‘Shetland’ and ‘Vera’ creator heads Penzance LitFest line-up

23rd May 2024 in Events, Penzance

The Penzance LitFest, which runs from 2 to 6 July, has announced its line-up for 2024. As well as featuring many popular local writers, the thriving festival will also host some leading lights of the national literary stage!

Penzance Council L
Grant funded by Penzance Council

Among those appearing are the crime novelist Ann Cleeves, known to millions of BBC and ITV viewers as the creator of the series Shetland and Vera. Ann will be talking about The Raging Storm, the latest book in her Two Rivers Series, set on the north Devon coast and featuring Detective Inspector Matthew Venn.

Bestselling author Louise Doughty, whose contemporary psychological thrillers Apple Tree Yard and Platform Seven have also been made into popular television series, will introduce her latest page turner, A Bird in Winter.

A celebrated Penzance swimming spot is the inspiration for poet Katrina Naomi’s forthcoming collection, Battery Rocks. Katrina will be in conversation with fellow local writer Jane Pugh. Meanwhile, the popular Mousehole-based novelist Jane Johnson turns to 1950s Morocco as the setting for her latest novel, The Black Crescent.

Leading folk musicians Jim Causley and Miranda Sykes are also on the bill, joining forces with narrator John Palmer to present ‘Ghosts, Werewolves and Countryfolk’ – a celebration of the extraordinary life and work of Victorian superstar and Westcountry resident Sabine Baring-Gould.

Among many more treats in store is a rare opportunity to hear Neel Mukherjee, author of one of this year’s most talked-about novels, Choice. Neel will be in conversation with Patrick Gale. There’s an Antipodean ‘first’ too, as Australia’s Queen of Fairy Tales, Kate Forsyth, invites the audience into a world of dark enchantment. And, in another festival first, a conversation between the author of Secret Gardens of Cornwall, Tim Hubbard, and a member of the Minack’s gardening team will be followed by a sale of plants.

A notable addition to this year’s festival is Environmental Exchange, a series of events celebrating the wonders of the natural world and highlighting the challenges it faces. Writers, filmmakers, campaigners and academics will be among the contributors reflecting on the present reality and putting forward ideas for a different future.

In total, the festival will feature over 40 author talks and writing workshops plus the return of the hugely popular LitFest quiz.

The LitFest’s Patron, the novelist Patrick Gale, said: “There’s a unique atmosphere to Penzance LitFest, born partly from its lovely venues, partly from the incredibly high number of creative people in each audience. And Penzance is just such a lovely place to visit that authors are in a thoroughly good mood by the time they come on stage to talk! I also think the LitFest does a very good soft diplomacy job by showing influential authors from up the line what a thoroughly special place West Penwith is.”

The LitFest is grateful to Penzance Council for supporting the festival with a £3,000 grant.
The Mayor of Penzance, Cllr Stephen Reynolds, said: “Literature is integral to our cultural heritage in and around Penzance, and the PZ LitFest plays its part by celebrating writing and writers within and beyond our community. I particularly appreciate the focus on encouraging and nurturing our own aspiring wordsmiths through workshops, inspiring talks, and encounters with authors across a whole range of genres. The LitFest has rapidly become a cornerstone of the local cultural calendar – long may it continue!”

Tickets can be purchased at pzlitfest.co.uk, by phone on 01736 363545 or in person from the Acorn Theatre Box Office in Parade Street, Penzance. Free copies of the printed programme are available at libraries, bookshops, cafes and galleries throughout West Cornwall.

How to apply for Penzance Council grant funding

We provide grants to local community groups and charities who are working to benefit our residents and our Parish environment – find out more about our grants and how to apply.

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