Portsmouth's library service has launched City of Stories a two year festival of stories, creative writing, storytelling and narratives.
The project has been made possible thanks to £140,000 funding from Arts Council England for a two year project. City of Stories will raise awareness of the Conan Doyle Collection, local writers and creative writing groups and increase awareness of and involvement in the city archive collections.
It will also expand the city's creative writing and literacy offer via events such as the annual Book Fest events, Portsmouth Short Story writing competition and Summer of Sherlock.
City of Stories will work with our existing community of writers and publishers to increase engagement with literary events, such as Book Fest and the Portsmouth Short Story competition.
It will also develop a strong ongoing literary network which will extend beyond the life of the project.
Portsmouth is a melting pot for social histories and tales that span different cultures and societies; from transient visitors to families who've lived in the city for generations. Authors, writers, poets, publishers, storytellers and artists will collaborate to develop a programme of events and workshops to celebrate stories and storytelling.
City of Stories will build and enhance Portsmouth's literary community throughout and beyond the life of the project. It's also an opportunity to enjoy the many well-known authors who hail from the city, such as Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Nevil Shute, Percy Westerman, Graham Hurley and Pauline Rowson.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said: "The City of Stories project is really exciting; stories and storytelling is an inherent part of human culture and history. Portsmouth has a rich literary history and vibrant creative writing communities - City of Stories will bring all these strands together in one cohesive celebration of creativity."