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Liverpool Literary Festival 2023 celebrates the written word


Jonathan Coe, Anthony Quinn, Dr Amir Khan, Melanie Sykes and Stuart Maconie are among the names set to appear at this year’s Liverpool Literary Festival.

The festival, organised by the University of Liverpool, takes place from October 6-8 and will feature three days of discussions, workshops, readings and debates.

Tickets are available for individual events or people can also buy a festival pass.

It opens on Friday, October 6 at Victoria Gallery & Museum when bestselling authors Jonathan Coe and Liverpool’s Anthony Quinn will be ‘in conversation’ with Dr Lucienne Loh.

On Saturday, October 7, Dr Amir Khan, who graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2004, talks about his debut novel How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage. He will also take part in a Q&A.

October 7 also sees a celebration of the annual John McGahern Book Prize. Now in its fourth year, the prize was inaugurated by the university’s Institute of Irish Studies to promote new Irish fiction.

It has been won this year by Aingeala Flannery for her novel The Amusements. Flannery will read from her book and will collect her £5,000 prize.

Elsewhere, Liverpool’s Ashleigh Nugent brings his debut novel Locks to the festival; novelist Emma Flint talks about her new book Other Women – based on the true story of a 1920s love triangle that ended in murder, and also her writing process, and award-winning poet, memorialist and academic Hannah Lowe reads from her latest book The Kids which won the Costa Poetry Award and Costa Book of the Year in 2021.

Stuart Maconie talks about his travelogue The Full English with Dr Matthew Bradley, while Jenny Radcliffe – better known as ‘the people hacker’ visits the festival to share stories of some of her most memorable assignments and career highlights.

And finally on October 7, there will be a performance of Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts from a script in progress.

The festival continues on Sunday, October 8 with a full day of events.

Act Your Age, a drop-in interactive workshop for primary age youngsters and their adults takes place from 10am to 1pm in the Victoria Gallery & Museum’s Waterhouse Café.

University of Liverpool graduate, Dame Averil Mansfield, the UK’s first ever female Professor of Surgery, will read from her autobiography Life in Her Hands.

Then Liverpool-born author Aidan Cottrell Boyce will talk about his inventive and moving debut novel The End of Nightwork, and novelist, playwright and director Neil Bartlett will be ‘in conversation’ with Dr Eleanor Lybeck about his stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.

Writer, speaker and former TV presenter Melanie Sykes talks about her memoir Illuminated: Autism and all the Things I’ve Left Unsaid.

And the festival concludes with Writing and the Beautiful Game – a lively ‘in conversation’ with broadcaster and former footballer Pat Nevin and Anthony Quinn who wrote the football memoir Klopp.

Liverpool Literary Festival runs from October 6-8. More details and tickets HERE

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