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Portsmouth BookFest 2017 – Full Programme of...

Portsmouth BookFest 2017 – Full Programme of All Events

PORTSMOUTH’S ANNUAL LITERARY FESTIVAL RETURNS FOR 2017

Portsmouth has a strong literary heritage including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells and Portsmouth BookFest continues that tradition, attracting diverse audiences to exciting events featuring popular and accessible authors. The literary event has now been running for many years and this year it returns once again with a huge array of events.

Portsmouth BookFest is jointly organised by Portsmouth City Library Service and The Hayling Island Bookshop plus there is also an associated schools programme organised by Portsmouth School Library Service.

The literary event has now been running for many years and this year it returns once again with a huge array of events…

…BookFest uses a wide variety of venues, many not normally associated with book events such as sports centres, museums, night clubs and pubs…

BookFest aims to promote both book buying and book borrowing especially amongst groups who may not have previously considered participating in book related events. BookFest uses a wide variety of venues, many not normally associated with book events such as sports centres, museums, night clubs and pubs as well as libraries and community centres.

The festival offers incentives to the audiences to sign up and join the Library Service as new members and the organisers keep the ticket prices low to make the events accessible to all sections of the community.

This year’s Portsmouth BookFest runs from Monday 13th February to Sunday 5th March. Some of the highlights include the return of the Gruffalo who has drawn large crowds at libraries over the last two years. Fans of crime fiction will be delighted by a new event called Portsmouth Coppers, this panel event will see bestselling crime authors Pauline Rowson and Graham Hurley in conversation with Diana Bretherick. Rosie Goodwin is in the top 200 of most borrowed authors in the UK and she will be at Central Library for a fun afternoon tea style event.

2017 sees the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen andPortsmouth BookFest commemorates the anniversary with an exciting talk and workshop from the University’s Dr Alison Habens. Pompey versus Mansfield Park gives the audience the chance to experience Jane Austen’s famous novel, Mansfield Park, from the point of view of Portsmouth. There’s lots of help on offer this year for budding writers including workshops on picture book writing, book cover design, yoga for writers and workshops for children.

David Owen will be talking about his new book Cabinet’s Finest Hour: The hidden agenda of May 1940 on the evening of Friday 3rd March. Portsmouth Writers’ Hub will once again be presenting a diverse programme of events throughout the festival, including the Valentine’s Day Massacre (anti-Valentine’s day stories performed by members).

Tickets can now be purchased for the many events online via BookFest on EventBrite or by telephone on 02392 688037 or in person at any Portsmouth City Council Library.

At most events there will be an opportunity to buy books and have them signed by the author and at Portsmouth Coppers ticket holders will be able to use their tickets to obtain a discount off a book bought at the event.

The full schedule for the festival is as follows, if you want to find out more information visit the website: portsmouthbookfest.co.uk

Saturday 11th February
Premature Articulation with Portsmouth Writers’ Hub
Canvas Coffee, Portsmouth and Southsea Station, 2pm-3pm, FREE

Romantic discontent brews in the afternoon at the cool casual Canvas Coffee, as Hampshire’s finest storytellers share secrets and tell tales. A warm-up event for the Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Monday 13th February
Not All Cocktails and Country Houses, with Carol Westron
Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 7pm, £3

How did a book by Agatha Christie save a child’s life? Who wrote a book in 1934 that foreshadowed the basic premise of Lord of the Flies twenty years later? Join crime fiction writer and Golden Age expert Carol Westron to explore the questions: ‘What was the Golden Age of detective fiction really like?’ and ‘Why is it back in favour?’

Tuesday 14th February
The Valentine’s Day Massacre with Portsmouth Writers’ Hub
Upstairs at the Wave Maiden, 36 Osborne Road, Southsea, 6:30pm, £6

Choose beer. Choose cheese. Choose rage.

Dish up some retribution in your Reuben sandwich with stories and songs from Portsmouth Writers Hub (makers of Day of the Dead). Following last year’ sell-out show, come and discover what Valentine you prefer: romance and roses, or acrimony and ale?

Food and drink available at the bar.

Wednesday 15th February
“My Dear Laddie” with Laura Weston
Portsmouth History Centre, Portsmouth Central Library, 2pm, £2

This talk will explore the relationship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his two sons Dennis and Adrian. Titled ‘My Dear Laddie’, which is how Doyle addressed his son in one of his letters, it will be a brief look through the archives of the Arthur Conan Doyle collection in Portsmouth, detailing letters between the family, looking at family photographs and photos of classic cars driven by all three men.

