Portsmouth BookFest 2016 – your ultimate guide

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Portsmouth BookFest is organised by the Portsmouth City Library Service and The Hayling Island Bookshop.

This year’s festival is running from Sunday, February 14 – Saturday, March 5.

BookFest was created to promote both book-buying and book-borrowing, especially among groups of people who may never have considered participating in book-related events.

Below is everything you need to know about each of the events. To book tickets and for any further information, visit portsmouthbookfest.co.uk.

Valentines’ Day Massacre with the Portsmouth Writers’ Hub.

When: Sunday, February 14 at 6pm.

Where: Wave Maiden, 36 Osborne Road, Southsea, P05 3LT.

Price: £6

Share an evening of vitriol, vengeance and weissbier with the writers and musicians of the Portsmouth Writers Hub. With stories and songs. Beer and food will be available at the bar.

Travel Writing: Thrills, Spills, Risks and Rewards.

When: Monday, February 15 at 6pm.
Where: Screening Theatre EW1.10, University of Portsmouth, Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, PO1 2DJ.

Price: Free, please book a ticket.

What makes for good travel writing? How do you get into the profession? What practical, ethical and political challenges come with the job? University of Portsmouth lecturer, travel book author and foreign affairs journalist Tom Sykes and writer-photographer Alexander Sebley explore these questions and more. They also offer practical advice on the craft and explore the various sub-genres of travel writing.

Alan Scouse – Digger Mole.

When: Thursday, February 18 at 2pm.

Where: Southsea Library, 19-21 Palmerston Road.

Price: Free, no ticket required.

Join author Alan Scouse for a special storytime. Digger Mole is a series of books aimed at two to six-year-olds. The stories are based around a family of moles who live in the New Forest. Every story is around five minutes long. Alan will be reading stories from the books and selling copies of them afterwards.

Closure: featuring Lynne E. Blackwood, Sylvia Dickinson, Patrice Lawrence and Karen Onojaife.

When: Saturday, February 20 at 7pm.

Where: Menuhin Theatre, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: £5 with tea/coffee.

An evening of readings from Closure, which has a variety of forms, styles and a rich diversity of themes. It’s filled with stories which, like life, rarely end in the way we might expect.

Played up Pompey with Neil Allen.

When: Sunday, February 21 at 2pm.

Where: Carnegie Library, Fratton Road, PO1 5EZ.

Price: £5

Join shief sports writer for The News Neil Allen, as he talks about his interest in Portsmouth Football Club, what prompted him to write Played Up Pompey and how he went about publishing his book. Former Pompey goalkeeper Alan Knight will also attend as Alan is one of the 24 interviews Neil carried out with former Pompey players, who remain eternally popular among the Fratton faithful.

This Island City: Portsmouth in Poetry.

When: Sunday, February 21 at 7.30pm.

Where: The Square Tower, Broad Street, PO1 2JE.

Price: £4, on the door.

A celebration of Portsmouth’s literary heritage. This Island City is an anthology of poetry which brings Portsmouth to life. The event will include readings from Portsmouth people who have contributed to the anthology, along with national and local poets. Plus, live music from Janet Ayers and friends. Bar and free nearby parking.

Portsmouth: The home of great writing.

When: Monday, February 22 at 7pm.

Where: Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: Free, please book a place.

A public lecture by local author Matt Wingett. Four of the 19th Century’s most popular novelists – Dickens, Doyle, Wells and Kipling – have Portsmouth connections. In this lecture Matt explores what is so special about Portsmouth for writers.

Local authors at Southsea Library – Dr Asim K Dasgupta.

When: Tuesday, February 23, from 12pm-3pm.

Where: Southsea Library, 19-21 Palmerston Road.

Price: Free.

Portsmouth BookFest is celebrating new local writing talent by giving authors a slot at Southsea Library to sell their books. Go along and meet the author. Dr Asim K Dasgupta is a writer and travel photographer.

New Habits with Eleanor Stewart.

When: Wednesday, February 24 at 7pm.

Where: Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: £5

Kicking the Habit was Eleanor Stewart’s first book and traces her eight years of life in a convent. Her latest book New Habits covers the time in which she had to make the exciting but often traumatic adaptation to a new life.

An evening with Adele Parks: Hobby, vocation or career? Your life as a writer.

When: Thursday, February 25 at 6pm.

Where: Menuhin Thetre, Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: £10, £5 concessions.

Adele, who has published 15 novels in 15 years, will present a fun and honest talk on how to achieve a long career as a writer. She writes contemporary and historical fiction exploring themes such as family, love, parenting and fidelity, with an emphasis on honesty and humour.

Self-Publishing with Pentangle Press.

When: Saturday, February 27 at 11am.

Where: Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: £3.

Carol Westron, Christine Hammacott and Wendy Metcalfe are Pentangle Press, a local, self-publishing co-operative.

They will explain why they made certain publishing decisions regarding printing and promoting, paperback and e-book. They will also talk about the separate processes that each author has to go through after the book is written in order to prepare it for publication. There will be opportunities for questions and discussion.

Local authors at Southsea Library – Jane Cable.

When: Saturday, February 27, from 12pm-3pm.

