Plymouth International Book Festival line-up

Joanna Trollope, Will Self, Sir Andrew Motion and Kate Adie are among the star names appearing at the 2014 Plymouth International Book Festival.

Costa Prize winning novelist Nathan Filer is also part of the line-up, alongside Man Booker Prize judge Sarah Churchwell, BAFTA nominated screenwriter M R Hall, and Sarah Hilary, whose novel Someone Else’s Skin was recently named in Richard and Judy's Autumn Book Club.

Celebrated performance poets Patience Agbabi and Jean ’Binta’ Breeze will also appear, with a range of author talks, readings and workshops designed to ignite people’s passions about the written and spoken word.

Running from Friday 17 to Saturday 25 October, there will be days focussing on crime and nature writing, and a special series of events to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Festival Director Bertel Martin says: 

“The impressive line-up for the third chapter of the Plymouth International Book Festival demonstrates its growing reputation in literary circles. For 2014, we have a blend of household names, who have sold millions of books between them, alongside new and upcoming talent set to take the bookshelves by storm in years to come. Regional writers and literary experts from Plymouth University are well represented, emphasising the breadth of expertise we have in the region.”

Joanna Trollope, writer of 17 bestselling novels, believes the festival has an important role to play in igniting public passion about the written word: 

“In this digital age, I believe books and literature are more important than ever. A screen doesn’t feed the imagination or expand the mind in the way that something on a page (paper or electronic) does. Technology is another way of reading or acquiring knowledge, but it is not as enriching to the heart and mind as works which demand more from the reader in the first place.”

The Plymouth International Book Festival is organised through a partnership of Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University, Literature Works and Plymouth City Council, with funding and support from Arts Council England.

The 2014 festival will feature more than 40 events over nine days at venues including Plymouth University, Plymouth City Library, the Athenaeum, Waterstones in New George Street and other sites across the city.

Joanna Trollope, writer of 17 bestselling novels, said:

In this digital age, I believe books and literature are more important than ever. A screen doesn’t feed the imagination or expand the mind in the way that something on a page (paper or electronic) does.

Joanna Trollope, Will Self, Nathan Filer and Sarah Hilary will read from their latest novels, while Sir Andrew Motion talks about his life as a poet and reading from his latest collection, The Customs House. Kate Adie will be one of the authors speaking about the role of women in the First World War, while Sarah Churchwell will talk about the genesis of a literary classic, The Great Gatsby.

There will be events for children, including a dedicated Family Day, and the opening night including the crowning of the 2014 Plymouth Young City Laureate.

The South West writers looking to inspire future creative in the region will include Plymouth University lecturers Annika Bautz, Miriam Darlington, Angela Smith, Tom Vowler and Min Wild, as well as former prisoner turned writer Caspar Walsh and Plymouth City Council Poet Laureate Michael Sullivan.

Professor Dafydd Moore, Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities and a Professor of English Literature at Plymouth University, said:

“Reading and writing are such precious gifts, and everyone should have the opportunity to discuss, debate, be inspired and occasionally enraged by books. I am absolutely delighted that, with the support of the University and its partners, the Plymouth International Book Festival is establishing itself as a major event in our city's cultural calendar and is attracting an ever more distinguished range of writers and poets to Plymouth. By pooling our creative resources, energies and talents we can now stage a spectacular celebration of the spoken and written word.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said:

“We are very pleased to be able to support PIBF for a third year through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts scheme. The festival showcases emerging talent alongside international names and demonstrates strong collaborative working with a range of partners across the city. We look forward to seeing the festival continue to develop.”

Deputy leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Peter Smith said:

“We are delighted to be part of an event, which is growing every year and attracting some big hitters in the literary world. This is not just about encouraging visitors to come to the city, it is about adding something creative to the mix for local people to enjoy. Over the last few years, Plymouth own burgeoning creative scene has come on in leaps and bounds. Events like this will help inspire people of all ages.”