The 2019 programme has been announced! See below for more details.

Saturday 9th February

11.30am – 2pm

FREE – No ticket required

Canvas Coffee (Portsmouth and Southsea Railway Station)

Premature Articulation

T’Articulation reprise their annual Valentine’s event Premature Articulation. Come along to hear lovelorn tales of lost loves and other romantic woes, compered by Gareth Toms. This is a free event, as long as you buy something from the host cafe – how better to spend a Saturday lunch-time?

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Wednesday 13th February

7pm-9.30pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£8 – includes soft drinks and nibbles

BookFest Launch Night: St. Valentine’s Massacre

For the first year BookFest Launch Night is open to the public! Join us for launch speeches followed by the St Valentine’s Massacre. T’Articulation returns with a new mix of antidotes to all things ‘Love’. Fed up with all the romantic schmaltz? Finding it hard to get your love life going? Then come and empathise with our talented writer/performers – whose tales of betrayal and plots of revenge will have you sighing and crying (with laughter, of course) as they take you on a journey of discovery. Convened by group founder Christine Lawrence

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Saturday 16th February 2019

12noon – 3.30 PM

Portsmouth Central Library

£7

Email for tickets: hookedonwords@gmail.com

Telling Tales for Grown Ups

Creative Writing Workshop

Maggie Sawkins and Brighton based writer and performer Gus Watcham delve into the dark world of folk and fairy tale for nuggets of gold to get writing ideas flowing. Come ready to embrace the weird and wonderful. Suitable for beginners.

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Monday 18th February

7.15pm-9.30pm

Hunter Gatherer, Albert Road

FREE- No ticket required

Once Upon a Time … Poetry and Prose Open Mic event

T’Articulation’s BookFest poetry and prose open mic event: hosted by Hunter Gatherer. Come and hear stories, often very odd stories, from some or Portsmouth’s best writers. And, if you have something ‘on theme’, sign up on the night for a slot to join in. Event compered by Eileen Phyall, who will give you a very warm welcome in true T’Articulation style. This is a free event, as long as you buy something from the host café!

 

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Wednesday 20th February

7pm-8.45pm

Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth

Cinema screening: The Happy Prince

£5 – please book your ticket at www.portsmouthfilmsociety.org.uk

LOGO TO BE DISPLAYED: PORTSMOUTH FILM SOCIETY

The last days of Oscar Wilde, and the ghosts that haunted them, are vividly evoked in Rupert Everett’s directorial debut. Everett gives a career defining performance, physically and emotionally embodying the literary genius as he lives out his last days in exile.

2017 / UK / 105m / Cert 15

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Wednesday 20th February- Friday 22nd February

The Gruffalo Tour!

£3 per child – includes squash and a cupcake – please book in advance to avoid disappointment

The Gruffalo makes a welcome return to Portsmouth! Join him for a story, activity and cupcake at the following libraries:

Wednesday 20th February:

10.30am: Carnegie Library

1pm: Portsea Library

3.30pm: Central Library

Thursday 21st February:

10.30am: Southsea Library

1pm: Beddow Library

3.30pm: Alderman Lacey Library

Friday 22nd February:

10.30am: Cosham Library

1pm: North End Library

3.30pm: Paulsgrove Library

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Thursday 21st February

2-3.30pm

Southsea Library

FREE- Please book a ticket in advance as places are strictly limited.

Stories for Tomorrow: Creative Writing Workshop with award winning author Judy Waite

Suitable for children aged 9-13

What will Portsmouth be like in ten years’ time? Young writers will imagine possible futures as a starting point for stories set in 2029. Characters and settings will spill into exciting, dramatic tales that bring tomorrow into today. The future is coming… and the best way to control it is to write it.

Judy Waite has published over fifty titles, including novels for children and young adults. Judy is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Winchester and, alongside her fictional writing, has developed innovative thinking and writing activities that explore fresh ways to trigger ideas.

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Thursday 21 February 2019

7.45 – 9.30 pm

The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth

£7

Email for tickets: hookedonwords@gmail.com

REDDER

Red Riding Hood is 66 years old. Who is she now? A one woman show about grown-up adventures.  Written and performed by Gus Watcham and directed by Mark C Hewitt.

Gus Watcham was a RADA student in 1969, when we believed we’d change the world through acting. She spent twenty years on the London Fringe and touring the UK in a van. After a gap of nearly thirty years she returned to the stage to perform her own material. In the intervening time Gus has been artist, support worker, civil servant, bartender, and the front end of a pantomime horse.

guswatcham.co.uk

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Thursday 21st February

7-9pm

The Round Tower, Old Portsmouth

£4 (includes tea and coffee provided by The Canteen) for this event please book at www.intothewoods.eventbrite.co.uk

Into The Woods: From Stitch to Print with Kim Edith

How do you turn hand stitched artwork into a printed book?  