Where: Southsea Library, 19-21 Palmerston Road.

Price: Free.

Portsmouth BookFest is celebrating new local writing talent by giving authors a slot at Southsea Library to sell their books.

Go along and meet the author – no ticket required. How can a memory so vivid be wrong? Set on the banks of the River Hamble, Jane Cable’s The Faerie Tree is a Hampshire novel. When Izzie and Robin meet 20 years after their affair, they discover their memories of it are completely different, but how can this be? And which one of them is right.

Afternoon tea with Lottie Moggach.

When: Saturday, February 27 at 2pm.

Where: Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: £6, includes tea and cake.

Lottie Moggach won the Portsmouth First Fiction Award in 2014 after judges and reading groups voted her debut novel Kiss Me First as an outstanding tale of the internet age. Join Lottie to catch up on how she wrote one of her novels, her inspirations and what’s next for her.

Words That Move.

When: Tuesday, March 1 at 3.30pm.

Where: Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: Free.

Set in the stillness of the library, New Theatre Royal dancers dance to poems. Directed by Bernie C Byrnes and produced by Nic Williams, Words That Move premiered as part of the New Theatre Royal’s ‘Found Hour’ in October.

Conan Doyle and the Mysterious World of Light.

When: Tuesday, March 1 at 7pm.

Where: Esther Room, Portsmouth City Museum, Museum Road, PO1 2LJ.

Price: Free, please book a place.

Book launch. In his book Conan Doyle and the Mysterious World of Light, Portsmouth-based author Matt Wingett has used articles written by Conan Doyle in Light, many of which have never been republished, to trace Conan Doyle’s spiritualist career.

Viv Albertine: Clothes, Music, Boys.

When: Tuesday, March 1 at 7pm.

Where: Pie and Vinyl, 61 Castle Road, PO5 3AY.

Price: £12, includes a copy of the paperback edition of the book.

Songwriter and musician Viv Albertine was the guitarist in female punk band The Slits. Her recent memoir, Clothes, Music, Boys was the Rough Trade book of the year in 2014. Viv will be talking about her life.

The importance of reading.

When: Thursday, March 7 at 2pm.

Where: Third Floor, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: Free.

With John Attrill, honorary alderman and Portsmouth City Council’s learning disability champion. John will be sharing his own stories and observations on the importance of reading.

A history of Gunwharf Quays with Michael Underwood.

When: Thursday, March 7 at 3.30pm.

Where: Portsmouth History Centre, Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX.

Price: £5.

Gunwharf Quays used to have a different purpose to the one it does now. You can see evidence of its naval past in buildings such as the Old Customs House and the Vulcan Building. Michael Underwood’s book takes people into the area’s past and its development into the modern era.

The Blanket Book with Elizabeth Caush.

When: Thursday, March 7 at 7pm.

Where: Beddow Library, Milton Road, PO4 8PR.

Price: £2.

The idea behind Elizabeth’s book is to look at the practical and therapeutic nature of knitting by providing simple patterns that beginner knitters can follow. Elizabeth will be giving a talk on her book and will bring along most of the projects that have been knitted from patterns in the book. All proceeds go to the Friends of the Beddow Library. Tickets available from the library only.

Rudyard Kipling – Child of the Wild.

When: Friday, March 4 at 7pm.

Where: Southsea Library, 19-21 Palmerston Road.

Price: Free, please book a place.

Whilst Rudyard Kipling is arguably most famous for his children’s stories in The Jungle Book, many of his other works contain themes that echo his childhood, growing up in Portsmouth. In his autobiography Something of Myself, Kipling recalls the brutality of his childhood in Portsmouth,

separated from his parents. This series of readings of different works by Kipling explores the connections between his life in Portsmouth, and how perhaps by facing childhood adversity, he became a writer of global importance.

CSI Portsmouth 2016 – where crime fiction meets crime fact.

When: Saturday, March 5, between 10am and 4pm.
Where: Pyramids Centre, Clarence Esplanade, PO5 3ST.

Price: £15, includes £3 off a book purchased at the event.

Join crime authors Diana Bretherick, Elly Griffiths, JS Law, Pauline Rowson, William Sutton and experts. Sessions are 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.

Local authors at Southsea Library – Lynne Stretch.

When: Saturday, March 5, between 12pm and 3pm.

Where: Southsea Library, 19-21 Palmerston Road.

Price: Free.

Portsmouth BookFest is celebrating new local writing talent by giving authors a slot at Southsea Library to sell their books.

Go along and meet the author – no ticket required. Lynn (writing name Alyson Young) will be selling copies of her recently completed novel Miskin Girl. All royalties will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Performance poetry event.

When: Saturday, March 5 at 5pm.

Where: Southsea Coffee Co, 63 Osborne Road, PO5 3LS.

Portsmouth poet laureate Sam Cox and James Tattington (Fugitive Orchestra) offer a collaboration of original poetry, spoken word and music.

Price: Free

Museum opening day.

When: Saturday, March 5.

Where: Dickens Birthplace Museum, 393 Old Commercial Road, PO1 4QL.

Price: Free.

To celebrate Portsmouth BookFest the museum will have a free open day.

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