Literary enthusiasts and bookworms have a feast of star names and fascinating events to look forward to as the Shell Chester Literature Festival gets under way.
The festival, sponsored by Shell, takes place from Monday, October 18, to Sunday, October 31.
There are 80 events in the programme ranging from evening author events with some well-known faces, new and sequel writers at lunch time, workshops, educational events and a new children’s festival, GobbleDEEbook.
Shell PR manager Ed Brady said: “The Shell Chester Literature Festival is an integral part of the city’s artistic and cultural programme and we are pleased to sponsor the festival for the third year and ensure, through our support, that the programme continues to attract a wide audience.”
The festival gets under way on Tuesday at the University of Chester with Seeing Stars with Simon Armitage.
One of our best-loved poets presents a vivid array of dramatic monologues, allegories, parables and tall tales from his latest collection at the Molloy Lecture Theatre at 7.45pm.
He will also give the first public reading of the winning poems in the Cheshire Prize for Literature awards. Tickets are £8.
Other highlights to look forward to include:
Celebrates author Alan Garner gives an illustrated talk about a legend handed down to him by his grandfather, which led him to discover the Bronze Age occupation of Alderley Edge, on Wednesday, October 20.
TV presenter and author Michael Wood presents The Story of England – the nation’s history told through the development and inhabitants of the Leicestershire village of Kibworth, also on Wednesday, October 20.
Comedian, actor and TV presenter Alexei Sayle talks about his memoirs on Thursday, October 21.
Northwich-born Sue Birtwistle talks about The Making of Cranford on Friday, October 22.
The nation’s favourite film critic, Mark Kermode, talks about his life-long love of film as described in his book It’s Only a Movie on Monday, October 25.
Former government spin doctor Alistair Campbell talks about the first volume of his full diaries Prelude to Power which looks at the period 1994-1997, ending with Tony Blair’s election as Prime Minister, on Friday, October 29.
There is also a new festival for children and teens, called GobbleDEEbook, that takes place during the half term holiday.
So if you want to travel in time with Doctor Who, enrol at Spook School, or create your own scary monsters, then come along and join in the fun.
Events are only £1 per child and you can take your grown ups for free and it even has its own website, www.gobbledeebook.co.uk.
Chester Festivals director Tracy Lynn said: “The programme this year is very strong and with the introduction of the new GobbleDEEbook festival, there really is something for everyone and it’s all indoors, perfect for those autumnal days ahead.”
Tickets can be booked online by visiting www.chesterfestivals.co.uk; by phone on 0845 2417868; or in person at the Tourist Information Centre, near the Town Hall.