Award winners, crime writers and Nessa from Gavin & Stacey

The list of "stuff that gets the Confidentials team excited" is pretty varied. There are obviously food dealsrooftop cinema experiences, and wine and crisp tasting menus, but a bloody good book gets us going too. A bit of crime fiction, a dog-eared cookbook, or a classic "then and now" photo collection from our very own Jonathan Schofield. We love 'em all. 

Thankfully, Manchester Literature Festival is back very soon in venues in and around Greater Manchester, and the programme is packed with big names and noteworthy titles. 

Manchester is once again set to be the centre of the literary universe this Autumn

Running from Friday 7 October 'til Sunday 23 October, the festival has achieved that perfect balance between new talent and household names, and this year it includes a cabaret for freedom and some extra events in November. 

Read on for all the info on this year's programme for Manchester Literature Festival 2022.

Ian Rankin Scottish Crime Author Manchester Literature Festival 2022
The king of crime fiction is heading to the RNCM Image: Christchurch City Library via Flickr

Rankin royalty

When it comes to rankin our favourite crime-fiction novelists, a certain Scottish Ian is up there with Wagatha Christie and Mr Patterson. With titles that span throughout the Inspector Rebus series and explore the deep depths of Edinburgh's underbelly, he's a master of the page-turner and he's at this year's Lit Fest.

Because one Scottish icon is never enough, Ian Rankin will be joined by the multi-award-winning Jackie Kay to talk about his newest novel A Heart Full of Headstones. Presented in partnership with Waterstones, the chat will take place at the Royal Northern College of Music on Wednesday 12 October and tickets are £20. 

Ruth Jones Novel Love Untold Manchester Literature Festival 2022
Nessa's got a new novel Image: Ruth Jones

Ladies who literature

Ok, we won't beat around the bush, Ruth Jones (aka Nessa from Gavin & Stacey) is coming to HOME and she's talking all about her writing, her most iconic characters, friendships, feminism, and her newest work Love Untold. Described as "funny and uplifting", the novel is all about mothers and daughters, and the chat will offer some personal insights into Jones' own life too. Tickets are £16 and it all takes place on Friday 21 October. 

Ladies who literature are reigning supreme this year as much-loved actor and writer Sheila Hancock is making an appearance at the Royal Northern College of Music, Women's Prize for Fiction winner Kamila Shamsie is launching her "extraordinary" new novelBest of Friends, and the "master of spellbinding and immersive fiction", Susanna Clarke, will be at Central Library on the final Friday of the festival too. 

Other notable ladies include Natalie Haynes of BBC Radio 4Rebecca Goss, and Mariana Enriquez. Go on girls. 

Manchester Central Library Exterior Shot For Manchester Literature Festival
Central Library is hosting Sylvia Plath's 90th Image: Ricardo via Wikimedia Commons

Poet and we didn't know it

Manchester Literature Fest isn't just about books, books, books, as this year a Cabaret for Freedom will be held at Old Trafford and aims to "celebrate the power of poetry, spoken word and music". Focusing on two of the Caribbean's most celebrated writers, the Cabaret will include a performance from Anthony Joseph and a live reading from Olive Senior. 

Other poetic pieces throughout the festival are going on at Contact with a special showcase featuring the likes of Jackie Kay, Rommi Smith and Keisha Thompson taking place on Saturday 22 October. Sylvia Plath's 90th birthday bash will take place at Central Library with a collection of poems read aloud from After Sylvia: Poems & Essays in Celebration of Sylvia Plath. Happy posthumous 90th Syl. 

International Anthony Burgess Foundation Manchester Literature Festival 2022
Manchester Lit Fest events will run like clockwork thanks to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation Image: International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Burgess, Crawford and Eliot 

If there's one Manc literary figure that deserves a shout out it's Mr Anthony Burgess, and this year the Foundation in his honour will play host to Scottish poet and author Robert Crawford as we celebrate the centenary of T.S. Eliot's epic poem The Waste Land. The lecture will feature Eliot's recently unsealed letters whilst exploring his troubled personal life and his struggles as an "epoch-sharing poet". 

Aaron Blecha Author And Illustrator Manchester Literature Festival 2022
Let Aaron Blecha teach your kiddos to draw zombie cartoons Image: Aaron Blecha

Other bits and bobs

If we were to highlight all of the exciting events in this year's Festival programme this article would be a novel in itself, so, for now, we suggest you download the online brochure and cop some tickets to listen to your faves. 

If you're thinking of taking the kiddos, there are workshops with popular children's author and illustrator Aaron Blecha from Saturday 22 October - Friday 28 October, and a big recycle crafting session as part of this year's Little Reads Family Day at Manchester Central and Hazel Grove libraries. 

Chuck in a bonus event with Women's Fiction Prize winner Maggie O'Farrell later in November and you've got yourself a good time. She'll be in conversation with Kamila Shamsie to discuss her latest novel The Marriage Portrait.

Manchester Literature Festival Programme 2022
Go on, get your bookmarks at the ready Image: Manchester Literature Festival

The blurb

This year's Manchester Literature Festival is running from Friday 7 October - Sunday 23 October and tickets for all of the events are available on the festival's official website.

The venues involved this year include the likes of Contact, HOME, The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Band on the Wall and the Royal Exchange theatre, but there are some other great spots in the 'burbs, to check out too. A full list of venues can be found online as well as the dates, times and locations for each chat and performance. 

As Councillor Luthfur Rahman emphasises, "Manchester is once again set to be the centre of the literary universe this Autumn with a fantastic line-up of must-see authors and events", and we can't wait to embrace our inner bookworm for two whole weeks. 

Header Image: Manchester Literature Festival 

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Read again: Now open: New Century - a new 'social destination' for Manchester

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