Welcome to Portsmouth BookFest

 

About The Festival:

Portsmouth has a strong literary heritage including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells and Portsmouth BookFest continues that tradition, attracting diverse audiences to exciting events featuring popular and accessible authors.

Portsmouth BookFest is jointly organised by Portsmouth City Library Service and The Hayling Island Bookshop. There is an associated schools programme organised by Portsmouth School Library Service.

Portsmouth BookFest 2018

Portsmouth BookFest 2018 programme announced!

Portsmouth BookFest is excited to announce the programme for 2018, which runs from Monday 12th February to Saturday 3rd March.

Welcome to BookFest 2018! This year sees the city’s eighth book festival and it will present a varied programme of events.

BookFest is delighted to welcome bestselling crime author Peter James to the festival for the first time. Peter’s books are set in Brighton and are enormously popular with Portsmouth readers.

Crime is also represented this year with an exciting all day event. Portsmouth MysteryFest is a full day event where for the £15 ticket readers will be able to access talks and two panel events, with a cream tea included in your ticket price!

This year our early years’ offer is a special Teddy Bears’ picnic in each library with a visit from the Bookstart Bear!

Once again, BookFest is pleased to work with local writing talent. There are many workshops for budding authors including a Publishing Weekend where authors and experts will be able to give advice on getting your work noticed, editing, promotion and the options for publishing. BookFest is also hosting a number of workshops on how to write including writing your memories, writing and illustrating for comics and writing for children.

Tickets can be purchased from Monday 8th January:

Online at https://portsmouth.spydus.co.uk/events

In person at any Portsmouth City Council Library

At most events there will be an opportunity to buy books and have them signed by the author and at Peter James ticket holders will be able to use their tickets to obtain a discount off a book bought at the event.

 

For any questions about the events please call 023 92688037.…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Saturday 11th February

3pm-5pm

Canvas Coffee, Portsmouth & Southsea Station PO1 1EQ

Free Event – drop in when you can

Premature Articulation (Portsmouth Writers’ Hub)

Stories, songs, flat whites & tall tales, as Hampshire’s finest storytellers whet their blades for Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Canvas Coffee Shop, Portsmouth & Southsea Station

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Monday 12th February-Wednesday 14th February

Teddy Bears’ Picnic with the Bookstart Bear

£2 per child

Monday

10am: Paulsgrove Library

1pm: Cosham Library

3.30pm: North End Library

Tuesday

10am: Alderman Lacey Library

1pm: Beddow Library

3.30pm: Southsea Library

Wednesday

10am: Carnegie Library

1pm: Portsea Library

3.30pm: Central Library

Join the Bookstart Bear for a Teddy Bears’ Picnic! The event will include stories, rhymes and an activity. Ticket price of £2 per child includes squash and a cupcake.

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Monday 12th February

2pm

Southsea Library IT Suite

£2

Children aged under 10 must be accompanied by an adult

Adult and child writing together workshop with Lynne Stretch

Lynne Stretch, teacher and local author, is running a creative writing workshop for parents/carers and children together. Our theme is to look at recycling and how we (as a family) can help look after our environment for future generations. We will look at a selection of recycled materials and create a story with environmental theme e.g. A glass bottle falls out of the glass recycling bin. Somebody gets hurt as a result. How does this story end? What do we learn from this story? This workshop is for a parent/ carer and a child to attend together. If parents cannot attend, another adult family member can accompany the child. Due to limited space one adult and one child is advisable. 

 

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Monday 12th February

7pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£5

Screenwriting with Matt Wingett

Local author Matt Wingett was a screenwriter who wrote episodes of The Bill. In this talk, he takes writers through the nuts and bolts of screenwriting, performing a scene-by-scene analysis of one of his scripts, to reveal how a tv show is structured and the ingredients you need to make it work. A fascinating evening is promised.

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Tuesday 13th February

7pm-9.30pm

Square Tower

£8

Valentine’s Day Massacre with the Portsmouth Writers’ Hub

Twisted tales of romance, revenge and regret – bleeding hearts and dark thoughts acceptable!

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Wednesday 14th February

1pm-2.30pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£2

#making comics (for ages 11-16 years) with Russell Olson

A comic, graphic novel or webcomic is a great way to share a story. In this workshop, we’ll look at the methods and tools generations of comic creators have used to bring their ideas to life. We’ll also try our hands at a short comic

Russell Mark Olson is the creator of Gateway City. His work has been featured in Dirty Rotten Comics. He is currently working with Cult Empire Comics and AccentUK.

