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Literature lover - Bestselling romantic novelist joins Rochdale’s festival line up

Press release   •   Jun 19, 2014 15:19 BST

Bestselling romantic comedy novelist, Chrissie Manby has confirmed an appearance at this year’s Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.

Chrissie, who is signed to one of the UKs leading book publishers, Hodder & Stoughton, will perform readings and present a writing workshop during the final day of the three day festival – on Sunday 26 October.

Chrissie, author of titles including ‘Kate’s Wedding’ and ‘What I Did on My Holidays’ had her first story published in Just Seventeen magazine when she was fourteen years old.  She wrote her first novel, Inspirations, after being inspired by fellow writer, David Garnett. David, a well-respected science fiction writer, dared her to try her hand at writing erotic fiction, leading her to produce subsequent love themed novels, firstly under pseudonyms and then finally as herself.   

Currently Manby possesses 29 titles under four different pennames - she also writes as Stephanie Ash, Stella Knightley and Olivia Darling - and has gained rave reviews from popular magazines and newspapers.  This month she launched her new book – ‘A Proper Family Holiday’.

Raised in Gloucteser, Chrissie now lives in London, but will be making the trip to Rochdale for the festival which runs from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 October, with a feast of events covering drama, comedy, dance, music, theatre, films, visual arts and children’s shows. 

She last visited Rochdale three years ago when promoting ‘Kates Wedding’ and says she can’t wait to return and appear at the new festival:

“Although I love writing, it’s also fun to get out and talk about my work, getting the instant response from an audience.  From what I’ve heard, last year’s Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival was superb and I’m thrilled to be part of 2014’s great line-up.”

Councillor Neil Emmott, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Neighbourhoods at Rochdale Borough Council said:

“I am pleased that this popular festival is returning … it has an important role to play in promoting the arts, attracting visitors, but most importantly encouraging people young and old to discover the joys of reading and philosophy.  Rochdale has a great heritage and is a perfect destination for the event.”

Chrissie Manby joins the line up alongside the previously announced, singer/songwriter Lucy Spraggan, comedian Dave Spikey, poet Ian McMillan and writer Jackie Kay. 

The festival will include guest speakers, authors, writers and local arts organisations and is aimed at encouraging more people to engage in reading and philosophy. It will include events at venues in Rochdale town centre and boroughwide, aimed at all ages.

More authors, acts, performers and workshops will be confirmed later this month. 

The festival is due to the generosity of Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, and originally met in Rochdale Library. They left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature, and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

For information about appearing at the festival or getting involved in other ways, email

For festival updates on Twitter connect with @RochdaleLitFest

The festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, funded by the Maskew Bequest.

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