WATCH: Boost for storytellers as Portsmouth Writers' Room is unveiled at city centre library

STORYTELLERS are set to be inspired by a new space showcasing the city's fascinating literary heritage.

Cllr Linda Symes at the opening of the writers' room
Cllr Linda Symes at the opening of the writers' room

It comes after the Portsmouth Writers’ Room was unveiled at the Central Library in Guildhall Walk today.

The space in the facility’s History Centre will give authors a window into the works of Portsmouth authors past and present.

Charles Dickens, HG Wells and Rudyard Kipling are just a trio of the wordsmiths featured – and it is hoped their merits will soon influence generations of talent to come.

Cllr Linda Symes at the opening of the writers' room

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    Cutting the ribbon to the hub, Portsmouth City Council’s (PCC) cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, Linda Symes, said: ‘The new writers’ room is an excellent resource for research and for anyone with an interest in our literary history.

    ‘I’m looking forward to seeing it grow too as new writers get inspiration from this collection.’

    A host of city authors were present to welcome the new room, including Portsmouth Writers’ Hub regular Wendy Metcalfe.

    She said: ‘It’s going to be a joy discovering what’s there.

    Cllr Linda Symes at the opening of the writers' room

    ‘Libraries are vital for young people and I have no doubt this addition to ours will inspire a few.’

    The launch coincided with a branding unveiling for Portsmouth City Museum’s forthcoming exhibition on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    The free display, set to kick off on May 22 – with construction beginning next month – will explore the writer’s time in the city and how it shaped his global phenomenon, Sherlock Holmes.

    Now dubbed ‘You Don’t Know Sherlock Holmes Yet’, it draws its tagline from Doyle’s 1887 A Study in Scarlet – a tome he wrote during the years he spent living in Southsea.

    The project will be boosted by a £140,000 Arts Council grant recently secured by PCC.

    Claire Looney, overseeing the exhibition, said: ‘This will give people a chance to explore the heritage of Doyle’s work and how Portsmouth put it on the international stage.’