The ten best things about Liverpool Literary Festival 2021!

Liverpool Literary Festival runs from October 8 – 10 2021 and is sponsored by Bruntwood and Student Roost. For more information, and to book your tickets, please visit

  • It’s live and in person!

The last 18 months have been so difficult for everyone, but if you are a book lover then there are worlds you can travel to without leaving your house. While our online events programme has done much to inform and entertain throughout the pandemic, we wanted to give people an opportunity to come together around a shared love of literature. So, be part of a live audience, hear successful writers talk passionately just steps away, ask questions and listen to responses in real time without a computer in sight.

  • Spend time in the Victoria Gallery and Museum!

Which leads neatly on to the wonderful setting! While online is great, environment can make so much difference to experience, particularly for events as intimate as literary talks and discussions. So, why not arrive early or stay a little longer and browse the VG&M’s galleries and collections; pick up a glass of wine, or relax with a coffee in the Waterhouse Café.

  • Writers with Merseyside connections!

Tabitha Lasley hails from Wirral, Daniel O’Connor is the University of Liverpool’s Colm Tóibín Lecturer in Creative Writing, Emma Jane Unsworth is a University alumna, Adam Simpson is a Merseyside-based screenwriter, and Caroline Smailes is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow here at the University.

  • Experience the glorious Leggate Theatre!

Legend has it that the Leggate was used by the medical school way back in the mists of time, and it boasts that archetypal, amphitheatre shape that leaps into the imagination when we think of seats of learning. Soak it all in, while listening to and interacting with some of the country’s finest literary minds.

  • Hear from best-selling author, Colm Tóibín!

Colm Tóibín will be live in Liverpool on the eve of the publication of his new book, The Magician. Don’t miss the chance to engage with an international literary star – whose work Brooklyn was transformed into an award-winning film starring Saoirse Ronan – and hear all about his new work before it hits the shops in November.

  • Debut novelists and writers galore!

In 2018, Sally Rooney appeared at Liverpool Literary Festival for an intimate event, and now readers are queueing round the block to buy her latest work, Beautiful World, Where are You? For 2021, we have debut novelist Okechukwu Nzelu, whose work The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney scooped the Betty Trask Award; Tabitha Lasley’s Seastate is her debut publication in memoir form; award-winning poet, Mona Arshi is discussing her debut novel, Somebody Loves You and our very own, Daniel O’Connor will talk about his debut, Nothing, which was published in June this year.

  • Transitions!

Andi Osho played a crucial character in the BBC’s massive hit, Line of Duty and is a familiar face following appearances on Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo, among many others, but she will be appearing at Liverpool Literary Festival as a debut novelist – just like the names mentioned above. Mona Arshi is pivoting from poetry and prose, Caroline Smailes is seeing one of her novels transformed for the big screen and Emma Jane Unsworth is moving from fiction to highly personal memoir.

  • The Great Read!

TV’s Dr Amir Khan will introduce the winners of the University’s short story competition, The Great Read and read new works by first time writers, along the 2021 theme of Changing Natures.

  • Practical tips for budding wordsmiths!

Bernadette McBride on writing short fiction, Adam Simpson on taking ideas from page to screen, Kate Summerscale on writing suspense and mystery, Okechukwu Nzelu on adjusting to literary success, Emma Jane Unsworth on writing non-fiction – there’s so much to inspire as well as entertain at this year’s Liverpool Literary Festival.

  • The University is open!

The University is part of the city, and is starting to bustle with activity after the pandemic enforced lockdown. Everyone organising Liverpool Literary Festival 2021 can’t wait to welcome you – whether you’re returning full of memories or it’s your first time on campus.

Find out more, and book your tickets, at