Liverpool’s WoWFest begins

Liverpool’s longest running annual literary festival WoWFEST starts today, Wednesday 1 May.

On until Friday 31 April, WoWFEST: FAHRENHEIT 2024 takes its name from Ray Bradbury’s  dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and this year, the University of Liverpool is proud to host a selection of festival events.

Described by novelist Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) as “the best writing festival in the world”, WoWFest unites writers, artists and audiences to explore and address issues including conflict and the climate emergency.

University of Liverpool events are:

Jon Ronson: Things Fell Apart
Friday 3 May, 7.30pm
Live Online Event
The Tung Auditorium, Yoko Ono Lennon Centre
Click to book tickets

Jon Ronson, award-winning writer and broadcaster, is (virtually) in town! The Culture Wars have torn up the ‘normal’ dividing lines in society and ripped up old-style political playbooks. Jon Ronson is the international go-to for all info on the culture wars and the warriors on the battlefield. Jon’s Radio 4 Podcast Things Fell Apart, now in its second series, reveals some truly astonishing stories as he draws out the threads of the origins of the culture wars and interviews some of its main players. Don’t miss this unique chance to hear from Jon himself, appearing live, virtually from New York, revealing further insights from his work – from COVID conspiracies and Antifa hysteria, to racial and gender identity politics, free speech and protests against lockdown that spiralled out of control, and answering your most pressing questions.

Hosting the event will be award-winning journalist, producer and director Ben Zand.

Stephen Small
Tuesday 7 May, 7pm
Victoria Gallery & Museum Café
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Join Stephen Small, professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in conversation with Writing on the Wall’s Creative Heritage Project Manager Janaya Pickett to discuss his new book, In the Shadows of the Big House: Twenty-First-Century Antebellum Slave Cabins and Heritage Tourism in Louisiana (Atlantic Migrations and the African Diaspora). For Liverpool, a city only recently coming to terms with its immeasurable debt to enslaved Africans, and grappling with how to represent its slavery history, this event could not be more relevant.

It’s the End of the World and They Knew It: Dystopia – Then vs. Now
Monday 13 May (sessions at 11am, 1pm and 3pm)

Special Collections and Archives: Science Fiction Hub, Sydney Jones Library
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WoW is partnering with the University of Liverpool to explore the history of dystopian literature, entering the archives to trace the evolution of the genre from the nineteenth century right through to contemporary fiction. This presentation features rare materials from the University’s collection, followed by a dystopian fiction-writing workshop where you can craft your own narrative. How do you think the world will end?

Creative Heritage Day
Saturday 18 May, 12pm – 4pm

Victoria Gallery & Museum
Click to book tickets

For over a decade WoW’s Creative Heritage Project has worked close with archivists, museums and libraries to explore the diverse working-class cultures of Liverpool and beyond, seeking to preserve and promote marginalised histories. Creative Heritage Day 2024 will showcase a range of its highly successful endeavours, including the George Garrett archive, the Great War to Race Riots project, the L8 archive project and the Dorothy Kuya archive project. Guests will have a chance to experience a ‘living library’ through a vast collection of materials and the chance to chat with subject specialists.

For more information and to book tickets to our other events across the Liverpool city region visit