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Thursday 15th February

10.30am-11.30am

Southsea Library

Friday 16th February

10.30am-11.30am

North End Library

£1 per child

Storytime with Katy Hounsell-Robert

Join us at Southsea Library to hear author/ performer Katy Hounsell-Robert reading from her children’s books Ben’s Bees and Sophie’s [friendly] Spiders, two great adventure stories that  tell you a lot about these fascinating little creatures. There will be colouring sheets for the artists among you and a chance to read from the books aloud for the actors present.

There will also be the opportunity to buy copies of the books at a much reduced price.

Ben’s Bees – suitable for 5-10 year olds:

Ben and his cousin Martha come to spend the summer holiday with their grandfather on the Isle of Wight and help him with his bees. They find that they can turn into bees when they want and meet the Queen Bee, the drones and Honey Bee 37 who teaches them the rules of the hive. However the Queen and court are in great danger from a new ruthless princess who seeks to get rid of her mother and rule the colony. So Ben, Martha and Grandfather have to use their human skills to save them.

Sophie’s [friendly] Spiders – suitable for 7 to 10 year olds:

Sophie is terrified of spiders until suddenly she actually becomes one. She finds her feet – all eight of them – when a friendly wolf spider called Muffet invites her to the December Mosquito Festival in Zimbabwe where she meets a family friend working as a volunteer there in a children’s home. Gunmen attack the volunteers and try to rob them of a large donation given to the Home to buy pigs but Sophie and her spider friends risk their lives to save it. She returns home having learnt a lot about spiders and liking them very much.

 

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Thursday 15th February

7pm-9pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£3

A comic artist’s toolkit (for ages 16+) with Russell Olson

In this workshop, we’ll take a close look at scripting, laying out, and finishing a comic page. We’ll explore storytelling methods used by both past masters and contemporary practitioners and put together a layout that will carry a reader’s eye from start to finish.

There’s no one way to make a comic, but with a toolkit full of methods and mediums you’re bound to find the way that suits you and your story.

Russell Mark Olson is the creator of Gateway City. His work has been featured in Dirty Rotten Comics. He is currently working with Cult Empire Comics and AccentUK.

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Friday 16th February

10.30am-11.30am

Beddow Library

£2 per child

Animal Heroes with Andy Steele

This is all about crazy kittens, calamitous canines and bonkers bunnies. The world needs animals, and the more interesting, the better. Andy will be working with children on developing a character for their own storybook based on an animal of their choice. We’ll talk about what makes an interesting hero and the sort of adventures they can have. Oh, and they have to be an animal, because they are the best kind of heroes. The objective of the event is to have at least a plan of how the participants’ story for the character will unfold and Andy will be giving the participants their own blank booklet in which to translate their story into their own very own book.

The event will also include a preview of Andy’s forthcoming children’s book, Yoga Bill, which is due to be launched in Spring 2018.

“As a father of two, I love reading to my children and making them laugh, so the books I write and illustrate have those things in mind. I’ve published two children’s books to date with a third due for release in Spring 2018. I like my workshops to be fun and highly interactive for children where we not only learn, but we develop literary skills in a positive and constructive environment”.

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Friday 16th February

7pm-8.30pm

University of Portsmouth Eldon Building

£5/Free to UoP students

Guide to Victorian Sex

Prim or prurient? A star-studded panel presents your guide to the shifting landscape of historical attitudes around sexuality.

Dr Kate Lister: avid Twitterer, Lecturer at Leeds Trinity University, ally to Sex Worker Rights, and fighter for sexual freedom.

Dr Fern Riddell was an advisor on TV’s Ripper Street. Her book The Victorian Guide to Sex is a historical romp through sexual desire, practises and deviance.

Composer Dominic Crawford Collins is recording an audiobook inspired by the greatest erotomaniac of Victorian times. My Secret Life (by mysterious sex addict ‘Walter’) is an erotic memoir offering insights into the era which outdo Dickens.

Portsmouth’s own William Sutton chairs the panel, researching beneath the petticoats of Victorian Soho for his second novel Lawless and the Flowers of Sin.

