Free Author Events in the Blackwell’s Marquee

vsimarqueeThe past few years have seen the free ‘soapbox’ talks held in the Marquee become a firm favourite of many festival goers. For 15 minutes you get to hear a renowned expert hold forth on their area of expertise and then take questions. The subjects spoken about are wide and varied but all taken from the Very Short Introductions series published by our friends at Oxford University Press.

This year we are delighted to have academics of the quality of Paul Cartledge, Jonathan Herring and Catriona Kelly to name just three.

Each day (except the opening Saturday and the 5.15pm slot on the closing Sunday) there will be two talks – one at 1.15pm and the other at 5.15pm. They are completely free to attend and there is no need to book.

Perfect festival fodder for inquisitive knowledge-seekers!


SSA_LogoIn addition to the VSI Soapbox talks we are very excited to be hosting a special edition of Stories Aloud. Over two years the enthusiasm of Sarah Franklin has turned Stories aloud into one of the most vibrant monthly events on the Oxford cultural scene.

Sarah describes it thus;

“Short Stories Aloud features professional actors reading aloud stories by world-renowned and up-and-coming authors, followed by a Q&A with the authors. Now in its second year, it has welcomed such authors as Charlotte Mendelson, Margaret Drabble, Catherine O’Flynn and D.W.Wilson to its regular home in the Old Firestation. Billed as ‘Oxford’s friendliest literary event’, and definitely more ‘front room’ than Front Row, there’s cake and wine along with the stories, and a chance to win coveted prizes. Recently featured in the Independent newspaper as an example of a new, interactive breed of literary events, and fresh from a sell-out show at the Bath Literature Festival, we’ll be joined by two fabulous actors and two incredible authors. Phil Klay is here with his short story collection ‘Redeployment’, described by the New York Times as  ‘hilarious, biting, whipsawing and sad’. Alongside Phil we’re welcoming award-winning novelist and journalist Emma Jane Unsworth for an evening of stories and chat which should be funny, thought-provoking and never predictable. The Huffington Post described us like this: ‘Like no other literary event…go along and see for yourself’.”

Stories Aloud is on in the Marquee on Saturday 29th March starting at 6.30pm and is FREE

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