah Perry's second novel The Essex Serpent was nominated for numerous awards and has been a huge bestseller. Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award for Best Novel, the Encore Award and the International Dylan Thomas Prize, it was Waterstones Book of the Year 2016 and won the overall Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards, 2017. She will read from her brand new novel Melmoth and discuss her writing with BBC Radio 4's James Naughtie.

James Naughtie is one of our best-known broadcasters, special correspondent and books editor for BBC News. For 21 years he presented Today, and has hosted every edition of Bookclub on BBC Radio 4 since the programme began in 1998. As an author he has written books on politics and music, and two espionage novels, The Madness of July and Paris Spring.

Cost: Standard - £10 Concession - £8

More information and tickets here.

A Date with Tony Robinson

11:45-12:45 | 20 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

Tony Robinson has always been fascinated by history. 'How do you know who you are, if you don’t know where you came from?’ he says. He talks about his life and work, Blackadder, and how a subject that most people can’t even spell became a twenty-year smash-hit TV series.

Sir Tony Robinson is Britain’s foremost face of popular history, the creator of a worldwide comedy icon, and an award winning writer of children’s books and television. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013.

He presented twenty seasons of Channel 4's archaeology series Time Team and played Baldrick in Blackadder. He wrote the BBC's Maid Marian and Her Merry Men in which he played the Sheriff of Nottingham, made two series of The Worst Jobs In History, three series of Walking Through History, an acclaimed documentary about the elderly entitled Me and My Mum, and TV documentaries on a host of diverse subjects. He has written 30 children’s books, and has won major awards as a children’s television writer. In 2008 he was presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’ award by the Museums and Heritage Association. He has been an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society since 2008. 

Cost: Standard - £10 Concession - £8

More information and tickets here.

A Woman's Century, with Linda Grant and June Purvis

2.30-3.30-pm | 20 Oct 2018 | Venue: Victoria Gallery & Museum

A WOMAN’S CENTURY

2018 sees two important anniversaries for women. A century ago, the Representation of the People Act gave British women over 30, with property qualifications, the right to vote. In 1978, the feminist press Virago launched Virago Modern Classics, publishing forgotten or neglected books by women – called by Sarah Waters ‘some of the greatest fiction and non-fiction of the modern age, by authors whose lives were frequently as significant as their writing’. June Purvis marks the 1918 anniversary with her major new biography of Christabel Pankhurst, a key leader of the suffragette movement, while Virago celebrates its 40th anniversary with a baker’s dozen of specially designed deluxe paperbacks. Historian June Purvis, novelist Linda Grant and Modern Classics editor Donna Coonan discuss these feminist milestones.

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession - £6

More information and tickets here.

Graphic Novels with Bryan and Mary Talbot

11.30-12.45 | 20 Oct 2018 | Tate Liverpool (4th Floor Auditorium) Liverpool, L3 4BB

GRAPHIC NOVELS WITH BRYAN AND MARY TALBOT

Come and hear collaborative writers, Costa award-winners Bryan and Mary Talbot, demonstrate the power of the graphic novel to communicate complex material in an accessible way. Emotionally charged biographical details, tangled historical events or the contemporary challenges of climate change – whatever the subject, the graphic novel’s unique combination of word and image can render it compelling. This will be an illustrated talk in the fabulous setting of Tate Liverpool.

Bryan Talbot has written and drawn comics and graphic novels for over 40 years, including Judge Dredd, Batman, Sandman, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, The Tale of One Bad Rat, Alice in Sunderland, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes and his current detective thriller series, Grandville. He is published in over twenty countries, is a frequent guest at international comic festivals, and has been awarded an honorary Doctorate in Arts and an honorary Doctorate in Letters.

Dr Mary Talbot is an internationally acclaimed scholar of gender, language and power who now writes graphic novels. Her first, Dotter of her Father's Eyes (with Bryan Talbot), won the Costa Biography Award in 2013. Her second, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette (with Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot), came out in May 2014. Her third, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia (with Bryan Talbot) appeared in May 2016.

Cost: Standard - £6 Concession £4

More information and tickets here.

Memoir and Life Writing - Claire Tomalin and Blake Morrison

4-5.15pm | 20 Oct 2018 | Venue: Victoria Gallery & Museum

MEMOIR AND LIFE WRITING – CLAIRE TOMALIN AND BLAKE MORRISON

Two distinguished memoir writers discuss the challenges and constraints of memoir and life writing with the award-winning biographer Dame Hermione Lee.

Claire Tomalin, born of a French father and English mother, worked in publishing and journalism as literary editor of the New Statesman, then the Sunday Times, while bringing up her children. In 1974 she published The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, followed by books on Shelley, Katherine Mansfield, Mrs Jordan, Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. The Invisible Woman (1990), her study of the actress Nelly Ternan and her relationship with Dickens, was filmed with Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones. Her highly-praised memoir, A Life of My Own, was published in 2017.

