Queen’s Park Book Festival: Local talent among national authors at two-day literary feast

PUBLISHED: 11:39 27 June 2019

A captivate audience at the Queen's Park Book Festival 2018 Picture: Cathy Teesdale

A captivate audience at the Queen's Park Book Festival 2018 Picture: Cathy Teesdale


Book lovers can discover a wealth of local authors as the festival in Queen’s Park opens this weekend with a stellar line up.

Queen's Park Book Festival returns on Saturday and Sunday with its three tents given over to conversations with novelists, poets, broadcasters, and comedians.

There is entertainment for children, a pop-up book stall and enough refreshment to plan a visit to the park as a whole day out.

Nationally famed authors such as Linda Grant and Sadie Jones will be talking about their new novels, and radio presenter and writer Simon Mayo appearing.

But a clutch of home-grown local talent will be appearing alongside them, too.

Poet Sharmay Mitchell took on a challenge in April 2017 to produce at least one creative piece a day and is now well past 700 days of consecutive writing.

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Last year she was placed third in the 2018 Loop Writing competition and also attended the festival as a volunteer hoping for a slot on the community stage, which is free to visitors, this year.

Marina Cantacuzino is an award-winning journalist who in 2003 began to collect and share humanising stories from around the world, to provide an antidote to the increasingly prevalent narratives of hate.

She founded the Forgiveness Project, a charity that uses the stories of victims and perpetrators to explore how forgiveness, reconciliation and restorative justice can be used to impact positively on people's lives.

In 2015 she wrote The Forgiveness Project: Stories for a Vengeful Age which was published in the US and UK, followed three years later by Forgiveness is Really Strange, co-authored with Dr Masi Noor.

Queen's Park poet, actor and playwright Lilly Driscoll saw her first play, Dirty Promises, nominated in 2014 for an Off West End award for best direction. She wrote and starred in her one woman show, Only You, last July and was recently published in a Poets vs Homelessness anthology with all funds to Crisis UK.

Hud Saunders, curator, programmer and compere in the community tent, said: "Everything on the community stage is free. I don't think there's any book festival that does this and has so many fabulous local writers. Queen's Park turns into a tent village for the weekend - it's just great."

Day pass £18, weekend pass £34 available online or at the box office at the event.

Children's events are ticketed separately and available online or at Queen's Park Books. Visit queensparkbookfestival

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