Joanne Clague was born and raised in Sheffield. She built a career as a journalist in the Isle of Man, before turning to novel writing. She is the author of a Sheffield-set saga series, which begins in The Ragged Valley with the great flood of 1864.
Joanne's workshop will explore the skills required to construct a work of historical fiction from a real-life event.
Dr Fiona Gell has a PhD in seagrass ecology and over twenty years’ experience working in marine science, conservation and policy on small islands around the world. More recently she has worked on the Isle of Man’s response to the climate emergency and has completed an MSc in climate change. She grew up on the Isle of Man and still lives here with her husband and son. She is also a published poet.
Fiona's workshop will focus on the challenges posed to non-fiction writers by the ongoing climate crisis.
Where Once We Stood - published in July 2019 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo mission - captures an extraordinary moment of history, when twelve human beings set foot on the moon for the first time. Author, Chris Riley, and illustrator, Martin Impey, come together to discuss their fascinating joint project.
Steve has extensive wildlife knowledge from being a part-time professional tour guide and wildlife filmmaker. He currently works as the Tynwald Seneschal, and achieved a first-class honours degree in history and Manx studies through the UCM.
Steve will be talking about his new book Wild Enthusiasm, in which he travels from the Isle of Man, to Norfolk, to the Orkneys and everywhere in between, clutching a specific wish-list for each expedition. The result is a wonderfully engaging diary, detailing Steve’s personal encounters with many different animals and people. He offers practical tips - such as bird-hide etiquette and how to identify birds on the wing - and inspires readers to book themselves into pubs and small hotels the length and breadth of Britain, in order to follow his example, for a series of fun British wildlife safaris.
Simon Maddrell reads a wide range of his poetry alongside conversation with Lisa Smith.
Simon is a queer Manx man, thriving with HIV, living in Brighton & Hove. He's published in fifteen anthologies and numerous publications, including AMBIT, Under the Radar, Poetry Wales, The Moth, Stand, Butcher's Dog, The New European and Long Poem Magazine.
Simon's Manx-inspired debut, Throatbone, was published by UnCollected Press in July 2020. Queerfella jointly won The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition, 2020. The Whole Island - again, Manx inspired - will be published by Valley Press in July 2023.
Rounding off Manx Litfest with a bang, the annual short story slam will see writers competing for the highly-prized shield, not to mention a free pass to all events at Manx Litfest 2023!
Previous champions have been Zoe Cannell (2015), Pam Smith (2016), Benjamin Hickey (2017), Kim Kneen (2018) and Vicky Lloyd-West (2019)
The Short Story Slam is free to enter and attend, and all 10 slots went like hotcakes as soon as we announced the event on Facebook! Entrants please note that stories can be read from the page, and should be no longer than 6 minutes in length.