Join the literary glitterati

By Emily Pearce

Published on Friday, October 12, 2012 - 12:45


Join the literary glitterati

Celia Imrie and Fidelis Morgan rehearsing for the Isle of Wight Literary Festival. Picture by Laura Holme.

THE highly-anticipated Isle of Wight Literary Festival kicks off today (Friday), the first event of its kind to be held on the Island.

Starring a host of Britain’s best-loved writers and celebrities, including Louis de Bernieres, Gyles Brandreth, Lord Grade, Celia Imrie, Toby Young, Anneka Rice, Brough Scott and Raffaella Barker, the three-day festival will be held in and around Northwood House, Cowes.

The varied programme includes literary tours, debates, pub quizzes, creative writing and media workshops, poetry jams, bookbinding classes and live music, plus events for children, such as storytelling in a yurt.

Calendar Girls actress and Cowes resident Celia Imrie will be reading from her autobiography, The Happy Hoofer, while Lord Grade will host a debate on the rise of e-books, Is the Printed Word Dying? Esteemed journalist Will Ellsworth-Jones will be talking about his biography of street artist Banksy, and fire poet Philip Wells will give an electrifying performance of his work, accompanied by Island flautist Siobhan Cosgrove and cellist Chris Dare.

Why not head for Shooters Hill bar Coast, where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis de Bernieres will be reading two of his funniest short stories, one about an obsessive collector and another about an elderly couple who get mixed up with the Hell’s Angels?

Or enjoy dinner at Italian restaurant Tonino’s with a side order of sauce courtesy of author Rebecca Chance? She will be reading saucy extracts from her Sunday Times bestselling novel Bad Sisters, then taking questions over coffee.

Not to be missed is a magical mystery bus tour of the Island’s literary haunts. Join the actresses from The Female Wits, Celia Imrie, FidelisMorgan, Juliet Cadzow (Edie McCredie in Balamory) and Sian Thomas (Amelia Bones in Harry Potter), who will read poems, letters and extracts from novels written by famous Island residents and visitors, including Tennyson, Dickens and Keats.

• For our pick of the top five for adults, aspiring writers, teens and little ones, see the Friday, October 12, County Press Weekender

• More information at

IW Literary Festival

Island writers preparing for the first Isle of Wight Literary Festival at Northwood House, Cowes, this weekend. Pictured, from left, Jules Marriner, Eleanor Bell, Frank Fenwick, Philip Bell and Andrew Lucas with Verrall Dunlop sitting in the front. Picture by Robin Crossley.



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