Blake Morrison is a poet, playwright and novelist, and was formerly literary editor of the Observer and the Independent on Sunday. His books include two bestselling memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? (made into a film starring Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth) and Things My Mother Never Told Me. He has written two opera libretti, a children’s book, The Yellow House, and a study of the James Bulger murder case, As If. There are three poetry collections Dark Glasses, The Ballad of the Yorkshire Ripper and Shingle Street, and three novels, including The Last Weekend (2010), dramatised for television. His new novel, The Executor, was published earlier this year.

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession - £6

More information and tickets here.

New Voices, with Alex Clark, Sally Rooney, Lisa McInerney and Anthony Joseph

10-11.15 | 20 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

Three exciting figures from a new generation of writers will be talking about and reading from their work with Alex Clark, distinguished Guardian and Observer critic and Bath Literature Festival Director. Sally Rooney, Lisa McInerney and Anthony Joseph have already enjoyed considerable critical success and are clearly writers to watch in future.

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession £6

More information and tickets here.

Talking McCartney & Liverpool Music with Paul Du Noyer

1.15-2pm | 20 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

TALKING McCARTNEY & LIVERPOOL MUSIC with PAUL DU NOYER

Come to hear Liverpool-born Paul Du Noyer in conversation with Mike Leary. Paul began writing about music on the punk-era NME in London. He later became the editor of Q magazine and in 1993 was the founding editor of Mojo. Since then he has written for many journals and interviewed everyone from David Bowie to Amy Winehouse. His first book was a study of John Lennon’s solo music, We All Shine On, followed in 2002 by the definitive history of Liverpool music, Wondrous Place. Subsequent books include In The City, the story of London’s popular music, and a biography of Liverpool art school legends Deaf School. His most recent book is Conversations With McCartney, drawn from his many encounters with the former Beatle.

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession - £6

More information and tickets here.

Sebastian Barry in conversation with Professor Roy Foster

6-7.15pm | 20 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

SEBASTIAN BARRY IN CONVERSATION WITH PROFESSOR ROY FOSTER

This event is sponsored by The Institute of Irish Studies.

Author and playwright Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin. His novels and plays have won the Costa Book of the Year Award, the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize, the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year, the Independent Booksellers Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He also had two consecutive novels, A Long Long Way (2005) and the top ten bestseller The Secret Scripture (2008), shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize. Days Without End (2016) won the Costa Book Award and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

Professor Roy Foster is Emeritus Professor of Irish History at Oxford and a renowned critic and broadcaster. A Fellow of the British Academy, he has received numerous honorary degrees and university fellowships. His publications cover many topics about Irish history, and figures such as Charles Stewart Parnell, Lord Randolph Churchill and W.B. Yeats. He won the 1998 James Tait Black Prize for biography and the 2016 Frokosch Prize from the American Historical Association.

Cost: Standard - £10 Concession £8

More information and tickets here.

Family Event - Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth & Runaway Robot with Frank Cottrell-Boyce

11.15-12.15 | 21 Oct 2018 | Mountford Hall Liverpool Guild of Students

The story of a quiet boy, a very loud alien, and 10 good reasons to save the Earth. Soon to be a major Dreamworks film. Perfect for 8-12 year-olds.

Frank Cottrell Boyce is a children’s writer from Liverpool who won the Carnegie Medal for his debut, Millions, and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for The Unforgotten Coat.  His latest book Sputnik’s Guide to Life is being made into an animated movie by Dreamworks.  He has also written many screenplays and was one of the small creative team who helped Danny Boyle stage the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. He totally smashed it on University Challenge.

Before the event starts, there will be a special appearance from Philip Pullman who will be announcing the winners of the China Stories writing competition.

Cost: £4 per child (includes one free adult)

More information and tickets here.

Frank Cottrell- Boyce, 'What will we do with all these people?'

7-8.15pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE, ‘WHAT WILL WE DO WITH ALL THESE PEOPLE?’

The age of the robots is already here. Robots already perform financial transactions, medical diagnoses, and drive cars. When robots have taken all the jobs, what will be left for humans to do? What will humans BE?

Frank Cottrell Boyce wrote the Doctor Who episode ‘Smile’ about a utopian city built by robots. He is a children’s writer who won the Carnegie Medal for his debut, Millions, and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for The Unforgotten Coat. His latest book Sputnik’s Guide to Life is being made into an animated movie by Dreamworks. He has also written many screenplays and was one of the small creative team who helped Danny Boyle stage the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. He totally smashed it on University Challenge.

Cost: Standard - £10 Concession - £8

More information and tickets here.

Family Event - Brock/ Pike/ Rook with Anthony McGowan

3.30-4.15pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Mountford Hall Liverpool Guild of Students

BROCK/PIKE/ROOK with Anthony McGowan

Anthony McGowan’s Rook is shortlisted for the 2018 Carnegie Medal – the most prestigious prize in children’s books. It is the conclusion of a trilogy about the brothers Nicky and Kenny, taking them from the depths of despair and social depravation to the heights of joy and friendship. The books are tragic, funny, and ultimately uplifting. The event is perfect for readers of 12 and older.

Anthony McGowan has written several young adult novels, including Hellbent, HenryTumour, which won the Book Trust Teenage Prize in 2006, and The Knife That Killed Me which was adapted into a highly acclaimed film in 2014. He has written widely for younger children, including the award-winning Donut Diaries series, and Einstein’s Underpants, which was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2010.

Cost: £4 per child (free adult with every child)

More information and tickets here.

Common People, with Alison Light and Kit de Waal

2-3.15pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

COMMON PEOPLE

With Alison Light, Kit de Waal, Durre Shahwar and Nathan Connolly.

The history and experiences of working class people are coming into focus more sharply than ever. Alison Light’s acclaimed Common People told her own family’s story in terms of a public history that has no records, diaries, letters or even gravestones. Kit de Waal has crowd-funded for a new collection of writings by and about working class people – also called Common People. Nathan Connolly’s much-discussed Know Your Place is a collection of essays by working class writers, including Durre Shahwar. They will discuss with Sam Solnick what the notion of ‘common people’ means today. 

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession - £6

More information and tickets here.

Workshop - Be Your Own Archers Scriptwriter with Mary Cutler

1.15-3.30pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Gilmour Room Liverpool Guild of Students

Be Your Own Archers Scriptwriter with Mary Cutler

At a mock script conference Mary Cutler will discuss with participants a current Archers script idea and where it may go next, so that the group creates a mini-storyline. She will explain the restrictions on numbers of characters, scene, location and so on, and then small groups will produce a scene by scene outline for the episode and present them to the whole workshop. Participants will then return to their group and choose a scene each to write at least a couple of pages of dialogue. Mary will oversee with advice and help.

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession - £6

More information and tickets here.

Poetry and Image, with Bidisha and Holly Corfield Carr

3.45-4.45pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

POETRY AND IMAGE

With Bidisha and Holly Corfield Carr, in conversation with Deryn Rees-Jones

Two cutting-edge poets who work across genres and disciplines will perform their poetry and discuss with poet Deryn Rees-Jones their practice in writing, film, performance and image.

Cost: Standard - £6 Concession - £4

More information and tickets here.

Writing for the Archers and Adapting Novels for Radio

11.30-12.30 | 21 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

WRITING FOR THE ARCHERS AND ADAPTING NOVELS FOR RADIO

With Mary Cutler and Sara Davies

Mary Cutler has been writing The Archers for 39 years which makes her the longest serving script writer on the Archers team. Perhaps her most recent claim to fame, or possibly notoriety, is that she is the writer who pushed Nigel Pargeter off the roof – though in that storyline she was proudest of writing how his sudden death affected Elizabeth and the twins. Her other work in radio drama has included five adaptations of Lindsey Davis's Falco novels, and three original serials for BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour.

Sara Davies is a writer and producer who has written drama documentaries, adapted books for radio drama, and regularly abridges fiction and non-fiction for Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and Book of the Week. She spent 20 years as a producer at the BBC in Bristol, working on a range of dramas, readings, arts and literary features before leaving to work freelance. She has won a Radio Academy Gold Award for feature-making and two Mental Health Media Awards for drama.

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession - £6

More information and tickets here.

‘The Train and the River’ – Van Morrison's Belfast

5.15-6.30pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

‘THE TRAIN AND THE RIVER’ – VAN MORRISON’S BELFAST with Eamonn Hughes

This is a joint event between Liverpool Literary Festival and Liverpool Irish Festival and is sponsored by The Institute of Irish Studies.

Eamonn Hughes draws on his experience of working with Van Morrison to examine the ways in which Morrison's representation of Belfast offers a very different view of the city from the more usual images of it as a city of conflict. In turn this offers an insight into the originality and innovation that Morrison brings to the art of song writing.

Eamonn Hughes has taught for many years in the School of English at Queen's University Belfast. He specialises in Irish literary and cultural studies. His history of Irish literature was broadcast by BBCNI in 2009. He worked with Van Morrison on his selected lyrics, published in 2014 as Lit Up Inside.

For more information about the Liverpool Irish Festival please visit https://www.liverpoolirishfestival.com/

Cost: Standard - £8 Concession - £6

More information and tickets here.