After a video of her fabric book ‘Into The Woods’ went viral, textile artist Kim Edith took on the challenge to bring it to print. In this talk she will take you through her creative journey and adventures in self-publishing. An interactive exploration, there will be a range of fabric books and journals to look through, as well as the original textiles artwork from Into The Woods.

Kim Edith is a textile artist specialising in fabric books, using fabric collage to create detailed illustrations. Find her at Studio 6, Hotwalls, Old Portsmouth. www.stitchbookstudio.com

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Friday 22nd February

2pm-4.30pm

£6 – includes tea/coffee and a cupcake

Portsmouth Central Library

Afternoon tea with the Deadly Dames

The Deadly Dames are Charlie Cochrane, Joan Moules, Nicola Slade and Carol Westron, four crime novelists with a passion for detective fiction and laughter. They are also very fond of cakes, so come and join the Dames and their guest for the afternoon, Sue Fortin, and enjoy an afternoon of stories, humour and afternoon tea.

Because Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her mystery novels include the Edwardian era Cambridge Fellows series, and the contemporary Lindenshaw Mysteries. Multi-published, she has titles with Carina, Riptide, Endeavour and Bold Strokes, among others.

A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie regularly appears at literary festivals and at reader and author conferences with The Deadly Dames.

Sue Fortin is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author, an international bestselling author and has reached #1 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart and #3 in the US Kindle chart. Her books have been translated into 8 different languages. Sue writes mystery, suspense and romance, sometimes combining all three. Sue is part of the writing group The Romaniacs who collectively won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Media Star Award for their contribution in promoting the women’s fiction/romance genre. Born in Hertfordshire, Sue had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex where she has lived for over 30 years.

Joan Moules lives by the sea in Selsey, Sussex. She has two daughters, five grandchildren and two cats. She writes fiction and non-fiction, and among her many other interests are reading, walking, the theatre, music hall and Victorian jewellery.

Nicola Slade writes historical and contemporary cosy mysteries, all set in and around Winchester.

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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Friday 22nd February

7pm – 9.30 pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£8

T’Articulation’s Evening of Poetry, with Romani poet Raine Geoghegan and friends

This innovative and exciting evening will include readings by Raine and other local poets, including Denise Bennett, Richard Pierce, Gareth Toms and Richard Williams, as well as a panel interview and opportunities for audience members to get involved.

Books by local poets will be on sale at the event, convened by group founder Amanda Garrie.

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Saturday 23rd February

11am-5pm

Southsea Library

FREE – Just drop in (please note the First line of a poem workshop and Breathing Through Objects workshop need to be booked in advance)

PoetryFest

Come along to Southsea Library for a fun day of poetry! Whether you’re a poet yourself or enjoy hearing poetry and song, there will be lots to see and do at the library during the day.

Local Poets Fair

10am-1pm Poetry surgery with Denise Bennett – bring along your work (maximum 2 poems) for feedback and tips from esteemed local poet Denise

11am £2 on the door: Lucky dip writing workshop with Anne-Marie Blatchford – pull items out of a hat and use them as inspiration for a poem!

12noon Breathing through Objects: free poetry workshop, with T’Articulation’s Amanda Garrie

Objects to evoke memory, thoughts and emotion, will be provided as prompts to begin writing, in this friendly, fun and quick-fire workshop. Participants will be encouraged to share their work, at the end of the session – to read it to the group, or to have it read out. This element is not obligatory.

1pm Project Adorno performance – Beat poetry and understated quirky pop songs. Project Adorno are a double act employing voice, electronic sounds, a few props and occasional acoustic guitar.

3-5pm £3: First line of a poem workshop with Lynne Stretch – using the first line of famous poems to inspire creative writing.

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Saturday 23rd February

2pm-3.30pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£4

Bombweed with Gillian Fernandez Morton and Maureen Armstrong

Rosebay willowherb grew rapidly on bombsites in WWII. Often called Bombweed, the spikes of pink flowers were a symbol of both the destruction brought by the blitz, and the regeneration of life. It was a reminder of the lifelong consequences of wartime loss, and the choice to cling to, discard, or lock away, your memories of those who were lost.

