James Herbert

Writing on the Wall are sad to receive the news of the passing of James Herbert. James was due to appear in the In Other Words Festival in April, alongside Ramsey Campbell. 
James Herbert the legendary master of horror, (The Fog, The Dark, Haunted, The Rats Trilogy, The Secret of Crikey Hall), wrote twenty-three novels and was published in thirty-four languages. He sold more than forty-eight million copies worldwide. His latest book, Ash, was published just last week. 
Writing on the Wall sends our condolences to James’ family and friends. Read More. 


A Rebel Rant with Janet Street-Porter

Fantastic news! Our next Rebel Ranter will be Janet Street-Porter, media personality, journalist and broadcaster, who will talk about why class still matters in our next Rebel Rant - A Class Act.
A Rebel Rant with Janet Street-Porter: A Class Act
Friday 3rd May, 7.30pm
Everyman Playhouse, Williamson Square, Liverpool, L1 1EL
£10.00/£8.00 concessions

Tickets available here.

In Other Words Festival

Over the past few months, Writing on the Wall has been helping to curate In Other Words Festival, one of the UK’s biggest ever celebrations of literature and spoken word art, which will see the re-opening of Central Library, after a two year restoration. The festival will feature local, national and international writers, artists and performers.

James Herbert, Melvyn Bragg, Janet Street-Porter, Roger McGough and Brian Patten are just some of the top names at the In Other Words festival,a city-wide month-long celebration of the written and spoken word, curated by Culture Liverpool in partnership with Writing on the Wall, which marks the re-opening of Liverpool’s newly refurbished Central Library on Friday 17 May.
For further details of In Other Words Festival click here.

For more information and to book tickets for WoW events in the In Other Words Festival click here.

Who Needs the Cuts? Book Launch

Who Needs the Cuts?The United Kingdom, like other countries, is embarking on an unprecedented round of spending cuts. Talk of deficits, the national debt, quantitative easing and other economic terminology is presented to the public as evidence that there is a vital need for some of the most drastic public sector cuts we have ever faced.
In Who Needs the Cuts? Barry Kushner argues there is an alternative story that is not being told. There is a view of the economic events of the past five years that does not see the UK in debt crisis. It offers choice, differences of opinion, uncertainty and hope. It takes us on a different voyage, one beyond economics into politics and visions of society, our expectations and ambitions. Unfortunately, it’s a story that is been ignored in the face of phantom risks and delusional hopes.

Early Festival Announcement

Writing on the Wall is pleased to announce our first guest name in our WoW Festival 2013, in partnership with RISE, T.S. Eliot Prize Winner John Burnside! John will be performing alongside Rita Ann Higgins at HMP Liverpool and in the evening as part of the WoW Festival on 9th May, so put it in your diaries!

Writing on the Wall Festival will take place from 1st May to 31st May, stay tuned for more info.


George Garrett Archive

Writing on the Wall wins Heritage Lottery Support for George Garrett Archive Project

Writing on the Wall are delighted to announce they have won the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund to celebrate and preserve the legacy of the neglected Liverpool born writer, George Garrett (1896-1966)

George Garrett, Merchant Seaman, writer, playwright and founder member of Liverpool’s Unity Theatre, was a radical activist and a ‘militant advocate of tolerance’ who travelled the world and wrote a series of short stories and plays that led George Orwell, who he met and gave guidance and support to in his research for ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’, to say, 'I was very greatly impressed by Garrett. Had I known before that it is he who writes under the pseudonym of Matt Low in the Adelphi (a magazine published in the 1920's and 30's) and one or two other places, I would have taken steps to meet him earlier.' His importance in the literary 'canon' of working class literature is also supported by a leading scholar of working class writing, Professor John Lucas from Nottingham Trent University, who states that, 'Garrett is probably the most notable working-class writer of his time'.


In Other Words Festival

Writing on the Wall
to help curate Liverpool City Council’s
‘In Other Words’ Literary Festival

Writing on the Wall have been invited to help curate the ‘In Other Words’ Festival, which will celebrate the reopening of the newly refurbished Central Library.

The festival, celebrating the written and spoken word will launch on Tuesday 23 April to coincide with World Book Night and will run until Sunday 19 May which marks the end of National Children’s Book Week.

© Colin LaneMadeline Heneghan, Writing on the Wall Festival Director, says:

‘We are delighted to have been asked to help curate this festival and be associated with the reopening of the Central Library. We are already developing a programme featuring the best of Liverpool writing and work with the City Council to ensure communities across the city are engaged and represented in what should be a fabulous month.’

