Chorlton Book Festival returns this September.

Reading has been bigger than ever in 2020, so we couldn’t postpone the sixteenth Chorlton Book Festival. Instead, we’ve curated a mix of online webinars, commissioned some brilliant video and much more. So, sit back and relax while great authors read and tell you their stories.

​We’ve something for everyone, with a particularly strong line-up for children and young adults, exploring real-life issues and smashing stereotypes. Also on the menu is photography and performance poetry, a panel discussion about why crime writers find our not-so-fair city such a source of deadly inspiration and the return of a TV comedy writing and producing legend!

All events will be free to watch on Facebook or Live Webinar.

Saturday 19 September 10am

Nathan Byron.

Author of the Waterstones Book of the Year ‘Look Up’!

We’re thrilled to welcome Nathan to our festival for a video chat!

A former actor (you’ll have seen him in Benidorm), he’s now an award-winning children’s author. In ‘Look Up’, science-mad chatterbox Rocket is determined to go into space; while in ‘Clean Up’, she’s on a mission to save an island from a sea of plastic.

With joyous illustrations by Dapo Adeola, these positive, heartwarming and empowering picture books are a must-read for every little activist!

Tune in to the Chorlton Book Festival Facebook page here.

Saturday 19 September 8pm

Comedian Daliso Chaponda.

How to Survive Lockdown with the Wisdom of Literature.

Comedian Daliso Chaponda had a particularly bizarre lockdown as he lives alone and went months without touching another human being.  One of the things he did to survive without going insane was read books like ‘Robinson Crusoe’, ‘The Count of Montecristo’ in which characters were in isolation, and books like the Andromeda Strain and Love in the Time of Cholera, in which characters were coping with a pandemic.  He did not read for entertainment.  He read for research and he now presents to you the somewhat surprising results e.g. befriend a cannibal.  For all his tips and a tongue in cheek survey of apocalyptic fiction, watch How To Survive Lockdown With the Wisdom of Literature.

In 2017, he auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent and eventually came third in the competition. As a result, Daliso signed with BBC Radio 4. He began his first headlining world tour What the African Said… in February 2018

Tune in to the Chorlton Book Festival Facebook page here.

Sunday 20 September 6.30pm

Okechukwu Nzelu.

Author of ‘The Private Joys of Nnenna Malony’. 

Full of wit, humour and tenderness, ‘The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney’ is a powerful meditation on youth, race, sexuality and belonging. 

Okechukwu Nzelu’s debut novel is a funny and heart-warming story by a fresh and distinctive new voice. Perfect for fans of ‘Queenie’ by Candice Carty-Williams and Zadie Smith’s ‘White Teeth’.

Book your free tickets here.

Monday 21 September 5pm

Anna Mainwaring.

Author of ‘Rebel with a Cupcake’.

Anna Mainwaring is the author of two novels for teenagers. ‘Tulip Taylor’ has been described as a ‘charming and hilarious story of love and self acceptance.”

Anna will be reading from ‘Rebel with a Cupcake’, “a funny, wry and sensitive” novel, exploring the pressures facing young people’s sense of self-image and body confidence.

She lives in Stockport with her family and can generally be found eating halloumi.​

Monday 21 September 8pm

The People’s Republic of Mancunia:  A mixed media book launch

Flapjack Press presents a celebration of photography and performance poetry.

​Rik Jundi’s reportage-style images represent the interaction of the people and places of his home city. Amongst the chaos of the moment, he is able to find an inner calm wherein life crystallises with light, shadow, movement and emotions.

With contributions from 12 award-winning poets across Manchester.

Watch the live stream here.

Tuesday 22 September 4pm

Marie Basting.

Author of ‘Princess BMX’.

Marie Basting writes funny fiction for children. Her debut novel, Princess BMX, was listed by the Guardian and BookTrust in their best new books categories and has been praised by Gender Collect as one of the best books out there for smashing stereotypes.