Author Gillian and her sister Maureen will talk about the novel Bombweed, and the life of their mother, Margaret Smith, who wrote the original story. Set largely in Portsmouth, Margaret’s wartime experiences, and those of her friends and family, are the framework for the plot. Written so soon after the real events, they provide a vivid picture of life on the home front. Gillian and Maureen will explain how, having inherited four volumes of poorly typed script, they worked on Margaret’s text to produce the final book. They will highlight what messages the story holds for the modern reader.

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Saturday 23rd February

6pm-8pm

Southsea Library

£3 includes a soft drink and nibbles

Portsmouth Short Story Competition awards night

The entries are in, the shortlist has been announced and the writers await the result – decided by our VIP judges! The fourth Portsmouth Short Story Competition opened for entries in July 2018 with a theme of Portsmouth: Truth, myth and legend. Join the shortlisted writers at Southsea Library for an evening of readings from the entries and the announcement of the winner.

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Monday 25th February

7pm-9pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£4

Start Writing – Keep Writing

Fiction Workshop

Keen to start a new writing project, or to finish one, but can’t seem to find the time? Then come along to this session, run by T’Articulation’s Amanda Garrie and Christine Lawrence for tips on how to succeed. Bring your ideas for a short story, novel, or memoir and be prepared to take part in writing exercises and share your work. By the end of the workshop, you should have some achievable goals, and have ideas and tools to keep you writing until the final sentence.

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Tuesday 26th February

2.30pm-4pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£4

Ten years in a Portsmouth Slum by Robert Dolling – talk by Matt Wingett

From his arrival in Portsmouth in 1885 at the behest of his bishop, the Reverend Robert Dolling applied himself to missionary work in Landport. The slum he found was a den of vice, iniquity, drunkenness and violence. Neighbours wouldn’t speak to each other in adjoining streets, brothels and pubs littered the area, and the locals had no idea of a sense of what community might be. Over his ten years in Portsmouth, Dolling used frequently unconventional methods to weld together a community. At one time throwing a troublesome parishioner down the stairs to show him who was boss, at another putting a visiting dignitary on a limited ration on Christmas Day, Dolling found the lvoe and admiration of his parishioners grew over time. Finally raising a subscription to build a new church – the great redbrick St Agatha’s – in Landport, Dolling fought with the Church authorities and against depravity and vice to build a community.

Matt Wingett tells the story of Robert Dolling’s book,
Ten Years In A Portsmouth Slum.

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Wednesday 27th February

7pm-8.55pm

Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth

£5 – please book a ticket at www.portsmouthfilmsociety.org.uk

Screening: The Bookshop

England,1959. Free-spirited widow Florence Green risks everything to open a bookshop in a conservative East Anglian coastal town. An elegant yet incisive rendering of personal resolve tested in the battle for the soul of a community.

2018 / UK / 113m / PG

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Wednesday 27th February

Doors open 6.30pm. Quiz starts at 7pm. Quiz ends at approx. 9pm.

Portsmouth Central Library

£5 per person – book an individual place or book for a team (maximum team number 8 – every team member requires a ticket)

Doctor Who Quiz Night

Do you know your Autons from your Zygons? Come to the library for a fun quiz on all aspects of Doctor Who, from the first broadcast in 1963 to the latest series with Jodie Whittaker.

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Thursday 28th February

2pm-4pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£4

Women, Sex and Spiritualism: A talk by Matt Wingett

From its beginnings in Hydesville, New York in the 19th Century, Spiritualism was primarily a woman-centred religion. Matt Wingett traces the views of the church and scientists towards women described by critics as witches, and describes how scientists, mostly men, dealt with the phenomenon of women expressing religious beliefs – often falling prey to their own prejudices, preconceptions and sexual desires. Speaker Matt Wingett is a local historian and author, with special interest in Spiritualism in Britain in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries.  

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Thursday 28th February

7pm-9pm

£5

Portsmouth Central Library

Star & Crescent and Bookfest 2019 present…

Witnessing the World: Reportage, Academic Research and Fiction Based on Real Events and Real Lives

A panel of experienced writers and artists who have captured real-life people, places and events in their work share all the tricks of their trade, discussing style, structure, voice, investigative ethics and research methods. The evening will include a caricature-drawing demonstration and some interactive writing activities. The panellists will cover a wide range of topics from American fan culture to folklore in rural Oxfordshire, Donald Trump to the drug war in the Philippines, the Northern Irish Troubles to contemporary Guyana.