The annual Writing on the Wall Festival that traditionally runs throughout May will still take place, with events happening both within and outside of the ‘In Other Words’ Festival. This spring promises to bring a treat for all fans of writing and literature in Liverpool.
Arts organisations, businesses, community groups and schools are being called upon to get involved and support the festival. Anyone wishing to propose ideas for events can submit them by clicking here for the events form or going to and sending their idea in to the City Council by Monday 25 February.


Writing on the Wall 2012: A Year in Review

The past twelve months have been a strong period of development and expansion for Writing on the Wall, during which we have developed new partnerships and launched and delivered a number of new projects and events. Our status as a new Portfolio organisation in April 2012 caused a great stir in the city and delight amongst our audience and supporters. The status has consolidated WoW’s centrality to the cultural offer of the city and the region. As a result, and in line with our development over the past number of years, WoW’s physical and online audience has continued to grow.  ACE portfolio funding has enabled WoW to maintain its core staff capacity and to employ our first ever Writer in Residence, Paula Currie. In another first for WoW in 2012 we were commissioned to curate a second festival, Sefton Celebrates Writing, which took place in venues across the borough from the 5th to the 11th of November.  Writing on the Wall, now in its 13th year, is the only remaining Writing/Literature Festival in Liverpool. This, against a harsh economic background and a range of cuts directed at arts and culture based organisations, is something we are immensely proud of, and we offer our thanks to all our sponsors, funders and supporters in helping us achieve this.

Looking back at the year 2012

Pulp Idol Launch

Pulp Idol - Firsts 2012 was launched this Monday at Day & Night Café, St James Street, to a wonderful crowd of entrants, judges and Pulp Idol supporters from across Merseyside. The night, hosted by Paul Darby, kicked off with an introduction by Mike Morris, Pulp Idol Project Manager and Editor, and then a reading by Helen Walsh on behlf of 2012 winner Jon Gale's first chapter of Albion. Delia Brady-Jacobs read on behalf of Andrew an inmate at HMP Liverpool, a runner-up in the final. Editors Penny Feeny and Jenny Newman introduced entrants Lorna Hutchison and Adam Baird respectively, who both gave fantastic readings of their chapters. This was a fitting end to the year for Writing on the Wall, publishing 11 new writers as part of our commitment to developing and promoting new writing.

Download a copy of this year's Pulp Idol Firsts for only 77p! 2010 & 2011 editions also available on Kindle.

'This year's Pulp Idol yielded some of the most powerful and original prose I've read in a long time. A truly notable collection of Firsts.'  - Helen Walsh, Brass, Go to Sleep, Once Upon a Time in England

'The standard of the entries I read at this year’s Pulp Idol was exceptional. It’s a superb competition, seeking talent in places where many don’t think to look, and the variety of the writing I was introduced to impressed me enormously.' - Luke Brown, Senior Editor, Tindal Street Press

'New writers pen their first chapters, and judging by this standard, the future of the novel is in good hands.' - Debbie Morgan, Disappearing Home


What's Your Story?

Taster sessions:

Monday 3rd December afternoon 12:30-2:30pm or evening 6-8pm
at Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre

and Tuesday 11th December 10-12pm
at Croxteth Communiversity

Everybody has a story to tell. What’s yours? 

Hillsborough: Speaking Truth to Power

Hillsborough: Speaking Truth to Power with Phil Scraton St George’s Hall 21/11/12.

by Cath Bore

Phil Scraton
Over 400 people gathered at St Georges Hall Concert Room for WoW’s ‘Speaking Truth to Power’, with Hillsborough Independent Panel member and the report’s main author, Phil Scraton.

WoW, through gaining support from Liverpool City Council and Arena Housing, managed to ensure that the whole evening was free.

WoW Director, Madeline Heneghan, explained that WoW saw it as, ‘almost a public duty to try and give the families and the general public access to Phil, and to hear from him some of the detail behind this incredible report from the Hillsborough Independent Panel.’

It certainly achieved that.

If you gathered all of the families and friends of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster and asked them for their stories, you’d get a uniform shared sense of loss. Understandable. Predictable, even. But if you explored each individual’s journey over the past 23 years, every complex story of grief, disbelief, betrayal, hurt, anger, loss and a myriad of other emotions, would be quite unique. 

Long term supporter of the families Phil Scraton spoke on Wednesday night at St George’s Hall about his own journey, specifically as a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel over the last couple of years.

On Wednesday, there was a sense of satisfaction in the room.  A true smashing of myths.

Liverpool is a self-pity city. Hardly; the panel’s report says the families were right, all along. They were right.
Fans were drunk and brought the disaster upon themselves. Scraton points out the levels of alcohol in victims’ blood were less than you’d find in the attendees at the theatre.

Contact WoW

Address:  Toxteth Library, Windsor Street, Liverpool, L8 1TH
Map: Click Here for our location page

Tel:  0151 703 0020

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