• Andrew Michael Hurley
  • Professor Deryn Rees-Jones
  • Joseph Delaney
  • Jan Graffius
  • The curator with Shakespeare First Folio
  • Peter Spafford
Events & Speakers | Posted 20.04.2016

The Stonyhurst Literature Festival 2016


The third Stonyhurst Literature Festival will take place on April 21, 22 and 23. Twelve speakers will cover a wide range of topics and texts over three days, to give this Literature Festival a taste for every palette. Speakers will including the Costa First Novel award winner, Andrew Michael Hurley, who will talk about The Loney, his gothic novel set on the northwest coast.

The Stonyhurst Literature Festival programme includes a broad range of topics will include science fiction, crime, historical fiction and poetry. Subjects as diverse as Lancashire folklore and the psychology of Jane Austin’s characters will be explored, and there will also be advice on writing and publishing novels. Stonyhurst’s copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio will be exhibited, commemorating 400 years since his death, and the College’s curator, Jan Graffius, will talk about how the Jesuits censored Shakespeare.

Members of the public are welcome. All events are free of charge.


Professor Deryn Rees-Jones: Readings: 10.00 am Bayley Room

Deryn Rees – Jones has published four well-received volumes of poetry. She was named as a Next Generation poet by the Poetry Book Society in 2005 and currently holds the chair of creative writing at the University of Liverpool. She will be reading from recent work and discussing her collaboration with the artist Charlotte Hodes in commemorating the life and work of Helen Thomas

Joseph Delaney: The Wardstone Chronicles: 11.30am Centenaries Theatre

Joe Delaney’s novels, beginning with The Spooks Apprentice, are inspired by our local Lancashire folklore and countryside and have been translated into twenty six languages.

Tom Toner. The Realities of Life as a Writer:  2.15pm Top Refectory

Tom Toner’s debut novel, The Promise of the Child  has been haled as “a languid, thoughtful, space opera.” We are delighted that he is to share his innovative ideas in a series of workshops and readings.

Jan Graffius  MA FSA: Exhibition –Shakespeare’s The First Folio in The Bayley Room at on 3.45 pm  (and 8.45 am on Friday April 22nd).

Jan Graffius is Curator of Collections at Stonyhurst College. She has lectured widely on Shakespeare’s First Folio and presented Radio 4 programmes with Neil MacGregor, she curates exhibitions nationally and internationally and her work was recently published in the TLS.


Andrew Michael Hurley: Dark Places: Landscape in British Gothic. 6.30pm Top Refectory,

We are honoured to be hosting the Costa First Novel award winner to talk about The Loney. (“It’s an amazing piece of fiction”: Stephen King; “Modern classics in this genre are rare, and instant ones even rarer; The Loney, however, looks as though it may be both”: Sunday Telegraph)

Jan Graffius  MA FSA:  Exhibition – Shakespeare’s The First Folio. 8.45 am The Bayley Room

 Tom Toner. Sci-Fi Writing Workshop:  10.00 am AV Room

 Jan Graffius  MA FSA: Lady Macbeth is Uncle Donald: How the Jesuits censored Shakespeare. 11.30 am Top Refectory

Dr Ian Chapman Amazonian Jumble: Self-publishing in the Digital Age:  2.15pm, Top Refectory

Ian Chapman holds a PhD in Creative writing and is a lecturer at the University of Cumbria. Fascinated by how stories can be told in different ways he has developed Northumbrian Westerns.

Deborah Swift: The World of Samuel Pepys. 3.45pm, Top Refectory

Deborah Swift is a prolific writer of historical fiction.  Her book The Lady’s Slipper was shortlisted for the Impress Prize in 2010 and she has recently ventured into young adult fiction. Here she outlines the significance of Pepys diary and his eye-witness accounts of The Plague and The Great Fire of London.


Tom Toner.

Sci-Fi Writing Workshops: 8.45am Centenaries Theatre

Melinda Hammond: Bringing fiction to life: A Workshop: 10.00am Bayley Room

Inspiration & Interpreting History: 11.30 am Top Refectory

Melinda Hammond is winner of the Reviewers Choice Award, 2005, the Historical Novel Society’s Editors Choice, 2006, the CataNetwork Reviewers Choice award, 2010 and the RNA’s RoNA Rose Award in 2012 and 2013. She has written over twenty novels.

Peter Spafford:  A Right Old Writing Life: 1.30 Top Refectory

Interspersed with readings from his new collection of poems, Peter Spafford talks about his work as a jobbing freelance writer. His work has been produced in theatres, cathedrals, museums, arts centres, day centres, prisons, streets, schools, on television and on the radio.

Adrienne Green: What would Jane Do? 3.00pm Top Refectory

Adrienne Green is a psychotherapist specialising in stress, anxiety and depression. Having written the highly acclaimed Out of the Blue, she is to address the festival on the psychology of Jane Austen’s characters; the subject of her current research.

Dr. George Green: How to write a Novel and get it Published. 4.00pm Top Refectory

A lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, George Green is the author of Writing a Novel and Getting it Published For Dummies and of Hawk and Hound, which draw on his love of ancient history.

Robin Blake: On Writing: 6.30pm Top Refectory

Robin Blake is a prolific and eclectic writer of fiction, non fiction, journalism and radio plays. His Cragg and Fidelis crime novels have received wide acclaim and his biographies of Stubbs and Van Dyck are lauded for their scholarly detail.