Monday, 13 January 2014

Cross Country Writers

2014 has had a good start for literature thanks to Cross Country Writers organised by Kenny Knight.

The evening had mixture of poetry, short stories and even a burst of song much to appreciative audiences liking.

With William Telford’s take on a romantic evening and Karl’s tale of the historical characters a butcher comes across short story writers were strongly supported. The contrast between William’s reality based and Karl’s horror showed the scope that can be captured within the form.

Poetry was well represented (I won’t comment on my own performance) from the spiritual poetry of Susan Taylor to the found spontaneous work of Steve Spense. I have always admired Kenny’s writing and tonight was no exception it simple rhythm and language is worked well to bring over feelings, emotions and thoughts beyond the scope of the subject of the poems.

An enjoyable evening in bright and shining Plymouth Arts Centre studio. I look forward to Cross Country Writers next outing.

Friday, 22 November 2013

A big thank you to all involved

The 2013 Plymouth International Book Festival is now over, and from the feedback we’ve had everyone enjoyed it greatly. It was really heartening to receive thanks from writers, event partners and audience members for the events we programmed.

What surprised me was the strength of emotion the events brought out of our audiences from tears of laughter to tears of sadness at the stories being told.

We are taking on board all comments, and those we can action straight away we will, other comments may take longer to put into place but we do have a long term strategy and will incorporate them into that.

I won’t highlight anyone in particular but will give a big thank you to the partner organisations;

Plymouth University – for their work in events organising, marketing, box office and website management, and especially to the contribution of events from the English and Creative Writing Department, CogTalk, Expanded Narrative team and the Illustration Dept.

Plymouth International Book Festival Charlie Higson author of the popular series, ‘Young Bond’, Charlie will be discussing his popular series ‘The Enemy’ with horror editor and writer Johnny Mains. Plymouth International Book Festival Mona Siddiqui Plymouth International Book Festival Lemn Sissay

Plymouth City Council – the support given by Library Services, Plymouth Museum & Art Gallery and Children & Young People Services.

Literature Works – for the pulling it all together and keeping everything on track.

Event partners – a big thank you to Plymouth Arts Centre, Lit Nite, Forked with Apples & Snakes, The Athenaeum, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth Language Club.

Our sponsors – The Herald, for the wonderful profile they gave the event in Plymouth, The Duke of Cornwall Hotel for the lovely welcome they gave our writers and Waterstones for going above and beyond the call of duty in providing books for our writers.

Our volunteers – without whom we would have not been able to do half of what we did.

Most of all to our writers, speakers and contributors who were generous and friendly both with staff and the audience. They met old friends and made many new ones.

Finally I would like to give a big thank you to our audience, some I recognised from last year, some I kept seeing at again and again at events this year and all who gave the festival such a friendly and engaging vibe. The festival gave a good buzz around Plymouth this year, our aim is to increase that buzz in 2014.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Festival buzz in Plymouth

Everyone involved in the Plymouth International Book Festival is excited and cannot wait for it to start. The feed back we have been getting from Plymothians has been very positive to the programme.

Ailie-Kerr-YCL_article-secondary-fit-to-width There is still time to enter our Young City Laureate competition. The deadline is Friday 11 October. This is an opportunity for a young person, aged 16 – 19 living or studying in Plymouth, to win an iPad, receive mentoring to develop their writing and to write about their city. Click on the text to find out more


There is still time to apply to be a Volunteer Festival Assistant. Volunteering at the festival is a good way of gaining experience while being part of Plymouth’s art & cultural scene. The deadline for applications is Friday 11 October, email for an application form.

The festival programme will be available from Friday 11 October, if you cannot wait until then visit our website where you can also book tickets for events.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Friday, 13 September 2013

Plymouth style

I was interviewed by a journalist from The Herald earlier in the week about the festival, and I feel really pleased with what the team has achieved for this year’s festival. I have to say it is also great that organisations and individuals, across the city, have expressed their support for the festival.
Local writer Michael Jecks
Plymouth is culturally ambitious and culturally ACTIVE at the moment the festival is playing its part in providing an exciting festival and networking people within the city and with the rest of the country.
Plymouth poet Kenny Knight
I did not say this in the short interview which was focused on the festival and Plymouth as a city, but the people here are what make the city and the festival is proving an exciting focus for local, cultural action to happen.
Plymouth based editor and writer Johnny Mains