Melinda Salisbury
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Writers have the chance to develop their craft at the annual Manx Litfest Writers' Day.

Sponsored by PokerStars, the event takes place on Saturday, September 30 at King William's College and features panel discussions, workshops and a talk by UK literary agent Gaia Banks from Sheil Land Associates.

Visiting authors include Sally Nicholls and Melinda Salisbury, who will discuss writing for the young adult market, and Chris Ewan and Wendy Moore, who will deliver workshops. The day will also feature a limited number of one-to-one 'pitch slots' with Gaia Banks, where writers have the chance to pitch the first chapters of their novels to the agent.

The day runs from 9.00am until 4.15pm and tickets cost £30 each. The pitch slots, subject to availability, cost a further £25. To book, please email bookings@manxlitfest.com.

Festival Director John Quirk said: 'We try to vary the agents that we bring over for Manx Litfest, and this is the first time Gaia has been with us. We are delighted to have crime author and former Isle of Man resident Chris Ewan back with us - Chris was involved in our first festival back in 2012 and left the Island to live in the UK a couple of years later. This year he has agreed to become our second Litfest Patron, which is a great honour for us. He and Wendy will each be delivering two workshops, so that everyone attending Writers' Day will have the opportunity to take part in both. One area that has proved popular among Isle of Man writers, in terms of what we are asked to focus on, is the young adult market, and with Sally and Melinda, we have two incredibly successful authors who have really made their mark in recent years.

'Writers' Day is always a popular event within the festival and the pitch slots tend to sell out pretty quickly. We still have one or two left, so get in touch soon if you have a manuscript you would like to pitch. We are once again indebted to PokerStars, which has been one of our strongest supporters in recent years and continues to show great confidence in what we are trying to do, which is to create opportunities for Isle of Man writers to further their craft, meet other writers, and gain feedback on their writing from professionals within the publishing industry.'

Director of Corporate Communications for PokerStars, Eric Hollreiser, said, 'We are delighted to sponsor Writers' Day again at this year's festival. Every year, budding authors and avid readers find inspiration in what they pick up at Writers' Day and the opportunity to meet and pitch to a top UK literary agent is a real bonus. PokerStars is proud to support this important event.'

Chris Ewan is the author of Island-set thrillers Safe House, Dark Tides and Long Time Lost. His main public event during the festival is Mystery Mann: An Evening with Crime Author Chris Ewan which takes place at 8.00pm on Saturday, September 30 at Noa Bakehouse in DouglasWendy Moore is a non-fiction author and freelance journalist, whose latest book is The Mesmerist, the true story of the mania for mesmerism (hypnotism) that gripped Victorian Britain. Wendy's main event will at be at 6.00pm on Saturday, September 30 at Noa Bakehouse - the first part of a double bill alongside Chris EwanMelinda Salisbury is the author of The Sin Eater's Daughter, which was the bestselling UK young adult debut novel of 2015 and nominated for multiple national and international awards. The third book in the series, The Scarecrow's Queen, was published earlier this year and Melinda will be at Waterstone's in Strand Street, Douglas, on Friday, September 29 to talk about her books. The event gets underway at 6.45pmSally Nicholls' new book is Things a Bright Girl Can Do, a powerful young adult novel which follows the story of three girls who join the Suffragette movement. Sally, whose debut novel Ways to Live Forever won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, will discuss her new novel at 11.30am on Sunday, October 1 at Castletown Town Hall and Civic Centre

Another opportunity for writers is a mystery-writing workshop being run by crime author Alan Bradley. Alan, who lives in Peel, is the author of the Flavia de Luce mysteries and his workshop is on from 10.00am-2.00pm on Friday, September 29 at Castletown Civic Centre. The workshop costs £35 - please email bookings@manxlitfest.com to check availability.

Manx Litfest 2017 starts on Tuesday, September 26 and runs for six days. Headlining the festival is Alexander McCall Smith - acclaimed author of The No1 Ladies' Detective series - who will bring the curtain down on Litfest 2017 at King's Court Theatre, King William's College, on the last night, Sunday October 1.

Supported by Isle of Man Arts Council, Culture Vannin and several corporate and individual sponsors, Litfest 2017 features the return of old favourites - including the Poetry Slam, Short Story Slam, Schools' Day and the Family Day (this year focusing on Mr Men and Little Miss books).

Many of the events across the six days are free. For those events requiring tickets, all are on sale now - visit http://manxlitfest.com/book-tickets/ for full details.

For further news, visit manxlitfest.com or follow on www.facebook.com/manxlitfest

To get a head start and catch up on some of the visiting authors, our partner bookseller, Bridge Bookshop (shops in Port Erin and Ramsey), has copies of their books.

A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government