Featuring:

Louis Netter, reportage cartoonist

Simone Gumtau, researcher into local personal narratives 

Amanda Garrie, novelist and folklore researcher

Mike Manson, novelist and historian

Lincoln Geraghty, traveller-academic and fan culture theorist

Graham Spencer, Northern Ireland peace and conflict expert

Tom Sykes, foreign correspondent and travel author

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Friday 1st March

2-4pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£5

Using Local History to Make a Poem with Denise Bennett

At this workshop we will read poems about Portsmouth and you will take part in writing exercises to inspire your own work. At the end of the session you will have rough drafts and many ideas to take your poetry further.

Denise Bennet is an experienced adult education tutor and has an MA in creative writing. She runs poetry workshops in community settings and is widely published. She has three collections: Planting the Snow Queen and Parachute Silk – published by Oversteps Books and Water Chits – published by Indigo Dreams.

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Friday 1st March

7pm-9pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£5

Iestyn Edwards: My Tutu Went AWOL

Join Iestyn for an hilarious evening.  Currently being developed as a feature film, My tutu went AWOL isless a straight book reading, more a cabaret preface. Classical ballet, opera and anecdotal stand up all combine to provide an evening of fascinating stories, song and laughs.

From an opera recital for Her Majesty in best bib and tucker to touring Iraq and Afghanistan in tutu, tights and tiara and becoming Forces’ Sweetheart. 

Dressed down for drying his pink ballet tights on the Basra anti-blast wall; demanding the President of Estonia give the custard creams back to be returned to their rightful camels; hoiked offstage by a furious Royal Marines Commando and quartered on the Naughty Tank. 

https://tutuboy2.wixsite.com/mysite

‘Hilarious…just hilarious.  Richard Curtis

‘Only the divinely unique Iestyn Edwards could be in a tutu in a war zone and write about it so perfectly.  Fascinating, moving and completely hilarious.’  Miranda Hart

‘The most informative, most brilliant and best talk!’ Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Off the Shelf

‘It doesn’t come any better than this.’  Ruby Wax

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Saturday 2 March

17.30-19.30 Keynote and Round Table Public discussion

Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth

£10/£5 (students and unwaged) Please reserve your ticket at

http://creativespace.cci.port.ac.uk/event/cookbooks-do-they-have-a-future-in-the-digital-age/

Cookbooks: Do they have a future in the digital age?

Keynote speaker: Jack Monroe (food writer & activist)

Panellists: Lulu Grimes (hub editor, BBC Good Food) and Katie Quinn (food vlogger & writer)

Chair: Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan (University of Portsmouth)

With recipes increasingly online and embedded into smart devices, this lecture and round-table discussion asks where this leaves our much-loved cookbooks? What is the role of the cookbook in a contemporary society where food remains a contentious issue, and gourmet food shopping exists alongside foodbanks? Will the cookbook disappear if we become dependent upon computers and smart home gadgets to store and retrieve our recipes? Or does the internet of things encourage new culinary understanding and ingredient experimentation? Would you give up your cookbooks? What do they mean to you? Come and join in this BookFest discussion.

The above public lecture and debate comes after a day-long Academic Symposium at University of Portsmouth, on Cookbooks: Past, Present and Future, where the importance of cookbooks will be considered from historical, cultural and future perspectives. All are welcome.  

Symposium 10.00-17.00

Eldon building, University of Portsmouth

£40/£20 (students and unwaged)

http://creativespace.cci.port.ac.uk/event/cookbooks-past-present-and-future/

Both events have been convened by Dr Laurel Forster, University of Portsmouth

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Saturday 2nd March/Sunday 3rd March

10am-4.30pm

White Swan Building

Parking is at Eldon car park (meter) Bedford Street

£30 per day- includes lunch each day- special offer whole weekend ticket £50

Leisure Card holders: £25 per day or £40 whole weekend ticket- please show your Leisure Card with your ticket on arrival.

Please note: There are a limited number of places to pitch your work to the agent on Saturday afternoon. You should book a slot separately in advance if you would like to pitch your work – each 15 minute slot is £25 (charged extra and paid on the day)

Writing and Publishing Weekend

Following the success of the 2018 Publishing Weekend, BookFest once again presents a weekend of talks for writers looking to take the next step. Whether you are hoping to get your work published through the traditional route or via self-publishing, the Publishing Weekend will equip you with the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions. The weekend also includes a networking lunch each day.