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Saturday 17th February – Sunday 18th February (logos for Star and Crescent and Uni)

10am-4pm

White Swan Building, New Theatre Royal

£20 per day (includes tea/coffee and a light lunch) or two day Saturday and Sunday combined ticket offer £30

Publishing Weekend

This event will be useful to anyone looking to research and edit their writing, publish their work and build their author brand. Whether you are thinking of self-publishing or going down the traditional route, understanding the process is essential. Our range of experienced experts will be sharing their wealth of knowledge on all aspects of the publishing journey and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Saturday: Working towards Publication: The focus on Saturday is working towards getting ready for publication with talks and practical workshops on researching, editing and pitching your ideas to publishers.

Sunday: Publication and being a published author: On Sunday we focus on the publishing process and how to build your author brand through book cover design, book reviews and the use of social media.

You can book for either day or attend both days at a discounted price! Your ticket price includes a light networking lunch and tea and coffee.

Programme:

Saturday:

10am: Introduction

10.15am: Editing tips and traps with Helen Garvey and Tom Sykes

Writing a book is easy, right? Perhaps, but how about producing something you can be confident is of top publishable quality? Join professional freelance editor Helen Garvey as she discusses the process of taking your first draft through to publication, sharing her tips and highlighting the traps she wishes she had known about when she started writing.

Tom Sykes will explore the processes behind line-editing nonfiction books, making large structural adjustments to narratives, and compiling anthologies of short stories and articles.

11.45am: Coffee break

12noon: Pitching your idea/work with Wendy Metcalfe and Tom Sykes

Wendy will talk about submitting fiction short stories and novels.  She will cover preparing your story, submission guidelines, and keeping your motivation up when the rejections roll in.

 

Wendy has been submitting short stories and novels for over twenty years.  She will share stories from her own struggle to scale the slush pile.

 

Tom will examine proposing non-fiction works and journalistic articles to a range of professional markets, drawing on real-life contracts, pitch letters and editorial suggestions.

 

1.30pm: Networking lunch

2.30pm: Do your research with Suzie Wilde

Rudyard Kipling writes

“I KEEP six honest serving-men
 (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
 And How and Where and Who.”

… which is a good mantra for researchers, too. But the first question is, what kind of researcher are you? Suzie will help you decide.

3.30pm: Bookshop and Q and A

Sunday:

10am: Introduction

10.15am: Thinking of self -publishing? With Chindi

CHINDI authors have self-published novels and non-fiction books in various formats over the last five years. They’ve made audio books, e-books and printed books that have sold to thousands of readers. They’ve also made a lot of mistakes along the way. Christopher Joyce will lead a discussion of how to publish your book, where to go and what not to do using experiences from the group of 22 authors. www.chindi-authors.co.uk 

11.15am: Coffee break

11.30am: Judging a book by its cover – your book as a product with Christine Hammacott

In traditional publishing producing a book is all about creating a saleable product. Whether you are aiming to be traditionally published or are self-publishing the marketing and selling process starts with the cover. This workshop is designed to give an understanding of book cover design and formatting, and why getting to grips with genre is so important by publication stage. It will also cover positioning your book in the marketplace, and the all important considerations when producing your ‘product’.

12.45pm: How to build an author platform from scratch with Jo Mallory

Jo’s workshop will cover: Where to start 101; your Website; let’s talk platforms and your social media, with the opportunity for questions.

1.30pm: Networking lunch

2.30pm: Writing book reviews to establish yourself as a writer with Carol Westron

“Many of the exciting opportunities I’ve received in the past few years have stemmed from my first reviews for Mystery People. I’ve made some wonderful friends, raised my profile as a writer and honed my reading and writing skills. In this talk I will discuss the benefits of reviewing and how to write a review that shows you at your best”.

 

3pm: Organic marketing with social media with Jo Mallory

In this workshop Jo will cover: Knowing your audience and where to find them; mailing lists; growing your audience organically Vs paid advertising; a fun tips session; the writer trap; don’t be afraid to cull and don’t feed the trolls. 

3.45pm: Conclusion, questions and feedback

Workshop biographies

 

Helen Garvey is a published author, intermediate SfEP member, and freelance editor under the pen name Victoria Milne.  So far, she has had two books published: ‘The Strawberry Farm’ and ‘Writer’s Lock’. In 2016 Love Unlocked – the anthology in which ‘Writer’s Lock’ was published – was a Rainbow Award Finalist. Her involvement with the anthology cemented her passion for the mechanics of the craft and, to her surprise, for grammar! Helen’s lifelong fascination with books shows no sign of slowing down, and she loves being able to help other authors perfect their manuscripts.

