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Smithdown Litfest 2023

September 17 - September 23

Big names from the worlds of television and books are coming to Liverpool this September for the hugely popular literary festival, The Smithdown Litfest, now in its seventh year.

This year’s special guest appearances include TV legend Chris Tarrant; Tony Schumacher – creator/writer of BBC1’s The Responder; and Lucinda Hawksley talking about her great great great grandfather – Charles Dickens.

There’s also an evening with Brookside and Grange Hill favourite George Christopher, fascinating facts and fun anecdotes from your favourite TV quiz shows with former TV producer Tony Nicholson (author of Sir Ken Dodd’s biography), a pavement plant workshop, and a pub quiz with a difference – winners of the Smithdown Litfest Great Big Quiz at Black Cat Bar and Bottle Shop will go on to the Saturday grand final when the quiz master is none other than Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’s Chris Tarrant!

There are events for children too. Dead Ink Books and So Curious, both on Smithdown Road, are hosting local author Jude Lennon for some storytelling sessions. Meanwhile, children’s author Susan Brownrigg will be visiting St Clare’s Catholic Primary School.

The Litfest takes place from Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd September in these popular venues: Sefton Park Palm House, Ullet Road Unitarian Church, Toxteth Library, Dead Ink Books, St Barnabas Penny Lane, So Curious and the Black Cat Bar and Bottle Shop.

This year the Smithdown Litfest is supported by the Research Institute for Literature and Cultural History, Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, and Liverpool City Council.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Smithdown in Bloom. The funds will be used to buy more planters and plants, to be situated on Smithdown Road, and street corners. This volunteer community project launched earlier this year and the first planters are already installed on Smithdown Road.

Ian Skillicorn, founder and organiser of the Litfest says:

“We’re delighted to welcome these fantastic guests to Liverpool. Come along to enjoy our special events and at the same time you’ll be supporting the ongoing transformation of Smithdown Road!”

Smithdown Litfest patron, crime author Margaret Murphy says:

“The Smithdown Litfest is for those who are passionate about books and those who are just starting on their journey as readers, it is for proud locals, and for visitors exploring our special corner of south Liverpool. So get inspired, have fun, bring your friends.”

Tickets are available online from www.smithdownlitfest.com and on Eventbrite, and in person (card or cash) by calling in to Smithdown Social Arts Hub, 455 Smithdown Road (midday to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday).


Sunday 17th September

Pavement Plant Workshop

Fran Disley, author of Talk to the Garden.

George Christopher

Star of Grange Hill (Ziggy) and Brookside (Little Jimmy).

Dead Ink Books
375 Smithdown Road L15

3pm – 5pm
See deadinkbookshop.com

Monday 18th September

Toxteth Library, Windsor Street L8

7pm – 8.30pm

Tuesday 19th September

Jude Lennon

Children’s storytelling for pre- schoolers.

Dead Ink Books
375 Smithdown Road L15


See deadinkbookshop.com

Wednesday 20th September

The Smithdown Litfest Great Big Quiz
Local quiz night. Final on Saturday 23rd with celebrity quiz master Chris Tarrant.

Black Cat Bar and Bottle Shop
174 Smithdown Road L15

Evening 8pm – 10pm

Thursday 21st September

Tony Schumacher

Creator/writer of BBC police drama The Responder.

Sefton Park Palm House L17

7 – 8.30pm

Friday 22nd September

Jude Lennon

Children’s storytelling for pre- schoolers.

So Curious
270-272 Smithdown Road L15


See so-curious.classforkids.io

Friday 22nd September

Charles Dickens and Travel

With the classic author’s great great great granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley.

St Barnabas Penny Lane Church
Smithdown Place L18

7pm – 8.30pm

Saturday 23rd September

Great British TV Quiz Shows

Fascinating facts and fun anecdotes with TV producer Tony Nicholson.
Includes the final of The Smithdown Litfest Great Big Quiz with quiz master Chris Tarrant.

Ullet Road Unitarian Church
Ullet Road L17

Daytime 2.30 – 4pm

Saturday 23rd September

Chris Tarrant

Celebrating 50 years in showbiz with the TV legend.

Ullet Road Unitarian Church
Ullet Road L17

7pm – 8.30pm


September 17
September 23
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