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The Crack Magazine


Berwick Literary Festival

The 8th Berwick Literary Festival promises to be the most ambitious yet, with a wide range of subjects, speakers and contemporary relevance. Taking place between the 14th-17th October, events will be online via Zoom, with the exception of two in-person events at the Maltings. Dyad, a dark celebration of female Gothic fiction writers performed by Rebecca Vaughan and directed by Gus Masterson, will take place on the 15th at 19:30, and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage will be reading from his recent collection, ‘Magnetic Field’, on the 16th at 19:30. All events are free, excluding the writing workshops, which are £15 per person, and the in-person events. Simon Armitage’s reading is £20 and Dyad is £14, with £6 tickets for those 16 and under.

On the 14th at 18:00, Gavin Francis, author of Intensive Care, a deeply personal account of his experience as a GP during the pandemic, will tell the many stories he has been apart of: of loneliness and hope, illness and recovery, and of what can be achieved when we care for each other. Sally Vickers will be chatting about her upcoming novel The Gardener, due for release in November, at 20:00.

On the 15th at 2pm, Simon Garfield will be providing a safe space for us dog companions who talk far too much about our pups in an event based on his latest book, Dog’s Best Friend - the story of a relationship between canines and humans built over 15,000 years. Closing the day at 20:00 will be Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish, reading from her latest collection ‘Slug…and other things I’ve been told to hate(which we happened to review in July: https://www.thecrackmagazine.com/view-editorial/7437). The event will also be streamed to the Radio Rooms if you’d like to make a social occasion of it.

Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will be speaking about his new book Seven Ways to Change the World at 2pm on the 16th, a pathway to a better future whether you’re a policy maker or a concerned citizen. At 4pm, author of ‘The Changing of the Guard – The British Army since 9/11’, Simon Akam, answers questions such as why the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq failed to achieve more than just considerable financial and human cost.

On the final day, historian William Dalrymple will be speaking about his recent best-seller, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company, which was not only one of Barack Obama’s books of the year, but also the Times History Book of the Year in 2019. At 17:00, Michael Taylor, author of The Interest: How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery, will give a talk on the ferocious campaign of the British pro-slavery lobby to preserve the institution of colonial slavery.

Registration and ticket sales for the festival events are now open at https://berwickliteraryfestival.com/the-programme/. To reserve writing workshop places, email info@berwickliteraryfestival.com with your name, address and telephone number. In-person events must be booked through The Maltings.

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