Our main event for writers, with something for everyone, whatever stage your writing is at – panel discussions, talks, writing masterclasses, storytelling workshops and one-to-one pitch slots with literary agent Jonathan Ruppin. Among those taking part this year are visiting authors Emma Newman, Emma Claire Sweeney, Gareth L Powell and Tom Rachman, while storyteller Jon Buckeridge will run workshops focusing on developing characterisations (see The Storyteller’s Toolkit below). Writers’ Day provides an incredible opportunity to learn more about the writing craft, meet and talk to fellow writers, and make invaluable contacts within the industry. The highly sought-after agent pitch slots tend to go quickly – if you have a manuscript ready and are interested in booking a slot, please email us on the address below.
Regular tea & coffee and a buffet lunch is included in the price.
Event sponsored by PokerStars.
Whether you are new to storytelling or an experienced raconteur, Jon Buckeridge from Parable Arts will help you improve your techniques by using your body to create solid characterisations and add variety to your storytelling style. Since graduating from the University of Wales in 2007, Jon has developed a broad experience of stage and screen performance, as well as establishing himself as an expert storyteller, gifted singer and multi-instrumentalist. Jon established Parable Arts in 2014, to explore the art of storytelling, ‘bringing forgotten and half-remembered stories to life, and providing them a platform to shine’. His one-man production, The Forgotten Tales, has received critical acclaim at venues and festivals across the country. In addition to Parable, Jon is an ECSPC-qualified performance combat instructor and fight director, and runs his own stage combat company, Action Combat Choreography.
Please note – these workshops are also open to those attending our Writers’ Day at King William’s College. If you are attending Writers’ Day, you don’t need to buy a separate ticket for Jon’s workshops.
One for our younger book readers as children’s author and illustrator Nadia Shireen visits the Family Library. Nadia’s books include her debut Good Little Wolf, which won the UKLA Book Award, and The Bumblebear, for which 700,000 copies were distributed to schoolchildren across the UK as part of Book Trust’s ‘Time To Read’ campaign. Last year Nadia became Book Trust’s official Writer in Residence. Her books have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, The Sainsbury’s Book Award and the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. Her most recent stories feature her fearless heroine, Billy – Billy and the Beast and Billy and the Dragon.
Event sponsored by Family Library (familylibrary.im)
Come and join in the spooky fun for children of all ages as author and illustrator Chris Priestley brings his dark stories to Foxdale School for an action-packed afternoon of storytelling and drawing! Chris’s books have been nominated for many awards including the Edgar Awards, the UKLA Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. His Tales of Terror series for Bloomsbury feature chilling stories rooted in the tradition of M R James, Saki and Edgar Allan Poe, while Mister Creecher is a novel inspired by, and linked to, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Chris has also published Curse of the Werewolf Boy, the first in a funny middle-grade series called Maudlin Towers.
Joining Chris will be author and illustrator Nadia Shireen, who will entertain younger readers with some creepy creatures drawing workshops, and storytellers Su Rosso and Simon Smart from the Isle of Man Storytelling Tent.
Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually mythologized as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses. Emma Claire Sweeney set out with friend and fellow author Emily Midorikawa to prove this wrong, and the result was A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf, a book that delves into the friendship between Jane Austen and one of the family servants, playwright Anne Sharp; the daring feminist author Mary Taylor, who shaped the work of Charlotte Brontë; the transatlantic friendship of the seemingly aloof George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, most often portrayed as bitter foes, but who, in fact, enjoyed a complex friendship fired by an underlying erotic charge. Through letters and diaries that have never been published before, A Secret Sisterhood resurrects these forgotten stories of female friendships.
This event takes place directly after Writers’ Day at King William’s College – those attending Writers’ Day are welcome to stay on afterward to hear Emma talk.
The arts aren’t only about beauty. In secret, this field is sometimes marked by hideous tales of distress and damage, often committed by the same greats we venerate. Why does ghastly behaviour occur among some creative types? Does their public work somehow require private cruelty? Or is that an excuse? And, in the wake of the ‘Me Too’ movement, can society keep condoning awful personal conduct by the greats? The Costa Award-nominated author of The Italian Teacher and other bestselling novels, Tom Rachman will offer peeks into the private workings of the arts, stirring heated debate on why beauty can be such an ugly business. The Italian Teacher is Tom’s latest novel, which delves into the art world and tells the story of artist Bear Bavinsky, a monster of a man, and his son, Pinch, who lives in his shadow. In addition to being shortlisted for the Costa Prize, the novel was shortlisted for the Sky Arts Award and named in the Top 10 of the year by USA Today.
An evening not to be missed, with raconteur Frank Cottrell-Boyce talking to Manx Radio’s Christy Dehaven about his career. One of the leading British screenwriters and children’s authors, Frank wrote the BAFTA-nominated and Emmy Award-winning Isles of Wonder – the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics – which he devised with his friend, director Danny Boyle. Frank has written for both Coronation Street and Doctor Who, and his film credits include The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth, Hilary and Jackie, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA, Goodbye Christopher Robin, which starred Margot Robbie, and several movies with director Michael Winterbottom – including Welcome to Sarajevo, 24-Hour Party People and A Cock and Bull Story. He also wrote the recent TV adaptation of Watership Down. Frank’s children’s books include Millions, for which he won the Carnegie Medal and which he adapted for the big screen (it was also directed by Danny Boyle); three Chitty Chitty Bang Bang novels, for which he was commissioned by the family of Ian Fleming; and his new novel, Runaway Robot.