Visit her website atwww.victoriamilne.com

Christine Hammacott is a graphic designer who runs Southampton based design consultancy The Art of Communication. She is a partner member of The Alliance of Independent Authors and a member of Portsmouth Writers Hub and Chindi. She has worked in traditional publishing as a book designer and now helps self-publishing authors with the process, creating stunning professional covers that they can be proud of. Her debut psychological suspense novel, set in Portsmouth, The Taste of Ash was published in 2015. Her second novel is due out in 2018.

Christopher Joyce (co-founder of CHINDI authors) writes books for children. There are six books in The Creatures of Chichester series and The Alien Cookbook will be launched this year. An ex-teacher with an MA in marketing communications, Chris has run a number of workshops on self-publishing and creative writing and is a frequent visitor to schools. Winner of the Cornish Writing Prize 2017, he is actually from South Wales but has lived in the centre of Chichester for the last ten years. www.creaturesofchichester.com.

Jo Mallory usually writes romance (with a dash of magic.)  She has worked in retail marketing for a number of years; for big and small businesses, as well as running her own marketing company until she moved into writing full-time.
Jo says, “writing is only the start of the journey. Once the writing is done, we have to choose our path to publication, get readers, grow our audience and learn about marketing ~ the list is endless. This is why I wanted to write a book that helps authors to get started.”
In real life Jo can be found on the coast in Britain, but her cyber HQ is www.joannemallory.com where all her mind’s wanderings can be found.  

Wendy Metcalfe is a science fiction author. She writes about big cats, sentient artificial intelligences, and feminist issues – sometimes all in the same character.  She is a connoisseur of cappuccino and the café window seat, where her first drafts are produced.  She is Chairwoman of Havant and District Writers’ Circle, and has been a creative writing teacher for over a decade.

Tom Sykes is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth and a highly experienced author, journalist and editor. He is the author of Ivory Coast: The Bradt Travel Guide and his shorter works have appeared in The Telegraph, New Statesman, Private Eye, The Scotsman, New Internationalist and New African. He is currently working on a ‘political travelogue’ about contemporary Manila, entitled Searching for Manila.

 

Carol Westron is a novelist who writes contemporary crime fiction and Victorian Murder Mysteries, all of which are set in the south of England. She is an expert on the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and gives papers for crime fiction and academic conferences. She also interviews authors and writes articles, and reviews books for Mystery People ezine, The British Library and Amazon. As a Creative Writing teacher she believes in the empowering and healing potential of creative activity and has also written and published a series of children’s picture books illustrated by her young, severely autistic grandson.

 

Suzie Wilde was born in Portsmouth, where her family worked in the Dockyard. She is the sixth child of eight but the only survivor. Their converted  lifeboat was lost when Langstone Harbour froze. Suzie taught English to A Level, until becoming a maritime researcher. After gaining an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing in 2011, she writes full time and runs workshops. She is a committee member of SCBWI_BI. Her debut novel The Book of Bera was published by Unbound in March 2017 and will be available in paperback in April 2018. The sequel, Obsidian, will follow.

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Saturday 17th February

2 – 4.30pm

20 places

Menuhin Theatre, Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£6 – Email for tickets: hookedonwords@gmail.com

THE IMP OF THE PERVERSE - Creative Writing Workshop

In what ways does a prose poem differ from flash fiction? Is a prose poem just a poem without the line breaks? Do labels even matter? In the words of Gertrude Stein: A rose is a rose is rose. Whether prose or poetry is your thing, this workshop will help you to put the best words in their best order capturing the prose poem’s anarchic qualities in the process.

Michael Loveday is a poet and short story writer, and tutor of creative writing. He has a Masters in Writing (distinction) from Kingston University. His book reviews have appeared in Eyewear, The London Grip, Magma, The North, and Write Out Loud. He is a creative writing tutor for Advanced Studies in England and the St John’s Foundation, Somerset, and is a Director of the National Association of Writers in Education.

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Sunday 18th February

11am-4pm

Hotwalls, Old Portsmouth

Artists Open Studio Weekend

FREE- Just drop in

An opportunity to visit the creative studios, meet the artists and makers at work and buy or commission professional pieces, including textile books.

www.hotwallsstudios.co.uk

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Monday 19th February

2pm

Room F, Portsmouth Central Library

£5

Poetry and Art workshop with leading poet Chris Tutton

Can a poem be written about an image or a piece of art? Is there a link between the two art forms?