Saturday 18th February
Nemesis with Knitting Needles
Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 2pm, £5

Crime and mystery writers The Deadly Dames talk about female detectives past and present.

Join Dames Charlie Cochrane, Joan Moules, Eileen Robertson, Nicola Slade and Carol Westron and their guest chevalier L. C. Tyler (author of the popular Ethelred and Elsie comedy crime series) as they explore some of the serious issues involved in being a lady detective. These range from the problem of how to get through trapdoors while wearing a crinoline, to whether modern day CID officers would raise their success rate if they took up knitting. Come and enjoy an afternoon of wide-ranging information and discussion cunningly disguised as humour, covering the creations of both male and female authors, as we explore whether the female of the detective species is really deadlier than the male.

Saturday 19th February
Dennis Potter in The Present Tense – by Project Adorno
The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth, PO1 2JE, 7:30pm, £5 (On Door)

TV dramatist and playwright Dennis Potter was the ultimate Marmite figure – one minute delighting millions with musical plays such as The Singing Detective and Pennies From Heaven, the next causing outrage and controversy with productions such as Blackeyesand Brimstone & Treacle. In this performance piece, electro-acoustic duo Project Adorno, present a contemporary interpretation of Potter, through an ambient seque of original songs, video and spoken word extracts from people who knew or had some connection to him and his work.

Further info: www.tonguesandgrooves.com

Monday 20th February
Little Characters Workshop with Andy Steele
Southsea Library, 2pm, FREE (Reserve Ticket at Library)

Aimed at developing characters and inspiring narrative for children aged 5-8

Andy will be reading his new book, Morty is going to the moon, then give an overview of how a children’s book is made from notepad to bookshelf, showing original illustrations and the software used to turn the pictures into a book.

The second part of the event is a workshop where Andy will show the children how to create their own characters and will give them a card frame in which to keep it. They will then work on how to create a story from the character they have created.

Andy is a father of two who spends his spare time writing and illustrating picture books for children. He launched ”The Last Hoobaloo” in 2015 in support of the British Lung Foundation and launched his second, “Morty Is Going To The Moon!” via crowdfunding in Autumn 2016. He won his first children’s writing competition at the start of 2016 and is now sharing his work at libraries and schools. His third picture book is due out at the end of 2017.

Tuesday 21st February
Writing Stories Workshop (8 to 12 Years Old)
Southsea Library – IT Suite, 10.30am – 12noon, FREE (Reserve Ticket at Library)

Are you between 8 – 12 years old? Do you enjoy writing stories or poems? If so this workshop is for you.

As part of Portsmouth BookFest celebrations, local author and teacher, Lynne Stretch, is running a free workshop for young writers. This workshop will encourage young writers to create “tantalising titles”, “sensational settings” and “colourful characters” – so if you enjoy creative writing come along to Southsea Library and reserve your space. Places are limited so they will be allocated on a first come basis. Early booking is essential.

Tuesday 21st February
Eleanor Stewart: Voyages Around my Mother
Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 2pm, £3

After last year’s successful talk on her memoir New Habits, Eleanor Stewart returns with her latest book.

“I realized that if I truly wanted [my mother’s] remaining years to be happy, I had to give up all expectation that she would share my life and interests and instead enter hers.”

Eleanor and her mother Mary had always had a ‘rocky relationship’ so when 82 year old Mary arrives to live with her and her husband, suffering from Parkinsons and increasingly frail, Eleanor doesn’t expect life to be simple. What she is unprepared for is Mary’s gradual retreat into herself and her absolute lack of interest not only in Eleanor and her life but also in her grandchildren’s lives.

One evening, Mary produces a box of cassette tapes, diaries and letters offering a vivid portrait of her as a young woman – a life of which Eleanor knows very little. Watching her mother ‘excited and animated’ for the first time in years, Eleanor begins a journey with Mary through her past and discovers a ‘completely new person’ – a vibrant, slightly naïve but determined young woman who, after being forced by her parents to give up the man she loved, moves to the big city in search of independence and is then posted abroad in the Second World War. What starts as a carefree voyage on the SS Britannia turns into an adventure on a whole new level when the ship is shelled…

Various Dates (See Below)
The Return of the Gruffalo!
Various Locations & Times (See Below), £2

£2 per child includes squash, cake and an activity. Tickets available from the library hosting the event.

