Isle of Man writers have the chance to make their mark at this year's Manx Litfest, which runs September 27 until October 2.
The Manx Litfest WRITERS' DAY, sponsored by Pokerstars, takes place on Saturday, October 1 at King William's College. It will feature a range of author talks, panel discussions, and workshops, and one-to-one 'pitch slots' with a literary agent, Joanna Swainson from Hardman & Swainson, and book publisher Mark Lloyd, from Limerick-based Pillar International Publishing.
The day runs from 9.00am until 4.15pm and tickets cost £25 each. The pitch slots, subject to availability, cost a further £25. To book, please email email@example.com.
Festival Director John Quirk said: 'The Writers' Day continues to grow in popularity, and the pitch slots always sell out. This year, we are delighted to have Mark Lloyd back with us, after he visited the festival in 2012 and 2013. He is also here to launch the debut novel by Isle of Man writer Angela Roberts, who he met through the pitch sessions, so it's a fantastic success story, both for Angela and Manx Litfest as a whole. The support of Pokerstars, which has sponsored the Writers' Day over the last few years, is crucial to being able to stage this event, and I'd like to thank Pokerstars on behalf of everyone involved in Litfest, but also the Isle of Man writers who get so much from the day.'
Director of Corporate Communications for PokerStars, Eric Hollreiser, said, 'We are always impressed by the high level of creativity and local engagement demonstrated throughout Manx Litfest, and are especially proud to be sponsors of Writers' Day, a day that not only celebrates art and literature but gives local writers a chance at taking their ambitions to the next level. Angela Roberts personifies this opportunity; we look forward to both the launch of her debut novel and witnessing the development of the next Isle of Man author.'
The opening night of the festival (Tuesday, September 27) sees the fifth annual OPEN MIC POETRY SLAM, in which poets have three minutes to perform their work. Jennifer Davies is the defending champ, and the event starts at 8.00pm at Noa Bakehouse, Douglas.
Any poets interested in taking part should email Bridge Carter on firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendance for the general public is free, but space is limited, so entry is by ticket only, available at: https://villagaiety.ticketsolve.com/shows/873561739/events (please note, performers do NOT need a ticket).
Manx Litfest 2016 draws to a close on Sunday night, October 2, with the second annual SHORT STORY SLAM, which gets underway at 7.00pm at Noa Bakehouse.
As with the Poetry Slam, stories are read out before the judges and audience, and must be a maximum of six minutes long. For full details, and to register a story for the Slam, please email email@example.com by Friday, September 16. The Short Story Slam is free to attend for the public, no tickets required.
There are also two workshops taking place at Quirks Croft in Cregneash, one for illustrators, the other for writers.
The ILLUSTRATION WORKSHOP WITH DEBI GLIORI is on Thursday, September 29, from 10.00am-2.00pm. Debi, who lives in Scotland, is a renowned author and illustrator of books for children, having been shortlisted for all the major awards, and was the Shetland Islands' first Children's Writer-in-Residence. Her titles include No Matter What, The Trouble With Dragons, Stormy Weather, The Scariest Thing of All, Dragon Loves Penguin and, most recently, Alfie in the Bath and Alfie in the Garden for Bloomsbury. For more info, visit: http://www.debiglioribooks.com/
There is limited space on this workshop and the cost per place is £40. To book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WRITING WORKSHOP WITH DR SHARON BLACKIE is on Friday, September 30, from 10.00am-1.00pm. Sharon is a writer, psychologist and mythologist, specialising in Celtic Studies. She established the hugely-successful indie publishing house Two Ravens Press with her husband, David Knowles, selling it in 2013, and today they edit their magazine, Earthlines. For more info, visit: http://sharonblackie.net/
There is limited space on this workshop and the cost per place is £35. To book, please contact email@example.com.
Other visiting authors appearing at this year's festival include Martina Cole, Sally Gardner and poet Hollie McNish, and the schedule includes the annual Schools' Day, which sees authors, poets and illustrators attend more than 20 schools and colleges, and the Family Day, on Saturday, October 1, which this year will be at Garey Ny Cloie in St John's, based around Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon series of children's books.
Manx Litfest is a registered charity (#1100) and receives support from Isle of Man Arts Council and Culture Vannin, along with sponsorship from a range of companies, organisations and individuals.
Full details about this year's festival are available at www.manxlitfest.com.