By WILLIAM TELFORD, Business Editor, Herald


WRITE STUFF: Wyl Menmuir with, inset, Teresa Driscoll, Paul Sturrock and Chris Brooker

A New literature festival is set to bring top authors, poets and even an ex-Argyle manager to Plymouth – and involve city writers in a packed programme of events.

The 12-day PlymLit16 festival runs from October 22 and features a huge range of events covering all manner of writing styles including poetry, sports writing, biography, journalism, dramatic writing, comedy and a cross-section of fiction genres.

Among the high-calibre writers visiting the city will be Wyl Menmuir (below), the Cornwall-based novelist nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2016, and top horror writer Mark Morris, who is also famous for penning many of the Dr Who novelisations.

Other novelists who will be giving readings, or talks, or taking part in discussions, include many of the Plymouth area’s leading literary names, such as Teresa Driscoll, Babs Horton, Terri Nixon (below), Sophie Duffy,Johnny Mains, Carla Vermaat, Tom Vowler, Natasha Carthew, Lucy Christopher and high-flying children’s author Andrew Beasley.


And there are top poets involved too, including Robert Garnham, Ian Beech, Jackie Juno, Nick Kitto, Mike Green, Blaidh Nemorlith, Dorian Sounde, Andy Brown, Marc Woodward, Mark Brayley, Mark Jones, Mélisande Fitzsimons, Norman Jope, Rachel Gippetti (below), Steve Spence, Tony Frazer, Lucy Cole, Tim King and the UK’s poetry slam champ Sara Hirsch.

Among non-fiction writers giving talks are Dick Benson-Gyles, author of a best-selling book about Lawrence of Arabia, Elaine Henderson talking about Beatrix Potter, Jane Marchese Robinson (below) launching her book about the Boer War, and a lecture about Keats by Professor Nicholas Roe.


And among more unusual events are an evening with ex-Argyle boss Paul “Luggy” Sturrock, based around his biography, and a comedy workshop and performance by famous comic Chris Brooker (below).


Plus Sherry Carroll will talk about her memoir charting her connections with famous rock stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Eric Burdon, and Tony Bramwell’s memoir is all about his time knocking about with The Beatles.
With events based in venues across the city, many of Plymouth’s writing groups are involved too, and the week will see the launch of Plymouth’s annual Short Fiction collection.

There will be open-mic and competitions for all writers, published or novice too.

PlymLit16 was set up and run by writers and writing groups in Plymouth, but couldn’t have happened without the support of housing provider Redrow, the firm behind the spectacular regeneration of Devonport’s former South Yard Enclave.

The festival is supported by other businesses too including Clever Student Lets, Dorcas Media and The Herald.

Owen Ryles, one of the organisers, said: “We are really pleased to have put together such a wide-ranging programme for readers and writers.

 NOVELIST: Tom Vowler will be at PlymLit16


“It will be a 12-day feast for lovers of words, with authors of local and national distinction.

“To get authors of the calibre of Wyl Menmuir and Mark Morris on board shows it is shaping up to be a terrific festival.

“And we know local writers and poets will enjoy the great range of open-mics, flash fiction competitions and workshops.

 WRITER: Babs Horton will be at PlymLit16


“With events for children, music lovers and members of Plymouth Argyle’s Green Army, there will hopefully be something for everybody during the half-term week.

“It is also fantastic that we can take the festival to so many different places around the city: from the Plymouth Athenaeum, the Devonport Guildhall and the Arts Centre to the city’s libraries and many other venues.”

To find the entire programme, including dates, times and venues:

Some events are ticketed, to obtain tickets: or


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