Saturday:

10am: Welcome and introductions

10.15am: Christine Hammacott: Your book as a product mindset

11.15am: Tea/coffee

11.30am: Helen Garvey: The editing process

12.30pm: Laura Williams: Getting an agent 

1.30pm: Lunch and networking

2.30pm: Panel: self-published authors discuss their publishing decisions led by Debbie Young from Alliance of Independent authors 

2.00 – 4.30 Agent pitching – separate booking for this as 9 x 15 minute slots

3.30pm: Self-Publishing with Ingram Sparks

4.30pm: Close

Sunday:

10am: Welcome and introductions

10:15am: Suzie Wilde: Researching your book

11:15am: Tea/Coffee

11:30am: Unbound: The crowdfunding option

12.30pm: Wendy Metcalfe: Weathering the publication storm

1.20pm: Lunch and networking

2.20pm: Scott Pack – Masterclass: Perfecting your submission

4.20pm: Questions and feedback

4.30 close

Speakers:

Patsy Collins spends her time making things up and writing them down from her home in Lee-on-the-Solent or whilst traveling in a campervan. She is the author of five novels, twelve themed collections of short stories and half of From Story Idea to Reader – an accessible guide to writing fiction. Hundreds of her short stories have been published in women’s magazines worldwide. Learn more at patsycollins.uk Patsy runs two blogs for writers. Patsy-Collins.blogspot.co.uk regularly features free to enter writing competitions, and Womagwriter.blogspot.co.uk contains all the guidelines and information needed to submit fiction to woman’s magazines in the UK and abroad.

Helen Garvey is a published author, intermediate SfEP member, and freelance editor under the pen name Victoria Milne. She has had two books published – ‘The Strawberry Farm’ and ‘Writer’s Lock’ – and her third is being published later this year. 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 at www.victoriamilne.com

Christine Hammacott is a graphic designer who runs her own design consultancy and works with businesses and individuals to create brands Her debut novel The Taste of Ash, exploring the aftermath of a fire and stalking, is set in Portsmouth. www.artofcomms.co.uk 

Wendy Metcalfe is a science fiction writer.  Her stories explore feminism, sentient artificial intelligences, and environmental issues.  She has an MA (Merit) in Creative Writing from the University of Portsmouth, and has taught creative writing for over a decade.  She is currently Chairwoman of Havant and District Writers’ Circle.  She is a member of Portsmouth Writers’ Hub, and regularly performs with spoken word group T’Articulation.

Scott Pack has spent the best part of two decades in the book world. He has worked as buying manager for the Waterstones book chain and publisher at HarperCollins, Unbound, Eye & Lightning Books and others. He is also a freelance editor and public speaker. His regular Guardian Masterclass, How to Perfect Your Submission, is now into its fourth year and spawned a book of the same name.

Unbound, the online trading name of United Authors Publishing Ltd, is a privately held international crowdfunded publishing company. It is based in London, UK. 

Suzie Wilde was born a Shackleton in Portsmouth, the year rationing ended. Her parents met in the jig-and-tool shop at De Havilland. She is the sixth child of eight but the only girl and only survivor. Her first book dates from before infant school and involves a lonely girl befriending wolves. So does her latest. Suzie has been a postie, shop assistant, lab rat, teacher and maritime researcher. She gained an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing in 2011, now writes full time and runs writing workshops. The Book of Bera: Sea Paths, published by Unbound, was one of the Guardian’s top five SFF books last year. The second book of the trilogy, Obsidian, will be published in 2019.

Laura Williams- Literary Agent – Greene and Heaton: Laura Williams joined Greene & Heaton as an agent in 2018. She worked at Peters Fraser and Dunlop from 2011, after completing a degree in Classics at Oxford. She is actively building a fiction list and a small non-fiction list. She is currently looking for literary fiction, edgy commercial fiction, psychological thrillers and high-concept contemporary young adult, as well as narrative non-fiction of all types. Her taste is quite dark, and she loves gothic, ghost stories, horror and anything sinister. She also loves books that make her cry, from big love stories to intense family dramas.

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Sunday 3rd March

6pm-8pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£5

Around the world in 10 books with Scott Pack and Judith Robinson

Join Judith Robinson and Scott Pack as they take you on a round the world trip in the company of some wonderful books. In this celebration of international literature, your hosts will discuss and recommend ten books from across the globe. The perfect event if you want to widen your reading horizons or are already a fan of books in translation.

Judith Robinson programmed and delivered literature and music festivals and events for over 10 years, first for the Cheltenham Literature Festival, followed by the British Council and most recently for Bath Festivals. She is now a lecturer at Bath Spa University, teaching on the festivals and events sector amongst other things. Books have always been and remain her great passion, and she continues to chair and take part in literature events.

Scott Pack is an author and publisher. He was once in charge of the all the books bought by Waterstones but in recent years he has focused more on writing and publishing books than selling them. His most recent book is a collection of haiku called Weightless Fireworks. He is also one of the question setters for the BBC quiz show, Impossible!

