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Star writers and performers at Exeter Custom House Quay Words

Published: 24 June 2019

Quay Works Exeter Customs House

Emmy award-winning writer Patrick Gale, leading contemporary novelist Amanda Craig and Raymond Antrobus, winner of the Ted Hughes award, all appear in Exeter as part of an incredible line-up of writers for Quay Words 2019 at Exeter Custom House this summer. Launching on National Writing Day, 26th June, Quay Words is a six-week pilot programme of words and stories programmed by Literature Works on behalf of the Exeter Canal and Quay Trust. It is part of an initiative to explore the potential of Exeter Custom House, a Grade 1 listed building on Exeter’s quayside, as a hub for literature.

Alan Williamson, Chair of Exeter Canal and Quay Trust said,

“We are setting out on a journey to explore the potential of the Custom House as a new centre for literature in the South West. We aim to keep it popular and flexible, with something for everyone, including families, children and schools. The building has a rich heritage, connecting Exeter to international trade and partnership, which we intend to build on through literature, words and other creative activities.”

Quay Words runs from National Writing day on 26th June until 4th August, with a diverse programme of free events, workshops, writing surgeries and readings, featuring both local talent, national stars and publishing industry specialists. There is something for everyone, from story time and rhyme for the under-7s to one-to-one writers’ surgeries and workshops on preparing for publication. Book lovers will enjoy readings and discussions on subjects from place and memory, to Massive Attack and the Bristol scene in the 1980s.

Quay Words writer-in-residence, Louisa Adjoa Parker, will be available every Thursday from 1-3pm for members of the public to pop in and discuss writing, get a few helpful tips and hear about Louisa’s work. Quay Words also welcomes an Icelandic-noir writer, Johann Thorrson, for a weeklong residency funded by the British Council.

With no other dedicated literature house in the South West of England, developing Exeter Custom House as a literature hub has the potential to change the literature landscape of the region. A dedicated space offers development opportunities for emerging writers, employment for established writers and a haven for audiences to experience live literature and discussions. It is a tangible expression of Exeter’s literary ambition to include everyone of all ages and from all walks of life in engaging with literature

Quay Words 2019 was programmed in partnership with a wide range of specialist organisations, who collaborated in hosting events and bringing industry professionals to Exeter. These include Exeter Northcott Theatre, University of Exeter, Arvon, Crediton Community Bookshop, Word Factory, Artemis Storytelling, Exeter Writers, ExeLitFest, Speaking Volumes, Double Elephant, The Literary Consultancy and Papatango.

Full programme:

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