Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

Manchester is destination of choice for literature lovers this October

  • Date: 25 September 2012
  • Area: North
A man in period dress holds up a sign for the festival

The festival launches on 8 October 2012. Credit: Manchester Literature Festival

The 7th annual Manchester Literature Festival takes place in venues across the city between 8-23 October 2012. Building on the legacy of its successful predecessor Manchester Poetry Festival it provides North West audiences with access to high calibre live literature experiences, showcases emerging talent, commissions new writing and encourages readers to broaden their reading horizons.

This year's festival features world-renowned authors including Wang Anyi, Amiri Baraka, Pat Barker, Michael Chabon, Carol Ann Duffy, Richard Ford, Mark Haddon, Jane Harris, James Kelman, Penelope Lively, Sarah Quigley, Ali Smith and Salley Vickers. Audiences can pick up tips about how to write for the screen with leading TV dramatist Sally Wainwright and how to adapt work for the stage, screen and radio with Jeremy Dyson, Jane Rogers and Nick Stafford. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the Beautiful Game with David Conn and Rodge Glass at the National Football Museum and to join a heated 'Is the Editor Dead?' debate.

As well as a Family Reading Day, a Children's Bookshow, a literary coach tour and bespoke walking tours around the city, there will also be lots of online activity such as the Manchester Letters project. A collaboration between the Manchester Literature Festival, ITEF-Istanbul Tanpinar Literature Festival, Literature Across Frontiers and the British Council, it features the online correspondence between Preston-based author Jenn Ashworth (who was funded by our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts scheme while she wrote her second novel)  and Turkish writer Nermin Yildirim as they share insights into their working lives, sources of inspiration and how their social and political environments impact on their creativity. See their website for more information. 

Jane Beardsworth, Regional Director, Arts Council said, "The Arts Council's mission is Achieving Great Art for Everyone and the festival programme certainly reflects this.  There's a high profile line up for this year's festival with the involvement of authors such as Iain M Banks and Ali Smith. I'm particularly pleased to see international writers such as Amiri Baraka continuing to perform in Manchester. The festival is also showcasing new writers and specially commissioned work, running bespoke walking tours and holding events in unusual venues including the People's History Museum where Alex Scarrow will inspire school children to write fiction based on history. Regulars like the creative writing competition are complemented by a new strand around adapting novels for the screen, stage and radio and a Family Reading Day at Manchester Town Hall. MLF is providing new ways for audiences to take part in a festival that is central to the city's cultural offer."

Cathy Bolton, Director of Manchester Literature Festival, said: "We've got a fantastic line-up of literary heavyweights at this year's Festival, including Simon Armitage, Pat Barker, Carol Ann Duffy, Richard Ford, James Kelman and Penelope Lively, but we are equally excited to be introducing audiences to many international authors, who are already literary giants in their home countries, and to debut home-grown talent, who we're sure will be topping the fiction lists in years to come."

Manchester Literary Festival is one of our national portfolio organisations and their other key partners include HSBC Premier and Manchester City Council. Visit the Manchester Literature Festival website for full details of this year's programme.