Peaky Blinders, murder mystery and World War One exploration on the bill as Sunderland Literature Festival details announced

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Sunderland's rich literary talent and heritage will be celebrated along with some of the nation's most-loved stories at the annual Sunderland Literature Festival.

The festival, which features local authors, local artists and local themes, will include an opening evening of murder, mystery and guesswork, a performance marking the centenary of the ending of World War One, and look at the struggles and successes of the suffragette movement.

The festival, which is organised by Sunderland Libraries Services in partnership with the University of Sunderland, School of Culture, begins on Friday September 28 and runs through until Saturday November.

Councillor John Kelly, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture said: "The city has a real wealth of literary and creative talent which we should all be proud of and it's only right that we should celebrate that.

“What’s really great about this year’s festival is that we have such a wide range of themes and events on offer with something for everyone.

"The majority of the events are free so I'd urge everyone to have a look through the programme to see what they're interested in and to come along and join in."

Folk artist Jez Lowe

Folk artist Jez Lowe

World War One play The Muddy Choir, written by award winner Jesse Briton and a conference entitled Propaganda, Revolution and Victory at the University of Sunderland will commemorate Armistice Day and the end of World War One.

The conference will take place on Saturday October 13. Key note speakers include Peter Hart, author of The Last Battle: Endgame on the Western Front and Taylor Dowling, author of Secret Warriors: Key Scientists, code Breakers and Propagandists of the Great War.

Popular folk artist Jez Lowe and North East poet Scott Tyrell will both perform their work.

There is also the chance to bring along any old film footage, to see if this can be part of a major Search & Rescue project with North East Film Archive.

Staff will be on hand with video players and hand winders to enable these to be seen once again. Short archive film screenings will also be played.

For those who like historical costume, Meridith Towne will be talking about working women’s battle for the vote. There is even a Peaky Blinders interactive session with the Time Bandits.

Other highlights include:

- University of Sunderland lecturers Colin and Alison Younger launch 'Grimmer Fairy Tales'

- British-Asian writer A.A. Dhand talking about work set against a background of crime and inter-communal challenges

- Time Bandits’ talk on the Last 100 days before Armistice.

- Ancestry taster sessions

- Local author Jane Lowes talks about her debut book “Horse keeper’s Daughter”

- Creative writing workshop with self-published author, Jamie Richards

- Time for Rhyme sessions and craft activities for children

- Dyslexia Awareness sessions in partnership with Sunderland Social Inclusion & Dyslexia Project.

Visit: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/whats-on-in-libraries for a programme and more information on the festival.