Archive for the Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival Category

Stoke makes the UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist

Posted in News, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival, theatre with tags , , , , , , , on July 17, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Coventry, Paisley, Sunderland, Swansea and Stoke-on-Trent will compete to host a year-long celebration of art and performance as UK City of Culture 2021.

The final bid has to be submitted by September and the winning city is announced in November/December time.

Really hope Stoke wins this as it would be amazing for the city and a real boost to the area. Unlike the Garden festival back in 1986, this will have longer term benefits for the area as it is city/area wide and not just focused on one site.

Hot Air Literary Festival 2016

Posted in Authors, Books, News, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

A true celebration of outstanding writing and brilliant books, the UK’s only “festival in a factory” Hot Air Literary Festival 2016 returns to the creative surroundings of the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke-on-Trent from 9-11 June and will welcome the very best writers, novelists, poets and playwrights to the city to inspire and foster a love of books and reading.

The Festival opens on Thursday 9 June with one of Britain’s finest novelists Nick Hornby, leading international ceramicist Edmund de Waal, acclaimed Roman historian Mary Beard and Emma Bridgewater herself in conversation at the factory that makes her iconic ceramics to discuss celebrating thirty years of design inspirations.

Joining the line up on Friday 10 June will be one of Channel 4’s most popular presenters Kirstie Allsopp talking about the universal need to make, award winning novelist Meg Rosoff discussing her first book for adults and former England cricketer Graeme Fowler in conversation about his starkly revelatory autobiography. The Festival also marks the upcoming centenary of the Russian Revolution with historian Orlando Figes and Stoke Central MP Tristram Hunt considers the ten cities that made the British Empire

HotAir 2016’s Saturday programme is packed with fun for younger book lovers kicking off with Cressida Cowell, author of the phenomenally successful How to Train Your Dragon series which have now been turned into two hit movies. Cressida will share top tips on becoming an author or illustrator, behind-the-scenes details about how the books became films and promises to help youngsters to learn some Dragonese!

As the stage version of David Walliam’s brilliant book Gangsta Granny hits Stoke’s Regent Theatre the same week as the Festival, kids aged 7 to 11 can get involved in a creative, making workshop based on the show with its designer Jackie Trousdale.

Also on Saturday 11 June, historian Juliet Nicolson takes us through five generations of inspiring women in her family and inspiring gardener, cook and former doctor Sarah Raven shares her new cannon of healthy recipes and Simon Jenkins assesses England’s one thousand greatest houses.

Hot Air 2016 also celebrates local writing talent and the Festival is delighted to welcome Burslem born author Lisa Blower in conversation with Staffordshire University academic Dr Catherine Burgass. We will also be considering Poetic Reflections on Stoke-on-Trent with poets from and inspired by North Staffordshire.

The Festival aims to be a platform for aspiring writers and will showcase young writing talent with Writing West Midlands and hear from London literary agent Juliet Mushens, published local writer Misha Urwin and new author Caroline Lea in a special session about How to Get Published.

Adapting written work for the stage is the topic for discussion with the New Vic Theatre’s Theresa Heskins and writer Geraldine McCaughrean and Around the Footlights with Mick Escott considers the North Staffs theatre’s contribution in the context of the national stage scene.

This year’s festival finale, hosted by Emma Bridgewater, celebrates the phenomenon of the BBC2’s Great British Pottery Throw Down with renowned potter and judge Keith Brymer-Jones, plus finalists from the programme to discuss the spotlight the show has shone on The Potteries.

“The Festival is now firmly established as an annual, cultural highlight for Stoke-on-Trent and the support shown by audiences to make it a success is real triumph,” says Festival Trustee Matthew Rice. “We are absolutely delighted with the superb line up of top name authors coming to Stoke this summer and look forward to welcoming book lovers from far and wide to the Factory in June.”

Tickets for the Hot Air Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival are on sale from 10am on Monday 22 February 2016. For more information and to book visit or contact the New Vic Theatre on tel: 01782 313313 or at the theatre box office.

Hot Air Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival 2015 12th-13th June

Posted in Authors, Books, News, Stoke City, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival with tags , , , , , on June 7, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Another strong line-up for the second Stoke literary festival including Michael Palin’s first visit to Stoke!


The first Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival took place in June 2014 and was the first of its kind in the area, giving local people the opportunity to find out more about the art and craft of writing and the joys of reading.

