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Manchester City Centre

Manchester Literature Festival


Manchester Literature Festival has grown considerably in size and stature since it debuted back in 2006. Held annually in October, it’s now known as one of the north’s leading festivals for book-lovers.

Many of the biggest names in literature have appeared on its stages over the years including Margaret Atwood, Seamus Heaney, Martin Amis,  Zadie Smith, Armistead Maupin . . . the list is long and impressive.

Add to that thought-leaders such as Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, and Vivienne Westwood, plus hugely popular commercial fiction writers such as Neil Gaiman and Val McDermid, and you get a sense of the kind of quality it attracts.

There’s also a lively programme of events for children and families including activity days, workshops, shows and storytelling.

Events take place in a variety of venues, mainly in the city centre, with some further afield.

Manchester Literature Festival 2023

This year’s festival will be held from Friday 6 October to Sunday 22 October 2023 with headline authors Zadie Smith, Lemn Sissay, Max Porter and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

The 40+ events will include intimate ‘in conversation’ evenings, live performances, new commissions, workshops, and fun activities for children and families. Venues include Manchester Art Gallery, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Central Library, Contact, HOME and The Lowry.

As well as the headline authors, the 2023 line-up features Jeanette Winterson, Deborah Levy, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elif Shafak, Kate Mosse, Simon Armitage, Natalie Haynes, Annie Macmanus, Afua Hirsch, George Monbiot, Gaia Vince, Jeremy Deller, Lisa Nandy and Yanis Varoufakis, and Richard Armitage.

Preview and Bookend events include Arlo Parks (9 September), Lemn Sissay (16 September), Yanis Varoufakis (26 September), Thurston Moore (17 November), Doon Mackichan (20 November) and Naomi Alderman (29 November).

Listings picture: Actor and author Richard Armitage

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