Portsmouth Bookfest is a popular annual event organised by Portsmouth City Council in partnership with The Hayling Island Bookshop, a local independent shop. This year there is a wide variety of events, activities and talks aimed at all age groups and interests. Many events are free but booking in advance may be required.
The packed programme of both in-person and virtual events include the following highlights:
- Award-winning author, commentator and lawyer, Mohsin Zaidi, pictured, will talk about his memoir A Dutiful Boy via Zoom on Thursday 3 March
- Martin James will talk about his life in music journalism and his book State of Bass on Friday 25 February
at Portsmouth Central Library
- David Lamy MP will talk about his life and book Tribes at the University of Portsmouth on Friday 4 March.
- Wave Makers – writing for the screen workshops are being run by experienced local author and screenwriter Matt Wingett
- Kirsty Stonell-Walker will give a talk on Julia Margaret Cameron, the pioneering Victorian photographer who was based on the Isle of Wight, on Thursday 24 February at Portsmouth Central Library
- Portsmouth MysteryFest is a day festival of crime fiction and crime fact, which is a collaboration between Mystery People and Portsmouth BookFest at Central Library on Saturday 12 March
There is plenty for children too:
- Younger children can hear children’s author Shelagh Moore read The Plastic Warrior and talk about how it was created at Southsea Library on Monday 21 February
- Older children can take part in Octopus Medicine – Young People’s Creative Writing Workshops throughout half term at various locations
- Storytelling with Michael O’Leary will talk place on Wednesday 23 and Saturday 26 February at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery
Cllr Ben Dowling, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Economic Development at Portsmouth City Council said: “This year’s BookFest is back with a fantastic programme of activities and speakers. There is something for everyone whatever your literary or writing tastes or talent so make sure you visit your local library or go on the website to book your place.”
Tickets are on sale in any Portsmouth City Council Library or online here where there’s a full programme of events.