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THE SUNDERLAND LITERATURE FESTIVAL will be launched on Friday 2 October with a screening of ‘Sunderland on Film’ at Sunderland Minster.

World famous former BBC foreign correspondent Kate Adie will share her reflections on being brought up in the city with the audience and guests prior to the first full screening of the hour long film, which traces some of the history of the city since 1904.

The film produced by the North East Film Archive using some material from BFI and working in partnership with the City Council’s Library Service provides a celluloid glimpse of life in the city over the last century (tickets for evening inc refreshments £2 from Local Studies, City Library in Fawcett Street).

A preview available on YouTube will help illustrate the power of the latest medium to carry the written word and pictures. For more information please visit
The festival of literary events and activities at venues across the city throughout October is the largest ever staged in Sunderland, with a programme of mainly free events for all ages details available at

It brings together elements of established October events the Houghton Feast, Black History Month, National Poetry Day and the half-term library activity programme and builds open the city’s successful experience staging large scale events during the National Children’s Book Festival.

The Sunderland Literature Festival 2015 ​​will feature local artists and authors with special guests including Mark Blacklock, Bethan Roberts and Bryan and Mary Talbot describing their work and careers along with workshops, drop-in sessions and talks on everything from painting and poetry to crime writing, comedians and children’s books.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “This is our city’s annual celebration of the written word, and our library service teams are working with cultural partners including the University of Sunderland, North East Film Archives and Washington Arts Centre to provide people with a programme appealing to all tastes and interests.

“The festival includes events staged at some unusual venues with some unusual activities to engage people who wouldn’t usually visit the library, but is also designed to re-engage those who do by getting them involved with other services such as tracing your ancestry and local studies.

” There are many highlights with everyone from criminologists and crime writers to comedians and poets taking part, and I hope people will come along and support this fantastic event.”

A range of diverse settings including  libraries, pubs, supermarkets and community venues will host diverse activities and events including ;
‘Mary Ann Cotton, Murderess or Misunderstood Matriach?’; Retired police superintendent and world renowned criminologist Stephanie Yearnshire will discuss the motives of one the country’s first known serial  killers
 Tiny Tweeties, Rhyme Time, TillytooTales and Story Time; Interactive music, poetry, dance, drama  and storytime for all children and their families
– Time Bandits Battle of Britain;
Experience the sights, sounds of smells of the era with memorabilia and historic re-enactment including  air raid with the Time Bandits theatre group
– Crime Authors Panel;
Lovers of crime fiction can listen to leading authors including  Sheila Quigley, Howard Linskey, Mari Hannah and John Nicholson describe their inspiration, career and literary aspirations  
– ‘Lost Voice Guy’;
Join the winner of the BBC New Comedy Awards 2014 Lee Ridley as he returns to the city here he made his debut as a comedian with disabilities using his personal communication aid and voicebox to share his views and opinions with the world
– Alice in Wonderland;
Among the arts, crafts and story-telling activities bases around the book Lecturer in Victorian Literature Dr Martin Lubois examines Alice at 150: Lewis Carroll and the Invention of Wonderland and the inspiration drawn from the author’s close relationship with a Sunderland clergyman’s family

​Alongside the programme ( there is also the chance to find out more about becoming part of the local readers, writers, local  history and community reminiscence projects with more information available at (