Words spread from festival across county

Top authors will be appearing at events in Alnwick for the second year of Words Across Northumberland, a spin-off of Hexham Book Festival.

In a new partnership with Alnwick Playhouse, two talk and book signing events will take place next Friday and Saturday nights.

The first evening sees an appearance from Lionel Shriver.

She is famous for her disturbing and powerful We Need To Talk About Kevin, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction and subsequently made into a film with Tilda Swinton.

Her new book Big Brother is tipped as ‘one to watch in 2013’. Exploring the social, psychological and economic issues surrounding obesity with chilling effect, Shriver does not shy away from the issues surrounding family loyalties when they come into conflict with those of a marriage.

It will be followed by an event featuring Maggie O’Farrell.

The Costa award-winning novelist talks about her new book: Instructions for a Heatwave.

A portrait of an Irish family in crisis – July 1976 in London, it hasn’t rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper, but doesn’t come back.

Both evenings start at 7.30pm and cost £6 for adults or £4 for students/children.

A further event, on Friday, June 21, featuring TV historian Dan Snow talking on Battle Castles: 500 years of knight and siege warfare, is also tied into the festival.

Tickets cost £10 or £8 concessions.

The Alnwick Garden, which hosted a night with Chocolat author Joanne Harris last year, is also getting involved.

Vivienne French is set to judge a creative writing competition for schools, resident authors talk about their work and Sally Gardner will be bringing Words from the Garden.

Further afield, libraries and mobile libraries will play host to visiting authors across the wilder parts of the county.

Tickets for the events at the Alnwick Playhouse are available from the box office in person, by calling 01665 510898 or through the online box office at www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk