The team at Manx Litfest regrets to announce that this year's festival has been cancelled in light of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The festival had been scheduled to take place from September 22-27, with authors, illustrators and poets from around the British Isles set to appear alongside Isle of Man-based writers.
With the Isle of Man's borders closed for the foreseeable future, and uncertainty over indoor gatherings and venue capacities, we have taken the decision to cancel this year's festival and focus on returning in September 2021.
Manx Litfest Director John Quirk said: 'When the Island went into lockdown in March, we wanted to wait and see how things developed and review the situation in June. While at present the situation in the Island is fairly positive, there is still too much uncertainty for the months ahead, which makes planning the festival an impossible task. For that reason, we have decided to cancel this year's event and focus all our efforts on organising next year's festival.
'On a positive note, having informed the authors, illustrators and poets who were to visit us this year, the majority are happy to come across for Manx Litfest 2021, while the others are interested, but can't commit to it at the moment. We have spoken to Island-based writers who were to be involved this year, and invited them to take part next year.
'We are keen to support Isle of Man writers during the months ahead, as it has been a difficult time for book publishers and bookshops. We would like to hear from any writer who has a book being published and we will do what we can to help support and promote it for them.'
John added: 'Manx Litfest receives annual support from Isle of Man Arts Council and Culture Vannin and we have spoken to both organisations to explain the situation, along with our other sponsors and supporters. Having seen the festival become a popular regular feature in the Isle of Man's cultural calendar, we're sad to have to miss this year, but the team is already eagerly looking ahead to next year.'
The dates for Manx Litfest 2021 will be announced in due course, but it will take place in the second half of September. You can keep up to date with the latest news here or by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.