Speak Up

Speak Up

Manchester’s annual literature festival returns in a city-wide celebration of the spoken word

Manchester’s renowned literature festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, offering up a comprehensive programme of high profile writers and household names, returning to present new work. Book worms will be able to catch novelists and poets at famous landmarks such as Manchester Cathedral, Manchester Art Gallery and the Central Library, as well at the newly extended Whitworth art gallery and new contemporary art, theatre and film centre HOME.

Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood will open the festival, and unveil her new novel Hag-Seed. It's an imaginative retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and part of The Hogarth Shakespeare Project inviting contemporary novelists to rework the Bard's work for a 21st century audience. Vivienne Westwood will also present her new book, Get A Life, and talk about her career as fashion designer and political activist. Other highlights include Dame Jenni Murray’s talk about Britain’s most influential women writers and American journalist Lionel Shriver - author of We Need To Talk About Kevin - discussing her new dark satirical novel, The Mandibles.

“Manchester Literature Festival continues to shine as one of the highlights of the city’s cultural calendar with events happening all over the city and we are sure that this year’s line up will appeal to people from Manchester and beyond,” says Councillor Lutfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for Culture and Leisure. “The festival has something to suit all tastes, including a host of activities for children and families to enjoy. We hope that the festival continues to go from strength to strength.”

Visitors can also sign up for literary tours to find out how Manchester’s urban sprawl has been translated to print.

The festival will run until 23rd October. Tickets are priced from £5.


  • Words: Rebecca Parker