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News Release - Issued by York Literature Festival

York Literature Festival 2015, 19th - 29th March 2015
Inspired by history and politics, football and feminism

Politics, history, football and feminism will be discussed by headlining artists including Dr David Starkey, Jenni Murray, Polly Toynbee and Helen Lederer at this year’s York Literature Festival, which takes place in the city which has provided inspiration for writers for centuries between 19 and 29 March.

York Literature Festival is an established event on the national literary festival scene, and this year celebrates is ninth year with a bigger and more eclectic programme, including talks by many nationally-renowned commentators and writers, workshops with literary agents for aspiring writers, book readings, and events where anyone with a love of the printed word can converse with like-minded enthusiasts.

“Whether you are looking for political insight from some of the country’s best-known commentators like Polly Toynbee and Matthew d’Ancona, stories from behind the microphone from BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour’s Jenni Murray, or hilarious anecdotes from comedienne and star of Absolutely Fabulous, Helen Lederer, there’s an event for you,” comments Festival director, Miles Salter. “We also celebrate many of York’s own literary talent, with a chance to hear from local authors including Joanna Ezekiel, Toni Bunnell and Shash Trevett, an football-themed Evening with The Minster Men, and even walks around the city to find the places where authors have lived and found inspiration within the city walls.”

Highlights include:

• TV historian Dr David Starkey, who will talk about 'York's Place In History' at York Grand Opera House on Sunday 22nd March 2015.
• Polly Toynbee and David Walker will ask if David Cameron has been good or bad for the UK at the launch event at York St John University on March 19th.
• Jenni Murray, presenter of BBC Radio 4's "Woman's Hour" will talk about her life in broadcasting. Novelist Matt Haig will discuss 'Reasons To Stay Alive'.
• An afternoon of music and comedy will feature hilarious poet John Hegley and York band Blackbeard's Tea Party (Grand Opera House, March 22nd).
• A panel discussion about Virginia Woolf, celebrating 100 years since her first book was published in March 1915.
• Helen Lederer, star of Absolutely Fabulous, will talk about her new novel, Losing It.
• Matthew D’Ancona, political journalist, will examine the pitfalls of working with your political enemies as he scrutinises the coalition over the last five years.

“York recently secured the UK’s first designation of UNESCO City of Media Arts, which is relevant to the many authors who are now turning to digital self-publishing as a means of reaching a wider audience, and the literature festival provides a great opportunity for writers from York and beyond to learn from the best about writing for a potentially global audience,” adds Miles.

The festival is sponsored by York St John University, is organised by a dedicated team of 30 people involved. Partner organisations include York Theatre Royal, Visit York, St Peter's School, York Museums Trust, Waterstones, City Screen Cinema and University of York. A dditional support comes from City of York Council's Community York fund.

The full programme can be downloaded now at, with updates posted on Twitter @YorkLitFest


Note to editors: For interview requests, please contact Festival Director Miles Salter. Email: