Manchester Literature Festival 2019 celebrates acclaimed authors, cultural icons and original writing


Now in its 14th year, the Manchester Literature Festival 2019 line-up features award-winning writers, rock musicians, and the new Poet Laureate.

Authors, journalists and musicians appearing this October include Jeanette Winterson, David Nicholls, Howard Jacobson, Jackie Kay, Simon Armitage, Guy Garvey, Brett Anderson, Caroline Criado Perez, Lemn Sissay, Henry Normal and Cathy Newman. 

Featuring over 100 established and emerging writers speaking in a broad range of events across 17 days, the festival also includes literary walking tours and plenty of activities for younger readers including an afternoon with David Baddiel.

And, for the first time in the city, literature lovers can go to a Booker Prize 2019 shortlist showcase where some of this year’s shortlisted authors will read and discuss their novels at a special event.

The festival has tripled in size from 2006, when it featured 30 events attracting an audience of 3,000, to the 2018 festival which featured 85 events and attracted an audience of 13,000.

The 2019 programme hopes to address the greatest issues of our day as well as exploring topics as diverse as music, 1980s art and clubbing, and even trauma surgery in conflict zones. 

And the festival will maintain its support of original writing with its series of New Commissions, including the annual Castlefield Manchester Sermon delivered this year by Gillian Slovo, and new co-commissions in partnership with Manchester Museum and Manchester Libraries.

Photo: Fraser Rice

A series of events outside the main festival dates includes Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead and Scottish crime queens Val McDermid and Denise Mina. 

“Once again Manchester Literature Festival has lined up a fantastic programme of events that has something for literature lovers of all ages and all tastes,” says Luthfur Rahman from Manchester City Council.

“From music, art, and clubbing, to the big issues that top the current global agenda, the festival fortnight promises to be both thought-provoking and entertaining.

“Don’t miss it!”

Manchester Literature Festival runs from Friday 4th – Sunday 20th October 2019 at venues across the city.


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