Thursday, July 12, 2012

Isle of Man authors - your Litfest needs you!

If we give the impression of a (cough) well-oiled machine, gliding smoothly along towards the inaugural Manx Litfest in September, you'd be forgiven for not seeing the manic pedalling and twisting of leavers that is going on behind the curtain.

One of the key elements we're working on now is finalising the schedule. The framework for the weekend is largely in place - so, for example, the official opening reception will take place on the Thurs evening (Sept 27 at the Villa Marina; the talk by Martin Bell OBE, the man in the white suit, will take place in the Gaiety Theatre on Friday night (Sept 28); the crime writers' panel, featuring RJ Ellory, Ann Cleeves and IOM-based Chris Ewan will be on the Saturday night (Sept 29); the same night as performance storyteller Ben Haggarty (right) will wow crowds at Erin Arts Centre, with Fairy Tales for Grown-ups; and Sunday (Sept 30) will see Castle Rushen transformed for our Narnia meets Middle-Earth family day.

That's just a taste of what's in store. What we're busy doing now is completing the schedule in and around the framework of events, and a vital part of this is the involvement of the many Isle of Man-based writers and poets who have been in touch with us over the last year or so. An important aspect of Manx Litfest, particularly when applying to organisations for funding - such as the Manx Heritage Foundation, Manx Lottery Trust and Isle of Man Arts Council, who have all given us significant support - has been the need to provide a platform for local literary talent to showcase their work.

With that in mind, if you are an IOM-based writer or poet, and haven't been in touch with us yet, please drop us a line and we will do our utmost to include you in the programme (obviously, if 793 previously unknown IOM writers suddenly thrust their arms skyward, we might be in a bit of trouble...)

Seriously, though, we'd like to hear from you - give us a shout at

If you have already done so, and haven't been contacted in the last few days, bear with us - there's plenty of you to get through! Of course, if you haven't heard anything by, say, July 20 - feel free to drop us a line and give us a not very subtle nudge...

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