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A New Chapter for the Jersey Festival of Words

September is upon us, which means this year’s Jersey Festival of Words is not far away. Now in our seventh year (having being forced to sit out a couple due to Covid), we find ourselves looking forward to the next chapter in the Festival’s history, while simultaneously looking back at the journey we’ve taken.

Central to this journey are the various venues in which the Festival is staged. As ever, we look forward to returning to the the Jersey Arts Centre and Town Library, which this year boasts an extended run of events beginning on Friday 15th September. The Jersey Lido will also once again play host - to a swimming-themed event with author Freya Bromley - while various secondary schools will open their doors to authors including Amara Sage and Nathanael Lessore as part of our programme for local students.

And there’s a new venue on the block. Between Wednesday 20th and Saturday 23rd September the Freedom Centre, Bath Street, will be hosting a number of visiting authors including Simon Armitage, Sheila Hancock and Michael Morpurgo. Thousands of schoolchildren will also be getting a chance to enjoy the newly-renovated 450-seater auditorium within, as they attend free events with children’s authors including Iszi Lawrence and Jack Meggitt-Phillips.

Islanders with a knowledge of local history (or, for some, a functioning memory) will remember the Freedom Centre as the old Odeon Cinema, which opened in 1952 and ran for fifty years before closure and eventual purchase by the Freedom Church in 2012.

We’re grateful to the Freedom Centre for their assistance in enabling us to utilise the wonderful space inside for this year’s Festival of Words, and look forward to welcoming those keen to enjoy our events while experiencing this fantastic venue, complete with Festival book shop (run by Fox Lane Books), spacious cafe/bar and interval entertainment.

With a run of free readings, workshops and events for families and children scheduled across the road in Millennium Park, we aim to provide something for everyone to enjoy.

It’s the turn of a new chapter for the Festival; we very much hope you’ll join us on the page.

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