Wednesday 22nd February
10am: Southsea Library
1pm: Beddow Library
3.30pm: Carnegie Library

Thursday 23rd February
10am: Alderman Lacey Library
1pm: Portsea Library
3.30pm: Central Library

Friday 24th February
10am: Paulsgrove Library
1pm: Cosham Library
3.30pm: North End Library

Wednesday 22nd February
Metamorphosis by Polly Morland
Eldon Building 0.20, Portsmouth University, 3pm, FREE (Book HERE)

A talk by author Polly Morland where she explores the power of true stories to open up new ways of thinking about how and why we change and how the imagination is key to the transformation process.

Polly Morland spent fifteen years as a documentary-maker for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. Her first book, The Society of Timid Souls: or How to be Brave won a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and was a Sunday Times Book of the Year. Her second, Risk Wise – Nine Everyday Adventures includes an afterword by Alain de Botton and was written in conjunction with The School of Life, where Polly is a faculty member. Metamorphosis – How and Why We Change is her third book. Combining the journalism of her background in film-making with ideas from psychology, philosophy and literature, her books blend remarkable human stories with reflections on how we live today—and how we can live better. www.pollymorland.com

Wednesday 22nd February
Metamorphosis by Polly Morland
Blackwell’s, Portsmouth PO1 2EF, 5.30 for 6pm talk, FREE (Book HERE)

A talk by author Polly Morland where she explores the power of true stories to open up new ways of thinking about how and why we change and how the imagination is key to the transformation process.

Polly Morland spent fifteen years as a documentary-maker for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. Her first book, The Society of Timid Souls: or How to be Brave won a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and was a Sunday Times Book of the Year. Her second, Risk Wise – Nine Everyday Adventures includes an afterword by Alain de Botton and was written in conjunction with The School of Life, where Polly is a faculty member. Metamorphosis – How and Why We Change is her third book. Combining the journalism of her background in film-making with ideas from psychology, philosophy and literature, her books blend remarkable human stories with reflections on how we live today—and how we can live better. www.pollymorland.com

Thursday 23rd February
The Portsmouth Writers’ Hub presents Philip Shelley
Le Cafe Parisien, 6.30pm – 8pm, FREE (Book HERE)

Script Consultant, Producer and Tutor Philip Shelley will be joining us for a Q&A about all things screenwriting.

Philip Shelley runs Channel 4′s screenwriting course, an entry point into TV drama for new writers. Previous participants have achieved great success including writing for shows on Ch4, Sky & the BBC.

This Q&A is your opportunity to ask Philip about writing for established shows vs developing your own ideas for a TV series, improving your own script storytelling, as well as getting advice on breaking in to the British TV and film industry.

Saturday 25th February
Yoga for Writers with Helen Salsbury
Room F, Third Floor, Central Library, 10.15am for 10.30am start, £5

This workshop will address the physical aches and postural issues caused by writing and will aid creativity through yoga, breathing practices and simple meditation. It is suitable for all levels of fitness, and no prior knowledge of yoga is required.

Bring a mat (if you have one), blanket and pillow/cushion. Wear soft clothing.

Helen Salsbury is a writer and yoga teacher (Dip Yoga Campus) who specialises in therapeutic yoga.

Saturday 25th February
Stories of your life with Dr Alison Habens
Room F, Third Floor, Central Library, 1pm, £3

Always wanted to write your life story, but didn’t know where to start? This class will take you step by step in a series of fun and interesting life-writing tasks. From your earliest memories, tales of your school days and siblings, pets and pursuits, through the rites of passage, work and marriage; you will be able to tell about the triumphs and the tragedies on your personal timeline, and see the whole story laid out on a single page. All the sights, sounds and smells of your childhood will be conjured up; working in prose, poetry or script, whichever you prefer. We’ll even explore where you got your name from. The activities are designed to be comfortable and enjoyable, and will produce first drafts of pieces you could go on to polish up as stories, articles, poems or plays, based on the story of your life.