Join Chris for this friendly and interactive workshop examining an art movement and writing a poem.

Supported by Arts Council England

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Tuesday 20th February

7pm-9pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£3

Writing a Drabble with Rick Haynes

A Drabble is a self-contained story of exactly 100 words excluding the title. Yet, it must have a beginning, a middle and an end – the last line should tie everything together.

In this fun workshop Rick will take you through the history of the Drabble, read the very first Drabble ever written, explain why Drabbles can be so helpful in writing longer pieces and then encourage you to write one. It’s always fun and often with some surprising results!  …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Wednesday 21st February

3.30pm – 6pm (Readings 5.30pm)

Southsea Coffee, 63 Osborne Rd, Southsea PO5 3LS

Free writing drop-in, all ages and abilities.

Typewriter Tales at Southsea Coffee

Drop in for our free writing session and try out a typewriter (instant printer). With your passport to write, create a postcard-sized story/poem to inaugurate the cafe’s story book. Prompts to unleash your creativity are offered by William Sutton and author friends.

Explore stickers, rubber stamps and micro-publishing your own mini-book with the help of artist Los Dave.

Cake and coffee available. www.southseacoffee.co.uk
Art materials provided by White Dog Gallery.

A celebration of Southsea Coffee’s creative friends: “ART CAN BE ANYTHING”

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Wednesday 21st February

2.30pm-4pm

Portsmouth History Centre, Second Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£3

A tale of Portsmouth Town with Dr Alison Habens and Matthew Wingett

Portsmouth born, author Walter Besant was as big a name in his day as Dickens. His bestselling novel of 1878 called this place ‘the most magnificent harbour in the world’, with familiar views such as Portsdown Hill, and old scenes like the Milldam (where students nowadays may study Victorian fiction), on every page. This long-forgotten book is By Celia’s Arbour; so, where is that? Pompey authors – an academic and a publisher – Alison Habens and Matt Wingett, have tried to find the site where this popular romance was set; the exact spot on the city walls so glowingly described by Sir Walter. Join our journey, from the text to the context, as we re-locate that lost arbour in the battlements.

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Wednesday 21st February

7pm-9pm

First Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£5

Autumn of love: the Portsmouth music scene in the 1960s with Dr Dave Allen

Dave Allen has been involved for some years in a number of projects documenting the history of post war popular music in Portsmouth. In his recent publication Autumn of Love he explored how the ‘swinging sixties’ impacted on Portsmouth, contesting the argument that it never extended beyond certain ‘hip’ areas of London. He then examined the impact of the ‘Summer of Love’ (1967) – not merely in music but in a broader range of social and cultural practices. This will be the focus of his talk at BookFest, with a consideration of how those ‘heady’ days are still impacting on life in Portsmouth today.

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Thursday 22nd February (Uni logo)

7pm-9pm

    1. Eldon Building, Portsmouth University

£7 (your ticket includes a £2 discount off the price of a book bought at the event)

Peter James – interviewed by Pauline Rowson

Peter James is one of the UK’s most treasured crime and thriller novelists. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold over 18 million copies worldwide and are now published in 37 territories.  The novels have had 11 consecutive Sunday Times No 1s. In the Autumn of 2012, ‘Not Dead Yet’ toppled the 50 Shades Of Grey trilogy off the No 1 paperback fiction slot, ending its 25 week domination of the chart and in May 2015, ‘You Are Dead’, derailed ‘The Girl On The Train’ from its 3 month chart domination going straight in at No 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller charts.  ‘Love You Dead’ in hardback was Peter’s eleventh Sunday Times No 1 bestseller.

Peter, an established film producer, was educated at Charterhouse then at film school. He has produced numerous films, including ‘The Merchant of Venice’, starring Al Pacino. He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community; is Patron of Neighbourhood Watch nationwide, Crimestoppers in Sussex, Brighton & Hove Samaritans, and Relate.   Peter has twice been Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and has won many literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger. In 2015, he was voted by WH Smith readers as The Best Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he was awarded the Crime Writers Association Diamond Dagger Award, an award to mark sustained excellence and significant contributions to crime writing.

Interviewing Peter will be internationally acclaimed local crime author Pauline Rowson, who masterminded the popular CSI Portsmouth panel events at BookFest for six years.

