An integral part of what Manx Litfest is all about – encouraging youngsters to read more and write more. We send a team of authors, illustrators, poets and storytellers – visiting and Island-based – out around primary and secondary schools to deliver a series of talks, workshops, readings and performances. Given the way the schedule has fallen this year and the travel plans of some of our guests, some school visits will take place on other days, but the vast majority will be on our traditional Schools’ Day of Friday.
Isle of Man author Rona has enjoyed a fantastic 12 months since the publication of her first novel, the psychological thriller Keep You Safe, by Bookouture in August 2018. She has since published two more novels – Love You Gone and The Honeymoon – and sold a combined 100,000 copies in that time. Rona’s next novel, Her Mother’s Lies, will be out in October 2019. Rona had intended to be a guest on the Mobile Library during last year’s Litfest, but sadly had to cancel it at short notice – we are delighted to rearrange it for this year’s festival. The Mobile Library performs a vital service for our community, as a meeting place in the towns and villages where it makes regular stops, and provides a direct-to-your-door delivery service for avid readers who find it difficult to get out and about. The Library will be taking Rona north, to Andreas, Jurby, and Ramsey – drop by and say hello!
The maxim ‘show not tell’ is bandied around so often in creative writing courses that we rarely take the time to interpret and interrogate it. During this daylong course, Emma Claire Sweeney will look at ways to ‘show’ well through creating compelling scenes and appealing to the senses in ways that are innovative and arresting. But she’ll also ask whether ‘telling’ ever has a place in a novel. Through excerpts and exercises, Emma will reveal how and when to shift from action to reflection, scene to narration, ‘showing’ to ‘telling’. Emma currently teaches creative writing at New York University, and has previously worked for Cambridge, City University’s Novel Studio and the Open University. She is a fellow of Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory in Armenia and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in the USA, and has also held writing residencies at Camden Carers, Eastside Educational Trust, Circle of Misse and Sunnyside Rural Trust – which resulted in the publication of The Memoir Garden: a collection of poems from the words and experiences of adults with learning disabilities. She has written two books – Owl Song at Dawn and A Secret Sisterhood – and has won Arts Council, Royal Literary Fund and Escalator Awards, and has been shortlisted for several others.
Join us to hear Juno Dawson talk about her novels Clean, which was shortlisted for Waterstones’ YA Book Award, and Meat Market, an emotionally searing insight into the world of high fashion. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman. She is a regular contributor to Attitude Magazine, Glamour Magazine and The Guardian and has contributed to news items on BBC Women’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight concerning sexuality, identity, literature and education. Juno has written several novels for young adults, including Hollow Pike, Margot & Me, and Spot the Difference, which was written for 2016 World Book Day. She has won wide acclaim for her non-fiction titles on LGBT issues, including a guide to life for young LGBT people, This Book is Gay, while her book Mind Your Head featured everything a young person needs to know about mental health. Juno’s debut book for adults was the memoir, The Gender Games, and last year she wrote The Good Doctor, the first Doctor Who adventure to feature 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker. In June this year she published What is Gender? How Does It Define Us? And Other Big Questions for Kids.
Delve into the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy with award-winning authors Emma Newman and Gareth L. Powell, as they discuss their careers and how they conjure up new worlds to explore in their books. Emma won the British Fantasy Society Best Short Story Award 2015 for A Woman’s Place, and Between Two Thorns, the first book in her Split Worlds urban fantasy series, was shortlisted for the BFS Best Novel and Best Newcomer 2014 awards. Her science-fiction novel, After Atlas, was shortlisted for the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke award and the third novel in the Planetfall series, Before Mars, was shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association Best Novel award. Gareth has twice won the BSFA Award for Best Novel (Ack-Ack Macaque and Embers of War) and been shortlisted for the Seiun Awards in Japan, while Embers of War was also shortlisted for the 2018 Locus Awards. Light of Impossible Stars, the final book in the Embers of War trilogy, is published early next year.
Event sponsored by ManSat Group (mansat.com)
Storyteller Jon Buckeridge brings his epic show to Manx Litfest: ‘The Forgotten Tales' is a fast-paced one-man show that reignites the spark of stories that were once a steady flame across the land. Bringing together stories from across the British Isles, The Forgotten Tales will take you to on a journey from the hilarious to the heart-breaking and heroic. The British Isles are a tapestry woven with myths, legends and folktales. From Manx magicians to Cornish cats, the cultures of our kingdom are captured in our stories… but tales left untold will fade into forgetfulness.’ Jon visited the Island two years ago, performing Forgotten Tales – if you missed out, or enjoyed it so much last time that you want to see it again, this is your chance. Jon is also be performing his new show – The Once and Future King – at Erin Arts Centre on Sunday, September 29 – see below for details on a combined ticket price.