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Monday 4th March

2pm-4pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£4

Plundering your Past: using your own story for fiction, memoir and poetry.

Writing Workshop, with T’Articulation’s Amanda Garrie and Christine Lawrence

Learn how to use snapshots and anecdotes from your own past to inform your writing and how to avoid the trap of offending friends and family. The focus will range from fiction, to memoir and poetry. Suitable for beginners and practising writers alike. Exercises will focus on your memories and how you might use them to best effect. Participants will be encouraged to share their ideas and work, for best results, but this won’t be obligatory. Expect to leave the session with some works in progress and the motivation to continue with each project.

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Tuesday 5th March

10.30am-11.30am

Portsmouth Central Library

FREE- Please book a ticket in advance

Billie: The other successful Conan Doyle

Billie’s real name was Lena Jean Conan Doyle; she was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s youngest daughter. Her childhood nickname ‘Billie’ was given to her by Houdini who was impressed by her spirited ‘tomboy’ nature. By using images from the Conan Doyle Collection, this talk aims to enlighten us all about her early life. Billie eventually became Air Commandant of the WRAF, served as an honorary Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II and was a Dame of the British Empire.

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Tuesday 5th March

Portsmouth Central Library

7.30pm-9.30pm

FREE – please book a ticket in advance

Pompey Writes Showcase of Local Literature and Publishing

Star & Crescent - Portsmouth’s only independent news, commentary and creative writing website – and Portsmouth BookFest- invite you to an evening of readings, discussions and networking opportunities focused on the vibrant and growing Portsmouth literary scene. Meet and listen to successful novelists, award-winning poets and journalists who have been published in the national and international press. Local independent publishers will have stalls at the event and there will be plenty of useful advice on offer about getting into professional writing and publishing.  

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Wednesday 6 March

3:30-5:30pm

Southsea Coffee

FREE- No ticket required

Typewriter Tales

Get involved with this FREE drop-in event brought to you by T’Articulation.

Typewriters, quills, inks, rubber stamps. Create a postcard sized story, poem or drawing.

No experience required. All ages and abilities welcome.
Readings with our creative friends T’Articulation at around 5pm.

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Wednesday 6th March

7pm-9pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£5

DDay: The Soldiers’ Story with Giles Milton

To mark the forthcoming 75th anniversary of DDay BookFest is delighted to welcome Giles Milton, author of DDay: The soldiers’ story, for a talk and book signing.

Giles Milton’s bold new history narrates the day’s events through the tales of survivors from all sides: the teenage Allied conscript, the crack German defender, the French resistance fighter. From the military architects at Supreme Headquarters to the young schoolboy in the Wehrmacht’s bunkers, D-Day: The Soldiers’ Story lays bare the absolute terror of those trapped in the frontline of Operation Overlord. It also gives voice to those hitherto unheard – the French butcher’s daughter, the Panzer Commander’s wife, the chauffeur to the General Staff.

Damien Lewis calls the book ‘Compellingly authentic, revelatory and beautifully written. A gripping tour de force’

Giles Milton is a writer and historian. He is the internationally bestselling author of Nathaniel’s Nutmeg, Big Chief Elizabeth, The Riddle and the Knight, White Gold, Samurai William, Paradise Lost, Wolfram, Russian Roulette, Fascinating Footnotes From History and Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. He has also written three novels and three children’s books. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in south London.

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Wednesday 6th March

7pm-8.40pm

Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth

£5 – please book a ticket at www.portsmouthfilmsociety.org.uk

Screening: The wife

A wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, where he is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

2017 / USA / 100m / 15

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Thursday 7th March

7pm-9pm

Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth

£6

The Great Detectives Panel discussion – Will Sutton (moderator), Panellists: Quentin Bates, Diana Bretherick, Charlie Cochrane and Carol Westron.

Who’s your favourite literary detective? Is it Sherlock Holmes? Brother Cadfael? How about Miss Marple? Or maybe someone more contemporary such as Agatha Raisin?

Join our panel of authors and experts who will each be championing their favourite literary detective and making a case for their chosen detective being the ultimate literary detective! After the discussion you can vote for your favourite!

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Thursday 7th March

7pm-9pm

Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth

£6

Alan Johnson

Portsmouth BookFest is delighted to welcome Alan Johnson to the city. Alan Johnson was General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union before entering Parliament as Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle in 1997. He served as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that, he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary. Until 20 January 2011 he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

His childhood memoir ‘This Boy’ was published by Bantam Press on 9th May 2013. It won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and the Orwell Prize, Britain’s top political writing award.  His second volume of memoirs.

‘Please Mr Postman’, was published in September 2014 and won the National Book Club award for Best Biography.