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Friday 23rd February

1pm-2.30pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£3

Do-it-yourself: writing and self-publishing books for younger children with Carol Westron and Gunvor Johansson

 

Unless you are a celebrity, it’s difficult to get children’s books taken up by a traditional publisher. However, many people want to write children’s picture books or First Chapter books and wish to see their work in print. This workshop will consider what audience you are aiming for and discuss the options for self-publishing your work and choices for illustrations, perhaps even getting children to illustrate your book.

 

Please bring along a notepad/paper and pen. If you have already started a book, please feel free to bring along the first 500 words of your story.

 

Gunvor Johansson came to England from Sweden in her late teens and now lives on the south coast, near Chichester. She had always had a love of writing and has just completed her fifth children’s book.

As well as her adult fiction, Carol Westron writes a series of picture books featuring a magic train and Adi, a child who is different and can see the secrets behind the darkness. The books are illustrated by her autistic grandson, Adam, a very special and creative boy.

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Friday 23rd February

7pm-9pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£5

The truth can be dangerous: telling the stories of our lives? Panel discussion moderated by Tom Sykes and featuring Christine Lord, Gareth Rees, Sarah Cheverton, Ollie Gruner and Louis Netter

A panel of experienced writers discuss the practical and ethical challenges of researching and composing memoirs, and the use of novelistic techniques (narrative structure, characterisation, exposition etc) borrowed from the craft of fiction in order to tell true stories. Writers and readers alike will enjoy this dissection of the life writing process, with our panellists revealing all the secrets of the discipline.

 

 

Tom Sykes is the author of Ivory Coast: The Bradt Travel Guide, and his life writing and journalism have appeared in New Statesman, Private Eye, The Telegraph, New Internationalist, New African and The Scotsman. He is currently working on Searching for Manila, a Gonzo travelogue about the Philippines. Tom is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth.

 

Christine Lord is a veteran journalist and film-maker whose book Who Killed My Son? chronicled the tragic death of her 23-year-old son from VcJD (colloquially known as Mad Cows’ Disease) and her subsequent search for the truth behind the BSE scandal.

 

Olly Gruner is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at the University of Portsmouth. His research focuses on the history and legacy of the 1960s and he is the author of Screening the Sixties: Hollywood Cinema and the Politics of Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). He is one of the contributors to The Corbyn Comic Book and has written scripts for graphic novels based on his own experiences as a researcher and traveller.

 

Louis Netter is a trained illustrator, animator and designer with over ten years of experience teaching in higher education. His current work is in experimental graphic novels, from the literary to the controversial. Artwork is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, New York Historical Society and many university libraries across the USA. www.louisnetter.com.

 

Gareth Rees has written for The Guardian, The Contemporary Review and the award-winning No Such Thing as a Free Ride? series of travel anthologies. His latest book Read Rees contains stories of war, theology, blackberry crumble and the oppression of cleaning staff. ‘Forty years’ wanderlust, menial labour and mindful rebellion.’

 

Sarah Cheverton is Editor-in-Chief of Star & Crescent, a local website that has published a good deal of life writing since its inception in 2015. Sarah has written about a wide range of personal experiences from visiting the occupied Palestinian territories to her role in the front line of anti-domestic abuse services in Portsmouth. 

 

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Saturday 24th February

2pm-4pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£3

Life writing practical workshop with Pam Nockemann

Want to write about your life but not sure where to start? Come and learn where to begin, how to end and what goes in the middle – with a bit of Desert Island Discs thrown in. Go home with a framework for your autobiography, memoir or family history.

Pam Nockemann was born and brought up in Portsmouth. She has been writing for 25 years and writes biographical and nostalgia features which are published frequently in Best of British magazine and has been published in Yesterday, Practical Family History and People’s Friend. She also offers a Copy Editing Service and edits regularly for several local authors.

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Sunday 25th February

10am-4pm

Canoe Lake Tennis Pavilion

Tickets for this event available at: http://writershq.co.uk/

Writers’ HQ writers’ retreat: Stop faffing about and start writing!

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Monday 26th February

7pm-8pm

Portsmouth History Centre, Central Library

£5

Conan Doyle, the Spirits and the Great War with Matt Wingett

 

Local writer Matt Wingett traces Conan Doyle’s faith in Spiritualism and how it grew during the World War One. Along the way, we hear of strange phenomena reported from the Front, ghostly visitations and the seances of soldiers who had lost friends in battle. A fascinating account of the other side of the man who created Sherlock Holmes.