​Told by a careers adviser that girls like her don’t become writers, Marie loves nothing more than inspiring others to achieve their dreams whatever the limits put on them.

She’ll be reading from Princess BMX and talking a little about the inspiration behind it. Marie is a Chorlton resident and excited to be part of our local festival.

Tune in to the Chorlton Book Festival Facebook page here.

Tuesday 22 September 7pm

Northern Noir. Crime Writers Panel.

What is it about Manchester and the north that makes them the ideal settings for murder? Three writers will discuss how the setting becomes part of story in this streamed Live Webinar.

​Paul Finch is a former police officer and scriptwriter, now the creator of the Heck series of novels.

Former divorce lawyer Caroline England has seen her share of bad behaviour. She’s now a successful best-selling thriller writer, digging into the shadier side of human nature.

Chris Simms is a southerner by birth, but he’s found inspiration in Manchester’s dark underbelly, with deeply unsettling novels featuring DI Jon Spicer, DC Sean Blake and DC Iona Khan.

​Hosted by the brilliant Rob Parker.

Book your free tickets here.

Wednesday 23 September 5pm

Ruth Estevez.

Author of ‘Jiddy Vardy’ and ‘Erosion’.

Ruth Estevez is a Chorlton-based author who also works for The Portico Library as Project Coordinator for their Young People’s Reading and Writing Awards. Perfect combination for someone who loves books!

Her latest novel, Erosion, is out on the 4th of November 2020, a perfect date for a book set on the run up to Bonfire Night. Ruth’s books are mainly set in her native Yorkshire and deal with identity, belonging and what people living on the edge will do.

Tune in to the Chorlton Book Festival Facebook page here.

Wednesday 23 September 8pm

Henry Normal.

Writer, Poet, TV and Film Producer.

The poems in Henry Normal’s new collection, The Beauty Within Shadow, are concerned with the balancing of darkness and light in our everyday lives and the processing of other thoughts we’d usually avoid by filling our days with mindless distractions. 

“Shove up National Treasures. We need to make room for Henry Normal.” – Radio Times ​

Henry Normal is a writer, poet, TV and film producer. In June 2017 he was honoured with a special BAFTA for services to television.  

​Henry co-wrote the Mrs Merton Show and The Royle Family. Setting up Baby Cow Productions Ltd in 1999, Henry Executive Produced all, and script edited many, of the shows including Gavin and Stacey, Moone Boy, The Mighty Boosh, Red Dwarf, Uncle and Alan Partridge. 

Since retiring in April 2016, Henry has written and performed six BBC Radio 4 shows combining comedy, poetry and stories about bringing up his autistic son.  

Watch the live stream here.

Thursday 24 September 5pm

Louisa Reid. 

Author of ‘Wrecked’.

Hello! I’m delighted to be part of the Chorlton Book Festival Online. My name is Louisa Reid and I’m a local author and teacher.

I am the author of four novels for young adults, the most recent being Wrecked, from which I’ll be reading. My last two novels are written in verse – a fantastic form that’s immersive, playful and compelling –  I love the brevity and power of this genre.

I write for young adults, or indeed older ones, and I write the kind of stories I like to read: powerful narratives about the here and now and the challenges, experiences, moral choices and dilemmas we face. 

Tune in to the Chorlton Book Festival Facebook page here.

Friday 25 September 8pm

Jack Nicholls. Poet and Playwright. Meat Songs.

Jack Nicholls is a poet and playwright based in Manchester.

His debut poetry pamphlet, Meat Songs, explores humans’ relationships with animals. His poems have been published in The Poetry Review, The Tangerine, and The Scores. A member of the Royal Court Writer’s Group, his first play Harsh Noise Wall was longlisted for the 2019 Bruntwood Prize.

The voices of humans and animals, living and dead, clamour for the reader’s attention in Meat Songs. Headlice roam their strange habitat, a severed pig’s head questions an undergraduate’s choices, and packaged meat products are ignoring the future.

Tune in to the Chorlton Book Festival Facebook page here.