Afternoon Tea with Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn

3-4.30pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool, L1 9DA

Afternoon Tea with Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn, hosted by Professor Sally Sheard.

Claire Tomalin, born of a French father and English mother, worked in publishing and journalism as literary editor of the New Statesman, then the Sunday Times, while bringing up her children. In 1974 she published The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, followed by books on Shelley, Katherine Mansfield, Mrs Jordan, Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. The Invisible Woman (1990), her study of the actress Nelly Ternan and her relationship with Dickens, was filmed with Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones. Her highly-praised memoir, A Life of My Own, was published in 2017.

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on the Guardian and the Observer. His novels include Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong, Spies and Skios. His 17 plays range from Noises Off, recently chosen as one of the nation's three favourite plays, to Copenhagen, which won the 1998 Evening Standard Award for Best Play of the Year and the 2000 Tony Award for Best Play. He is married to the writer Claire Tomalin.

Cost: Standard - £16 Concession - £14

More information and tickets here.

Family Event - Life & Death, Extreme Surgery, Lying, and Good Frocks with Catherine Johnson

2-2.45pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Mountford Hall Liverpool Guild of Students

LIFE & DEATH, EXTREME SURGERY, LYING, AND GOOD FROCKS

 How long does it take to cut off a leg in the 18th century? Why were French surgeons over the moon about the guillotine? How do you fool a whole nation and make them believe you are something you’re not? Come and join writer Catherine Johnson as she talks about her recent novels, Blade and Bone, Sawbones and The Curious Tale of The Lady Caraboo. Good for all ages, especially Young Adult.

Cost: £4 per child (one free adult with every child)

More information and tickets here.

Fake News - A Satirical Novel about Donald Trump

1-1.30 | 21 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

FAKE NEWS – A SATIRICAL NOVEL ABOUT DONALD TRUMP

With David Hutter

Named as one of the 10 best books on the Donald Trump presidency by The Independent, David Hutter's Fake News is a satire in which Trump's behaviour towards North Korea, Theresa May and Alex Salmond is inspired by obscure historical events from, for instance, ancient China, Tudor England, the French Revolution and the Cold War. "Funny and cutting, this is the perfect antidote to despair," says The Independent.

Cost: Standard - £6 Concession - £4

More information and tickets here.

Family Event - The Donut Diaries with Anthony McGowan

10-10.45am | 21 Oct 2018 | Mountford Hall Liverpool Guild of Students

THE DONUT DIARIES

Join author Anthony McGowan as he takes you through the adventures of Dermot Milligan, hapless, overweight hero of the best-selling Donut Diaries trilogy. Rude and raucous fun for 8-12 year olds.

Anthony McGowan has written several young adult novels, including Hellbent, HenryTumour, which won the Book Trust Teenage Prize in 2006, and The Knife That Killed Me which was adapted into a highly acclaimed film in 2014. He has written widely for younger children, including the award-winning Donut Diaries series, and Einstein’s Underpants, which was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2010.

Cost: Standard - £4 per child (one free adult per child)

More information and tickets here.

Peace Poetry Breakfast and Readings by Fiona Sampson

9.15-11 | 21 Oct 2018 | Victoria Gallery & Museum

PEACE POETRY BREAKFAST AND READINGS by FIONA SAMPSON

Wilfred Owen died exactly a week before the end of the First World War. His poems documented the horrors of war, and he never lived to see the end of that bloody, muddy conflict or the arrival of peace to Europe. But what if, instead of a war poet, we remembered Wilfred Owen as a poet writing for peace? The Royal Society of Literature has invited some of its poet Fellows to write their own peace poems to mark the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s death. In these, they consider whether poetry can ever bring about peace.

This event sees the launch of the RSL’s Peace Poetry pamphlet, with RSL Fellow Fiona Sampson reading her newly commissioned poem, as well as poems by Wilfred Owen, Ivor Gurney and other poets writing through conflicts to find a route to peace. Fiona also talks about her experience of poetry in the post-Yugoslavian conflict Balkans, in a conversation hosted by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, Professor Dame Janet Beer.

Cost: Standard - £6 Concession - £4

More information and tickets here.

Workshop - Hooking Your Listener with Sara Davies

1.15-3.30pm | 21 Oct 2018 | Liverpool Guild of Students

Hooking Your Listener with Sara Davies

An introduction to some of the basic elements of radio drama, exploring how to hook your listeners in 90 seconds and then how to keep them.

Using some brief examples from recent radio dramas Sara will talk about some of these questions. What makes a good radio idea, rather than a stage play, a TV drama, a short story? What makes a good opening scene? What can only happen on radio and what can’t happen on radio? What are the different ways of telling the story? The group will do some snappy exercises to look at what works and what doesn’t.

Cost: Standard - £8 Concesstion £6

More information and tickets here.