Monday 27th February
Conan Doyle, Lombrose and the Science of the Spirits: the story of Arthur Conan Doyle and famous criminologist Lombroso’s scientific belief in ghosts with Matthew Wingett and Diana Bretherick
Portsmouth History Centre, Portsmouth Central Library, 7pm, FREE

Join local historian Matt Wingett and crime writer and criminologist Dr Diana Bretherick as they explore the fascinating relationship between the world of crime, science and a belief in spirits. Lombroso was the world’s first modern scientific criminologist who also investigated ghosts and spirits. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the inventor of Sherlock Holmes, was also a fervent believer in the paranormal and often mentioned Lombroso as an inspiration. Delve into the Victorian world of science, pseudo-science and spirit and discover two Victorian scientists who believed anything was possible.

Tuesday 28th February
Lottie Moggach – Kiss Me First
Room F, Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 3pm, £3

Lottie Moggach’s debut novel Kiss Me First was the winner of the 2014 Portsmouth First Fiction Award after reading groups were gripped by this chilling tale about the internet. Following the novel’s enormous success it is being produced into a television series for E4. Join us for a lively discussion with Lottie about the novel’s themes and the process of adaption from novel to screen.

Tuesday 28th February
Pompey versus Mansfield Park
Room F, Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 7pm, £3

Experience Jane Austen’s famous novel, Mansfield Park, from the point of view of Portsmouth. See familiar scenes of Southsea from fascinating angles in the 1814 story of her heroine, Fanny Price. As the classic (but class-ridden) love story unfolds, meet quirky characters who would have peopled the nearby streets. Besides the well-known quotation, ‘She thinks of nothing but the Isle of Wight, and she calls it the Island, as if there were not another island in the world’, there are some hard-hitting observations about our beloved city. We will consider the rude things she says about Pompey v. Mansfield Park, analysing and appreciating her literary skill in comments such as this: ‘In a review of the two houses, as they appeared to her before the end of a week, Fanny was tempted to apply to them Dr. Johnson’s celebrated judgement as to matrimony and celibacy, and say, that though Mansfield Park might have some pains, Portsmouth could have no pleasures.’

We’ll also explore her strange link to the city through its oldest building, the mysterious Wymering manor, where it’s said her brother, once the church warden, has been a ghostly sighting. This fun seminar will include a chance to write about local settings, inspired by the Austen stories.

Wednesday 1st March
Afternoon tea with Rosie Goodwin
Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 3pm, £5

Join Rosie Goodwin for an afternoon tea event. Rosie Goodwin is the author of over twenty bestselling novels, selling more than 300k paperbacks. She is the first author in the world to be allowed to follow three of Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels. Having worked in the social services sector for many years, then fostering a number of children, she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the top 50 most borrowed authors from UK libraries and regularly appears in the Heatseeker charts. Rosie lives in Nuneaton, the setting for many of her books, with her husband and their beloved Shih Tzu dogs.

The ticket price includes tea/coffee and delicious cake from Lily and Lime at Central Library.

Thursday 2nd March
Writing a Picture Book Workshop with Charlotte Comley & Andy Steele
Carnegie Library, 7pm, £3

At this event we will be looking at character and getting to grips with the 24 page picture book structure. A fun workshop that covers the key techniques for writing picture books for young children. Whether you want to write for your own children or relatives, or for publication, this beginner-level class will teach you the key techniques and considerations of writing picture books for young children. The class is also suitable for illustrators keen to learn how to tell their stories through words. By the end of the day, you’ll have written a simple story, and have the skills to respond to the demands and delights of young children in your writing.

Charlotte Comley is a writer, creative writing tutor and professional storyteller. Her fiction has been published by Ether Books, Bridge House Publishing, Dark Cities, Darwin Evolutions, Flash Flood, Chuffed Books, Dagda Press,1000 words and Portsmouth News.  Her non-fiction work has appeared in magazines such as The Green Parent, Take a Break, Woman’s Weekly, The Motion Online and Grow It.  She has written and published ten educational resources books. She has a MA in Creative Writing for Children from Winchester University.

Andy Steele is a father of two who spends his spare time writing and illustrating picture books for children. He launched ”The Last Hoobaloo” in 2015 in support of the British Lung Foundation and launched his second, “Morty Is Going To The Moon!” via crowdfunding in Autumn 2016. He won his first children’s writing competition at the start of 2016 and is now sharing his work at libraries and schools. His third picture book is due out at the end of 2017.

Friday 3rd March
Local Writers’ Fair
Southsea Library, 11am – 3pm, FREE (Drop In)

Meet some of the many talented local authors from the area at our special Local Authors Fair at Southsea Library. Our visiting authors will be happy to talk to visitors about their work and will also be selling copies of their books.

