Portsmouth Book Fest 2014 begins

James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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BOOKWORMS are in for a month of literary treats as the annual Portsmouth Book Fest returned last night.

The event got off to a magical start with authors of stories from new book for adults, Portsmouth Fairy Tales, reading excerpts of their work.

Author from Portsmouth Fairy Tales Lynne E Blackwood at the launch of Portsmouth Bookfest 2014''.''Picture: Sarah Standing (143061-4566)

Author from Portsmouth Fairy Tales Lynne E Blackwood at the launch of Portsmouth Bookfest 2014''.''Picture: Sarah Standing (143061-4566)

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Steven Wylie hosted the event in his chambers in the Guildhall.

He said: ‘It is a fantastic event. I haven’t always had a great relationship with books.

‘I couldn’t read or write very well when I was younger, but it was when I came to Portsmouth that I found my real love affair with books.

‘From novels to recipe books, there is a book out there for everyone and this is a great way of introducing yourself to many different things. I’d encourage everyone to get involved.’

Cllr Wylie said the Portsmouth Fairy Tales readings were a particular highlight for him.

All the tales are set in different places around the city and the book showcases the work of 10 local authors.

Author Lynne E Blackwood, who wrote Zell and the Golden Thread, said: ‘I wanted to reflect the essence of a fairy tale, but I wanted to set it in Landport.

‘I wanted to put Landport on the diverse city map as it represents the true nature of Portsmouth.’

The Portsmouth Book Fest is in its fifth year and thousands of people are expected to take part at the numerous events, which are held at various venues across Portsmouth until November 8.

Clare Forsyth, from Portsmouth City Council libraries, said: ‘It is promoting the pleasure of reading, promoting literacy and promoting Portsmouth as a destination.’

Highlights for her include a gardening event with Mail on Sunday columnist Martyn Cox at Milton Village Hall, a Gruffalo tea party at North End Library and a CSI-style crime event at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

For more information on the events go to portsmouthbookfest.co.uk

Highlights of BookFest

Saturday, October 25 at the Menuhin Theatre, Portsmouth Central Library, midday – Launch of Big City Read – When The Guns Fall Silent by James Riordan, who died in 2012.

It charts the fortunes of two aspiring Pompey footballers who are handed their first team debuts after several members of the first team leave to join the army at the start of the war.

Monday, October 27 at the Central Library at 1pm – The Loss Of The Royal George.

A poetry presentation by Denise Bennett on the ship which sank at Spithead in 1782, a loss comparable with the sinking of the Titanic at the time. n Tuesday, October 28 at the central Library at 7pm – Portsmouth In The Great War – with Sarah Quail.

Friday, October 31 at Square Tower at 7.15pm – Day of the Dead II with Portsmouth Writers Hub.

A night of gut-wrenching tales and songs performed by the writers.

Saturday, November 1 at Central Library from midday to 4pm – Portsmouth First Fiction Awards.

Saturday, November 1 at Milton Village Hall at 7pm – City Gardening – with Martyn Cox.