Guernsey Literary Festival


Tickets for most of our talks and events are now on sale, so get in early to make sure you don’t miss out!


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The fifth Guernsey Literary Festival is set to be a cultural highlight for 2017, featuring a heady mix of talks and workshops by well-known fiction and non-fiction writers and performers from both the Channel Islands and further afield. The five-day festival is centred in and around Guernsey’s capital, St Peter Port, with a new larger Festival Hub at the Market Square, and offers a varied programme in celebration of literature that appeals to all, from bookworms and aspiring writers to families looking for a fun day out.

Literature fans will love Sebastian Faulks, Anita Anand and Anthony McGowan. If you love crime fiction, Clare Mackintosh and Rachel Abbott are bound to thrill. Hearing about someone’s extraordinary experiences first hand is always enthralling, so don’t miss Terry Waite, Huw Lewis-Jones and Robin Lustig. Or you could learn something new with Simon Singh, who will demonstrate a genuine Enigma cipher machine.

There’s plenty happening for children and families, and Friday 12 May at Castle Cornet will include a host of family-friendly events, such as poet BAFTA and MOBO award-winning UK hip-hop artist Akala from the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company and Harry Baker. Clare Balding, Wavey ‘n’ Snotts, Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell and a Wonka-themed tea party all look set to sell out quickly too.

Guernsey was where Victor Hugo wrote his epic novel Les Misérables, and David Bellos will explore its relevance today. We’re delighted that Jean Baptiste, Marie and Laura Hugo will be coming to talk about their illustrious ancestor – and where better to hear their talk than Hauteville House?

Delve into the past with talks from historical authors. Peter Frankopan and Tom Holland have fascinating tales to tell, whilst Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi will share some of the remarkable stories they heard while interviewing women who went to war. Novelist Sarah Moss will explore researching history, rewriting history and bare-faced lying! Jason Monaghan’s talk will also have local historical relevance.

Poetry comes into its own at a literary festival – it comes to life in the voice of its creator and you can hear poems in their entirety. Gwyneth Lewis, World Poetry Slam champion Harry Baker and the Poems on the Move Winners’ Reading will all delight poetry lovers.

Once again, Ella Berthoud will be offering her popular bibliotherapy sessions – book a slot and come away with a reading prescription, tailored just for you. Our shared reading sessions offer a unique approach to literature, so why not give one a go? We also have a host of one-to-ones and workshops, so if you are a writer yourself – or want to be – there is plenty to help you with the process.

Festival-goers can also look forward to feature film Departure with Q&As from the director Andrew Steggall, the Women’s Development Forum Lunch with Vanessa Vallely, a Comic Art Masterclass from Kev Sutherland and the Zone, a collection of original artwork by locally based artists and illustrators taking place at the Guille-Allès Library.

For sports fans, there will be cricket matches and a panel discussion with the Authors XI team as well as an evening with Jonathan Wilson, football journalist for the Guardian.

We have also lined up an amazing music night at the Fermain Tavern featuring World Poetry Slam Champion Harry Baker, Heidi Joubert Trio who will perform original compositions inspired from every corner of the earth and The Recks, an alternative five-piece band hailing from the tiny Isle of Sark.

The Festival has remained faithful to its principles of reaching out to the whole community and offering an extensive educational and outreach programme in the library, schools, community centres and even the prison.
We are also looking forward to revealing the winners of our two Festival competitions - the WriteStuff, our children’s writing competition and Poems on the Move, our international poetry competition.





It is not too late

There are still a few tickets left for the Literary Festival in May.




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