Liverpool Literary Festival returns this October with half price student tickets

Logo for Liverpool Literary Festival

Liverpool Literary Festival returns next month, showcasing an eclectic range of authors from Frank Cottrell-Boyce to Olivia Harrison (wife of the late George Harrison) – with VIP weekend and day festival passes available for the first time. 

As a University of Liverpool student, you can also access half price tickets for all individual events (excluding ‘In conversation with Ann Cleeves’), using code UOLSTUDENT. Take a look through the programme and book your tickets here.

Speaking of the festival, which will run from 7-9 October, Festival Director, Professor Dinah Birch said: “It’s a real delight to be bringing our Liverpool Literary Festival back for its seventh year.  

“We have a terrific programme, with something to offer for everyone, whatever their interests – crime writing, poetry, fantasy, short stories, new fiction from new writers – in the beautiful surroundings of the iconic Victoria Gallery & Museum.”

Festival highlights

Friday, 7 October

The festival opens with Ann Cleeves, best-selling British crime writer – and the imagination behind successful TV adaptations, Shetland and Vera – delivering the Liverpool Literary Lecture, which this year takes place in the brand new, state-of-the-art Tung Auditorium, within the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre. 

Saturday, 8 October

Liverpool-born Lauren John Joseph opens a packed Saturday to discuss their first novel, At Certain Points We Touch, a story of first love and last rites, conjured against a vivid backdrop of London, San Francisco and New York. Lauren, who now lives in London, made waves with their plays Boy in a Dress and A Generous Lover, and the experimental prose volume Everything Must Go. 

We then hear from some of the freshest voices in Irish contemporary fiction, as the winners of this year’s John McGahern Annual Book Prize are revealed, before award-winning novelist and short story writer, David Szalay takes to the stage on his first ever visit to the city. 

Patrick Gale opens a bumper Saturday afternoon, discussing his new work Mother’s Boy. He is followed by Liverpool-born poet, author and academic, Malik Al Nasir, whose newly-published Letters to Gil reveals the extraordinary influence the legendary Gil Scott-Heron had on his life following a chance meeting. 

Saturday continues with generational talent, Joanna Trollope, who will reflect on her 30 years at the top of the fiction-writing industry. 

The evening will be rounded off with writer and producer, Olivia Harrison presenting her book Came the Lightening, in which she dedicates twenty poems to her late husband George Harrison to mark the twentieth anniversary year of his passing.  

This memorable series of poems examines the intimacy and emotional connection of their relationship and is accompanied by a selection of photographs and mementos curated by Olivia, including some never-before-seen images of herself and George. 

Sunday, 9 October

New adult fantasy author, son of the city and University of Liverpool alumnus Quillem McBreen, will start proceedings on the final day, introducing his debut novel The Tenets of Truth. Sunday will also feature a new generation of budding writers as the winners of the University’s Great Read competition are introduced.  

Liverpool graduate, published writer and founder of the Liverpool Literary Agency, Clare Coombes, will be sharing her insights around securing a book deal and how to break into the publishing industry. Clare will then be joined in a lively panel discussion with Steph Sowden, whose debut novel After Everything You Did, explores the question of whether killers are born or made. Also joining the discussion is David Beckler, who, thanks to the Liverpool Literary Agency, has just secured a three-book deal with Amazon Publishing.

Merseyside favourite Frank Cottrell-Boyce returns to the festival to discuss his unique journey from James Bond to Michael Bond. The man behind Millions wrote the 007 segment for the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony and the hugely popular segment of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations this Summer, where the Queen met Paddington Bear. 

The festival then wraps up by welcoming multi-million best-selling author Adele Parks MBE, to discuss her latest novel, One Last Secret

Liverpool Literary Festival takes place between October 7-9 at the Victoria Gallery & Museum on Brownlow Hill. To find out more, and reserve your tickets, please visit