Authors appearing are: Charlotte Comley, David Jupp, Victoria Leslie, Helen Salsbury, Richard Salsbury, Andy Steele and Matthew Wingett.

Friday 3rd March
David Owen: Cabinet’s Finest Hour: The Hidden Agenda of May 1940
Menuhin Theatre, Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 7pm, £5

Former Foreign Secretary David Owen has written a new history of the pivotal British War Cabinet meetings of May 1940. The minutes of these meetings reveal just how close Britain came to seeking a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany. Cabinet’s Finest Hour is both the story of Churchill’s determination to fight on and a paean to the Cabinet system of government.

David Owen (Lord Owen) trained as a medical doctor and practised as a neurologist before being elected a Labour MP in his home city of Plymouth. He served as Foreign Secretary under James Callaghan from 1977 until 1979, and later co-founded and went on to lead the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Between 1992-95 Lord Owen served as EU peace negotiator in the former Yugoslavia, and he now sits as an Independent Social Democrat in the House of Lords. He is the author of many books, including The Hidden Perspective.

Saturday 4th March
Portsmouth Coppers with Pauline Rowson and Graham Hurley, interviewed by Diana Bretherick
Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 10.30am – 12.30pm, £8

Join best-selling crime authors Graham Hurley and Pauline Rowson as they are cross-examined by former criminal barrister and crime author, Diana Bretherick about why they set their crime novels in Portsmouth, how they research and plot them, and what it is about the waterfront city that holds such a fascination for them and their fictional detectives.

Saturday 4th March
Book Cover Design and Creating Your Author Brand with Author and Graphic Designer Christine Hammacott from The Art of Communication
Room F, Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, 2pm, £3

If you are an author or writer considering self-publishing, this workshop will give you essential information on what you need to look at when positioning your book in the marketplace and designing a great cover, as well as lots of useful tips on how to create your author brand with both marketing material and online. David Owen (Lord Owen) trained as a medical doctor and practised as a neurologist before being elected a Labour MP in his home city of Plymouth. He served as Foreign Secretary under James Callaghan from 1977 until 1979, and later co-founded and went on to lead the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Between 1992-95 Lord Owen served as EU peace negotiator in the former Yugoslavia, and he now sits as an Independent Social Democrat in the House of Lords. He is the author of many books, including The Hidden Perspective.

21st and 22nd February
The Young Creatives [email protected] Theatre Royal present: Fractured Fairytales
New Theatre Royal, 10am – 3pm, £50 for both days (To book please telephone the Box Office on 02392 649000)

Suitable for ages 7-16

Concessions and sibling discounts available

It’s BookFest but we have done something terrible. We have torn up the pages of the traditional fairytales and glued them back together in the wrong order and what trouble have we caused!

Inspired by Chris Colfer’s The Land Of Stories children’s books, join the Young Creatives on this two day drama workshop full of costume and fractured fairy tale fun.

Suitable for ages 7-16.

Wednesday Feb 8th, 15th, 22nd
Writing Workshops with Zella Compton
New Theatre Royal, 6.30-8.30pm, £30 for three weeks

A three-week course for developing your writing, looking at inspiration, structure, characterisation and more. Suitable for beginners looking to start writing, with challenges for those already on the journey. The practical exercises and advice in friendly group environment are suitable for all types of creative writing, whether plays, short stories or novels.

Zella Compton is a playwright, novelist, columnist and freelance writer as well as being a writing tutor. She is a NTR creative lab associate artist.

Saturday 11 February
Drafts 2, 3 and 4
New Theatre Royal, 10am – 4pm, £30 (To book please telephone the Box Office on 02392 649000)

All day writing workshop helping you to understand and develop your work – whether this is a play or a piece of fiction. Practical advice and exercises to look at your characters, structure, and pace. This is primarily an editing workshop to help you get the best out of your first, or fifteenth, draft. In order for you to gain the most from this day, you should have a completed draft (however rough) and be prepared to bring a section to share.

Thursday 30th March
Portsmouth Writers’ Hub presents a talk and Q&A with Simon Nelson
Le Cafe Parisien, 6.30 – 8pm, FREE to £10 (Book HERE)

Portsmouth Writers’ Hub presents a talk and Q&A with Simon Nelson, Development Producer at BBC Writersroom. The writers room works with writers to shape the BBC’s content. Find out about Writer’s Lab, the Script Room and much more. Tickets and more info at: bbcportsmouth.eventbrite.com


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