The festival in the factory, also known as Hot Air giving a nod to Stoke-on-Trent’s historic background, is held at the Emma Bridgewater Factory on Lichfield Street in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Festival returns on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th June 2015 featuring a programme of 15 authors, film makers and performers discussing reading, writing, the creative process and their latest releases, giving festival goers the opportunity to debate with and meet some of the country’s leading writers.

Visiting the Hot Air Literary Festival this year are former Labour party chief spokesman and strategist Alastair Campbell, actor, adventurer and Python Michael Palin and former Home Secretary and much admired author Alan Johnson, author and biographer Dame Margaret Drabble, journalist, political biographer Charles Moore, historian and broadcaster William Dalrymple and award winning writer Sathnam Sanghera.

Celebrating Stoke on Trent’s contribution to the creative arts more widely, this year’s festival includes poetry, performance and the event’s first film screening with a special showing of triple BAFTA TV nominated “Marvellous”, the Neil (Nello) Baldwin story, including an audience with Neil Baldwin and director Peter Bowker as Saturday evening’s finale. There will also be a special debate chaired by Matthew Rice to debate the city’s cultural contribution.

Other events include a discussion with local literature specialist Catherine Burgass and filmmaker Ray Johnson about the work of Stoke poet Arthur Berry, Staffordshire author Joss Musgrove Knibb brings to life the First World War experiences of four Staffordshire regiment soldiers and Lucy Cufflin hosts a baking demonstration using the kitchen cafe Aga.

Supporting literacy is a very important element of the Hot Air Festival and ahead of the event a series of special poetry and illustration workshops will be taking place in city schools. With our media partner The Sentinel, the “Too Write” creative writing competition also makes a welcome return with winners being announced at the festival by patron Andy McNabb.

The 2014 event was a great success and we look forward to welcoming back many of you who came last year and new visitors too. Tickets for all events will be available to book from Saturday 11 April.

Begovic set to leave in the summer?

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival, The Premiership with tags , , on May 13, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

According to the Daily Telegraph contract talks have stalled with Asmir Begovic and he looks set to leave the club in the summer. He currently has a year left on his contract. Chelsea and Real Madrid have already been linked with him.

Former Stoke player Adam Rooney joins the Republic Of Ireland squad after his impressive goals tally with Aberdeen this season.

Ricardo Fuller is after a new club after being released by relegated Millwall.

Hot Air 2014 – Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival

Posted in Authors, Books, crime writers, Hot Air 2014, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Yes at long last my hometown gets its own literary festival Hot Air 2014. It takes place between 20th and 22nd June 2014 at the Emma Bridgewater factory on Lichfield Street.

Events wise there is Melvyn Bragg (22nd June 4:30pm), Andy McNabb (20th June at 4pm – will he wear a cardboard cut-out across his eyes like on his book covers?) and Joanna Trollope ( 21st June 7:30pm), along with a crime fiction panel and many more authors, further details can be found here

Here is the latest press release:

Following on from the initial launch last month festival goers will be able to purchase event tickets from a reasonable cost of £6 per event to ensure that the festival is accessible to anyone who wishes to come along and share their passion of books, writing and reading.

Too Write Stoke, a creative writing competition in association with The Sentinel, launched in February has already seen an outstanding number of entries with winners being announced during the festival weekend.

The regionally focused competition will have three categories in which people can enter from the under 11’s, under 18’s and adults with the key theme being Stoke-on-Trent. Winners will receive a commemorative trophy produced by Emma Bridgewater, a kindle, book tokens and £200 will be given to the under 18’s schools in support of reading and writing.

Andy McNab, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival Patron, commented: “I’m the perfect example of how reading and literacy can change your life, so to be involved with a festival that’s main focus is to make books more accessible and promote literacy to local people is something that I very am keen to be a part of.

“I was thrilled to be asked to be the patron of Stoke-on-Trent’s Literary Festival and feel that my experiences and knowledge lend well to the key messages that the festival is aiming to deliver.”

Tristram Hunt, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central and Shadow Education Secretary, said: “It’s exciting to see such a strong line up of so many well known authors coming to Stoke-on-Trent. The festival is a great way for the city to celebrate the art and craft of writing and the joys of reading in an area that is renowned for its creativity.

“It will not only be of great benefit to local people from an educational point of view but will also help to put Stoke-on-Trent on the literary map. From events that draw focus upon Stoke’s literary heritage to those that have been set within the city’s surroundings the festival programme will provide an exciting forum for all those that attend.”