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Tuesday 27th February

7pm-9pm

Carnegie Library

£3

Writing for children with Charlotte Comley

Following Charlotte’s popular workshop on writing picture books in 2017, this course will look at:

What children and importantly what publishers want?

Understanding readers

Characters

A writing exercise – hook your reader

Where to send your work – useful resources

 

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Wednesday 28th February

2pm-3.30pm

Portsmouth History Centre

FREE -please reserve your ticket in advance

Recollections of John Pounds with Matt Wingett

 

Local historian and publisher Matt Wingett looks at the life and legacy of one of Portsmouth’s true heroes, the philanthropic cobbler John Pounds, and how he came to influence the rise of universal state education in Britain.

 

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Wednesday 28th February

6.30pm-9pm

University of Portsmouth Park Building

£5

A Literary Mystery

In the University of Portsmouth’s historic Park Building, the city’s famous writers will come back to life and lead you up and down its creaking stairways and along its atmospheric corridors in this immersive literary mystery. Clues hidden in the stories they’ll tell you, the objects you’ll handle, and even on the walls of the building itself, will reveal a spooky new plotline, with a prize for the first participant to decode a message from Conan-Doyle, Kipling and H.G.Wells. In association with Supernatural Cities (https://www.facebook.com/imaginetheurban/), this novel event for BookFest is devised and directed by academic and author, Dr Alison Habens.

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Thursday 1st of March 2018

6.30-8.30pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

The Portsmouth Writers’ Hub presents: The Portsmouth Food Writing Supper Club

£19.50 (Portsmouth Writers’ Hub members rate), £26 (non-members) Tickets include the creative writing workshop, prosecco, mineral water & 2 course vegan meal (gluten free but does contain nuts)

Tickets for this event can be purchased at: https://foodportsmouth.eventbrite.com

Try something completely new and write about it, in an evening of food and word exploration.

Award-winning food blogger Misti Traya, aka ‘Chagrinnamon On Toast’ invites you to join her for an evening of sensory and literary exploration, in a unique workshop comprising a two-course supper, prosecco and, of course, food writing!

Under Misti’s brilliant guidance and tutelage, adventurous authors will relish vegan dishes to inspire exciting writing exercises.

With wellness so on trend at the moment, your meal will be all plant-based health and flavour prepared on site by Southsea supper club Ginger and Peach – their first pop-up in a library!

This special evening will suit all “flavours” of food writers, from aspiring food bloggers, columnists and article writers to restaurant critics, writers of food-inspired memoirs and even those wanting to create their own cookbook.

Chef and recipe writer Yotam Ottolenghi said of our tutor: ‘There’s something fresh and candid, almost cheeky, in Misti’s voice; it is disarming and charming.’

It’s going to be a fascinating, fun sensory and literary exploration that will feed your abilities and give you fresh new experiences to savour.

Join us for fun, food, writing and discussion at Portsmouth Writers’ Hub’s first food writing workshop! All writing levels welcome.

Note: Places are limited and ticket sale ends a week before, due to catering requirements. Please book early!

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Friday 2nd March

11am-3pm

FREE – no ticket required, just come along!

Southsea Library

Meet the authors: Local authors’ fair and Spontaneous Writing Booth!

There will be a festival atmosphere in Southsea Library with the opportunity to meet some of the region’s finest new writing talent!

Portsmouth Writers’ Hub presents The Spontaneous Writing Booth

Come and meet Portsmouth writers in the spontaneous writing booth. Give the writers a topic, any topic, from your new shoes to ‘winter’, ‘Portsmouth’, ‘the beach’ or the name of a loved one. They will spontaneously write you a poem, short story or piece of flash fiction to take home, for the price of £1. No booking necessary, just turn up!

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Friday 2nd March

7pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£5

My Tutu Went AWOL, The Book Show with Iestyn Edwards

Alongside readings from his best-selling Iraq memoir, Iestyn – otherwise known as Madam Galina – sings the songs of Novello, Sherman and Henderson, dances the Temple Water Carrier, and tells how he went from being first upstaged in Portsmouth by a yodelling giraffe to one day singing for Her Majesty there on board H.M.S. Victory – before becoming the only vaudeville act of his ilk to be sent out by C.S.E. to entertain troops on those four tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.  He became mascot to 42 Commando Royal Marines.  Which worries the MoD no end…

‘A rare and perfect synthesis of art and larkiness…the audience howled with laughter, stamped and cheered!’ The Times

‘Part stand up, part panto dame, part clown – total hit! This extraordinary character must be the result of a drunken one-night stand between Margot Fonteyn and Captain Mainwaring.’ Liverpool Post

 ’Spreads a bow wave of happiness and silliness. A true and fabulous diva with the voice of an angel.’ Joanna Lumley

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Saturday 3rd March (Mystery People logo)

10.00am doors open

10.15am-5pm

Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library

£15 – includes a cream tea during the 12noon brencludes:

Portsmouth MysteryFest

Come along to a fun and informative day exploring crime fiction with bestselling and new crime fiction authors organised in partnership with the Mystery People.

