BEST-selling authors will descend on Liverpool today at the start of the city’s inaugural In Other Words literary festival.
Jeanette Winterson, Philippa Gregory, Jasper Fforde, and Patrick Ness are among the household names taking part in World Book Night.
The annual national literary celebration, which aims to introduce books and reading to people who don’t often read, is centred around Liverpool for 2013.
And as well as talks and readings at St George’s Hall tonight, 400,000 copies of 20 specially-chosen books – from Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring to Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale – will be handed out by volunteers nationwide.
Among those appearing tonight is Frank Cottrell Boyce, who will take part in readings and discussions with Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay, and also talk about his role in creating the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Today he said: “Books were such an important part of the opening ceremony. I think this evening is going to be fun.”
While thousands of books are being given away for World Book Night, Liverpool-based publisher Wordscapes is running what it describes as a “guerrilla book swap” entitled Spreading the Word throughout the In Other Words festival.
Special bookplates have been created by Wallasey’s LT Printing Group and people can collect a bookplate from businesses at the Albert Dock and in the city centre, stick them in a book they want to swap and leave it for someone else to find and read.
Liverpool’s In Other Words festival is a collaboration between Writing on the Wall and the city’s culture team, and includes dozens of events between now and May 19.
It was organised to celebrate the reopening of the city’s Central Library on May 17.
Writers involved in the event include Melvyn Bragg, Janet Street Porter, Ramsey Campbell, Maureen Lee, Kevin Sampson, Ian McMillan, Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Erica James.
Writing on the Wall’s Madeline Heneghan said: “From the feedback we’re getting and the way tickets for events are flying out I think we’ve achieved our goal of having something for everyone in the In Other Words festival. It’s going to be hectic but very exciting .”
For the full programme visit www.itsliverpool.com/culture