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Liverpool Literary Festival “A big success!”

Written by jen, 12th November 2008

Renée Hemmings and Sophie Povey reflect--well, maybe enthuse is a better word--on Shipping Lines, the first Liverpool Literary Festival.

Seven days, fifty events, over thirty writers and two thousand literature lovers! The Liverpool Literary Festival has been marked as a great literary event for the Capital of Culture year.

We've had many emails already and here are some of the wonderful comments we've received:

"It was a memorable event and I am glad I didn't miss it."

"My 15 year old niece travelled up here for a weekend of Shipping Lines, missing school on Friday because "it's educational and my English teacher is going to be SO jealous."

"Congratulations ... for a wonderful weekend. It was a real privilege to attend the literary events and listen to such encouraging and stimulating discussion about books and writing."

There were many highlights over the week and the busy weekend, including the wonderful workshops and children's events by Walker Books. The weekend part of the weekend was launched by Philip Pullman on the evening of Friday 7th November, to a packed out audience. The book signing queue at the end of the event took 45 minutes to clear, and Pullman took the time to chat to everyone which endeared him to all. Carol Ann Duffy was also very popular, and the audience was moved by her inspirational reading. And another long book signing queue!

There was something for everyone, whether it was a poetry reading, discussion or panel group.

It was a long road in the preparation of the festival, but the measure of sucess is that everyone had a brilliant time working on it, participating in it and watching it.

Thanks to all that was involved, and if you managed to get to see an event, we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did.

[Renée, Project Manager for the Liverpool Literary Festival]

The Shipping Lines Festival has come to an end, and oh what an outstanding success it has been! Thanks to the huge amounts of support and effort from everybody at The Reader Organisation and beyond, the week flew past without any hitches, leaving audiences, writers, staff and volunteers feeling fantastic! I was based at the Bluecoat for the majority of the week, and with the welcoming support of Francisco and the rest of the team there, all events ran smoothly. The ‘Scary Scribes’ workshop, led by children’s author Tommy Donbavand, saw over 120 primary school children piling into the performance space for a gory session involving witches blood, a werewolf’s finger and other ‘relics’ too gruesome to mention, but it was a brilliant day and everybody left excited about returning to school to write their own spooky stories.

The highlight of my week has to be Simon Armitage’s poetry reading on Saturday, the second sold out event that day after Roger McGough in the morning. He was very pleased to be at the festival, and thrilled the audience with incredibly moving readings - most notably ‘You’re Beautiful’ and ‘Causeway’. All the events were incredible though, and just skimming over some of the evaluation forms, it is clear that this opinion was shared by all. So well done everybody! Muffins all round!

[Sophie, Event co-ordinator for the Liverpool Literary Festival]


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