Your ticket includes:

.A Contemporary Crime panel with authors Linda Regan (Participating Moderator,) Angela Arney, Christine Hammacott, Linda Regan, Leigh Russell, Peter Tickler and Carol Westron. This panel will discuss Why Crime? Crime is one of the most popular fiction genres. Why do so many writers enjoy writing crime and why do so many people enjoy reading it?

Cream tea lunch from Lily and Lime café

Linda Regan interviewing her husband – star of stage and screen Brian Murphy.

Four shorter talks on the topics of: Agatha Christie and spiritualism; the experience of being a police woman in the 1980s; setting a murder novel in Oxford and writing a bestselling crime series.

History Mystery panel- The Past is a Foreign Country: with Carol Westron (Participating Moderator); Linda Stratmann; Ann Granger; Nicola Slade; William Shaw and Barbara Nadel. This panel explores how members of the panel create the period they are writing about without over-burdening the reader with details? Do they think that certain crimes occur at specific times in the past?

The speakers:

Angela Arney is the author of many romance novels and a former Chairman of the Romantic Novelists Association. Recently she has written two cosy crime novels featuring Dr Lizzie Browne and DCI Adam Macguire, the most recent of which is The Dead Girl’s Shoes.

Gaynor Baker is an academic, currently studying at Bath Spa University, her current area of research is Agatha Christie’s interest in Spiritualism and her use of it in her books.

Ann Granger is the author of 23 crime fiction novels to date, divided between four series. All my crime books have been published by Headline.

Christine Hammacott writes psychological crime suspense novels in which she explores how ordinary people cope when they are thrown into extraordinary situations, where crime infringes on someone’s life and a character is forced to confront situations they have no idea how to deal with. Her debut novel The Taste of Ash, exploring the aftermath of a fire and stalking, is set in Portsmouth. Her second novel is due out in 2018. 

Dot Marshall-Gent worked in the emergency services for twenty years before becoming an English teacher.  She now enjoys writing reviews for Mystery People and studying Victorian fin de siècle crime and science fiction.

Brian Murphy is a star of stage and screen and often described as a national treasure.

Barbara Nadel writes two crime fiction series, the Ikmen novels set in Istanbul and the Hakim and Arnold books set in London. In 2005 she won the CWA Silver dagger for fiction.

Linda Regan is a well -known actress and acclaimed crime author

Leigh Russell has sold over a million books in the Geraldine Steel series, and written trilogies featuring Ian Peterson and Lucy Hall. She is chair of judges for the CWA Debut Dagger Award, and a Royal Literary Fellow.  

Nicola Slade writes historical and contemporary cosy mysteries, all set in and around Winchester. She delights in killing people with the most unlikely murder weapons possible

As well as being the author of the contemporary crime novel The Birdwatcher, William Shaw writes the Breen and Tozer police procedural series set in London in 1968-69; the latest is Sympathy for the Devil.

Linda Stratmann is a former chemist’s dispenser and the author of thirteen non-fiction books which include historical true crime and biography, and eleven novels, featuring Victorian lady detectives.

Peter Tickler is a crime writer who sets his acclaimed crime fiction in the side-streets of Oxford, Town rather than Gown.”

Carol Westron writes contemporary and Victorian crime novels set in the south of England, she is an expert on the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and an article writer and reviewer.

 

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In partnership with BookFest:

 

Sunday 18th March 2018

 

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Aspex Gallery, Gunwharf Quays,

 

Free Admission – Open to all

 

Substance: Portsmouth’s first Artist Book event

 

Substance, Portsmouth’s first Artist Book event will showcase a range of artists’ books, performances and participatory creative activities. Exploring the links between the written narrative and the visual structures of books, and seeing where these stories lead in the hands of artists, performers, poets and public.

Full details at – artistsbooksportsmouth.blogspot.co.uk

 

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