A new chapter for Plymouth festivals
PLYMOUTH'S geographical location means that it has always had a rich and varied association with the sea.
But in recent years its prominence on the national cultural stage has received a huge boost thanks to events like the British Art Show 7, which was staged here last year.
The first Plymouth International Book Festival will aim to build on the sea-change in the city's cultural fortunes by bringing some of the biggest names from the world of literature and illustration here during September.
It will open a new chapter in the city's events calendar and put it firmly on the literary map alongside other established festivals such as Cheltenham, Edinburgh and Hay-on-Wye.
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From September 15 to 23 dozens of events will be held at venues across the city, including talks and readings, workshops and book signings.
This inaugural festival intends to be a hit with the public in Plymouth and across the South West, and will be the start of something big for the city.
The festival is being promoted through a partnership of Plymouth City Council's Arts Unit, the Plymouth University and Cyprus Well, the South West's literature development agency, with support from Arts Council England, South West.
In 2012 it is sponsored by local and international businesses including Suzanne Sparrow's Plymouth Language School and Bloomsbury Publishing.
This has been a key element of this year's success, and the festival team are excited about gaining even greater levels of support for 2013.
Tracey Guiry, chief executive officer of Cyprus Well, said: "We are very excited about creating this new book festival for Plymouth.
"The festival will bring world class authors and high quality events to the city and will offer something for everyone.
"Because we want this festival to have something special for the many different communities in Plymouth, we are hosting a wide range of writers, poets and illustrators so that we truly have something for everyone to enjoy."
The Plymouth International Book Festival has already launched a "Friends" group, which is open to anyone who would like to support reading and writing activities with young people in Plymouth.
Tickets for all the events are on sale now, and for more information on becoming a Friend you can visit the www.plymouthinternationalbookfestival.com website.