The final book in his memoir trilogy, ‘The Long and winding Road’, was published in September 2016 and won the Parliamentary Book Award for Best Memoir.

Alan retired as an MP before the 2017 general election after 20 years as an MP.

On 20th September 2018 his latest book, ‘In My Life – A Music Memoir’ was launched at Studio 2, Abbey Road where the Beatles made almost all of their records.

He and his wife Carolyn live in East Yorkshire.

Alan will be interviewed in what promises to be a fascinating evening.

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Friday 8th March

7pm-8.30pm

£5

Portsmouth Central Library

Rudyard Kipling - child of the wild – talk by Matt Wingett

 Whilst Rudyard Kipling is arguably most famous for his children’s stories in The Jungle Book, many of his other works contain themes that echo his childhood growing up in Portsmouth. In his autobiographical Something of Myself, Kipling relates the brutality of his childhood in Portsmouth, separated from his parents. Repeatedly, in works such as Captains Courageous and Kim one encounters tales of a young boy isolated from family facing a hostile environment alone and overcoming deep adversity and cruelty. Captain’s Courageous is even set in a maritime setting. Characters along the way seem to echo the real life characters Something of Myself, including Baloo, Sheer Khan and Kaa from the Jungle Book, and Manuel from Captains Courageous

This series of readings from different works by Kipling explores the interconnections between his admittedly brutal life in Portsmouth, and how perhaps, in facing childhood adversity, he became a writer of global importance.

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Saturday 9th March

10am-5pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£16 includes a light lunch

MysteryFest With Diana Bretherick, Simon Brett, Judith Cranswick, Jeff Dowson, Donna Fletcher-Crow, Christine Hammacott, Dot Marshall-Gent, Graham Minett, Jennifer Palmer, Linda Regan, Leigh Russell, Sally Spedding, Lesley Thomson, Laura Weston and Carol Westron.

Following the success of last year’s MysteryFest event – a collaboration between BookFest and Mystery People – 2019 sees another fun packed day of crime fiction and fact with a host of bestselling authors and speakers.

This year there are fifteen speakers, including twelve authors, many of them bestsellers, and the Guest of Honour is Simon Brett, a bestselling author with both book series and radio series to his credit. The programme includes two author panels and several talks, including an exploration of the theme ‘Bodies in the Library,’ and a talk about the two real life cases that Arthur Conan Doyle became involved in. There will also be an exhibition of Conan Doyle artefacts, and the Hayling Island Bookshop will be present selling books by all the Mystery Fest authors.

Diana Bretherick: Diana’s experiences in working in criminal justice have given her insight into the workings of the criminal mind. She has honed this in her criminological studies, attaining an M.A in Criminology in 1999 and a PhD in 2006. She has now turned her attention to crime fiction, producing her first novel, City of Devils, in 2013, the result of her MA in Creative Writing.

Diana also runs crime writing workshops and regularly performs readings of her work including short stories with a supernatural element.

Simon Brett has published over a hundred books, many of them crime novels, including the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering and Blotto & Twinks series. His stand-alone thriller, A Shock to the System, was made into a feature film, starring Michael Caine. Simon’s writing for radio and television includes After Henry, No Commitments and Smelling of Roses. Bill Nighy plays Charles Paris in the Radio 4 adaptations of his books. In 2014 Simon was presented with the Crime Writers’ Association’s top award, the Diamond Dagger, and he was made an O.B.E. in the 2016 New Year’s Honours ‘for services to literature’.

Judith Cranswick is the author of ten published crime novels – seven travel mysteries and three stand-alone psychological suspense novels. Her Fiona Mason is set in Europe and the first of her new Aunt Jessica novels takes place in Morocco. This means that she has to spend a lot of time researching the history and politics of the countries her protagonists visit and, of course, spend time there herself to decide exactly where the murder is going to take place.

Jeff Dowson began his career in the theatre. He moved into television, working as a writer/producer/director.  Screen credits include arts series, entertainment features, drama documentaries, drama series and TV films. Turning crime novelist in 2014, he introduced Bristol private eye Jack Shepherd in Closing the Distance.  The second thriller, Changing the Odds, was published the following year, Cloning the Hate in 2017.  Book 4 is scheduled for release in spring 2019 One Fight At A Time, published in 2018,is the first in the American GI Ed Grover series. Jeff is a member of BAFTA and the Crime Writers Association. Visit www.jeffdowson.co.uk

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 50-some books, including Glastonbury, an Arthurian grail search epic. She currently authors 3 series: Lord Danvers Investigates, a Victorian true-crime series; The Elizabeth and Richard literary suspense series; and The Monastery Murders contemporary clerical mysteries with clues deep in medieval times. Donna lives in Boise, Idaho. She and her husband have 4 married children and 14 grandchildren. She is an avid researcher and tries never to write about a place she hasn’t visited. www.DonnaFletcherCrow.com.

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.

Dot Marshall-Gent worked in the emergency services for twenty years before becoming a teacher of English in London and Kent.  She now enjoys writing reviews for Mystery People as well as researching Shakespearean and Marlovian theatre, and early crime and science fiction.

GJ Minett studied Languages at Cambridge University before teaching for several years in Gloucestershire and West Sussex. In 2008 he completed a part-time MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester and subsequently won both the inaugural Segora short story competition in 2008 and the Chapter One competition in 2010. The latter consisted of the opening sections of what would eventually become The Hidden Legacy, which was soon followed by Lie In Wait and Anything For Her. Book 4, which he is currently planning, will appear in summer 2010

Dr. Jennifer S. Palmer enjoys crime fiction immensely. She has read crime fiction since she was a child – starting with the Secret Seven books of Enid Blyton.  When Jennifer lived abroad she found reading a great solace and pleasure and had access to a lot of crime fiction. Jennifer reviews crime fiction for Mystery People and Shots on the web, gives talks to the DLSayers and Margery Allingham Societies and to U3As, and has published scholarly papers on crime fiction. In 2018 Jennifer spoke at Bodies from the Library at the British Library. As a retired historian (at least retired from full time employment) Jennifer lectures on topics of historical controversy as well as on Crime Fiction topics.

Linda Regan is a successful actress. She has worked extensively in television and film and theatre. Having had to be nice to many actors who she secretly would have liked to murder, she started writing crime thrillers, and found she could kill them off legally and they would never know! Her first crime novel, Behind You, set backstage in a pantomime where a serial killer is loose, won the CremeDeLaCrime worldwide search for new authors competition. She has gone on to write eight more successful thrillers.

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

Born near Porthcawl, Wales with a Dutch/German background and having trained in Sculpture, Sally Spedding won an international short story competition and was approached by an agent. Her crime thrillers begin with ‘Wringland’, set on the Fens, published in 2001, and her eleventh, ‘The Nighthawk’ – the first in a seven-book deal with Sharpe Books – is out now. She is also an award-winning short story writer and poet. Sally spends part of each year in the haunting eastern Pyrenees where timeslips occur.

Lesley Thomson’s first novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People’s Book Prize. The Detective’s Daughter was Amazon UK’s longest running No. 1 in 2013, knocking JK Rowling (as Robert Galbraith) to no. 2. The UK Sunday Times described Lesley’s protagonist Stella Darnell as ‘one of the most original characters in British Crime Fiction’. The Detective’s Daughter series has sold over three quarters of a million copies. Lesley lives in Sussex UK with her partner and a small poodle called Alfred. The Playground Murders, # 7 in the series comes out in April 2019.

Laura Weston is the Arthur Conan Doyle Learning and Education Officer for Portsmouth City Council.

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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Sunday 10th March

1pm-2.30pm

Portsmouth Central Library

£3

The Mysterious Case of The Haberdasher’s Scissors.

Local writers and researchers, Alison Habens and Matt Wingett, have discovered an extraordinary fact: three famous literary figures of the 19th Century, H.G.Wells, Arthur Conan-Doyle and Rudyard Kipling met each other in the early 1880s, in the old Drapery Bazaar, Hide’s Emporium, on King’s Road in Southsea. Even more amazing, they were involved in a dark mystery that might have come straight from one of their own stories. Hear it unfold, through a series of extracts from their autobiographies, and solve a few clues yourself…

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Sunday 10th March

3-5pm

Meet at Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Square

FREE  - no ticket required

(NOTE: The walk will take place if the weather is dry)

A Literary Tour of Portsmouth

A walk round the streets of Southsea and Old Portsmouth seeing sites of literary interest and hearing stories set in familiar and unexpected locations. Conducted by Matt Wingett and Alison Habens. 

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Venues:

Canvas Coffee, Portsmouth and Southsea Station PO1 1EQ

Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth PO1 2DJ

Hunter Gatherer, Albert Road PO4 0JR

Portsmouth Central Library PO1 2DX

Round Tower PO1 2JE

Southsea Coffee PO5 3LS

Southsea Library PO5 3QQ

Square Tower PO1 2ND

White Swan Building, Exchange Road, behind Brewhouse Pub in Guildhall Walk PO1 2BF