Your guide to the 2022 Margate Bookie festival

Margate Bookie

The Margate Bookie takes place this year over the Jubilee weekend, June 2-5.

You can enjoy a range of sessions, workshops and talks from an array of writers, authors and speakers. The line-up includes the famous Bookie Poetry Slam, children’s events debut novelists and established writers including Maggie Gee, Zoe Gilbert, Rosie Wilby, Jude Cook, Samantha Ellis and Costa Book of the Year 2021 winner Monique Roffey.

Ramsgate author Maggie Gee

Award winning author Daisy Buchanan talks about her latest novel, Careering, with top journalist Lauren Bravo. She says ‘Books have nourished me, comforted me and held me together, and I hope to share that passion, and spread the message that books really are for everyone. I think the Bookie is the perfect place to do this!’

Bringing a seaside flavour is Monique Roffey, and her novel The Mermaid of Black Conch. She said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Margate. I’m passionate about the sea and the seaside and will definitely take a walk on the beach. I hope to share my mermaid story with the audience too. Please join us if you too are a sea loving creature.”

Felicity Hayward photo credit. Lauren Thom

Felicity Hayward will be speaking about her debut book, Does My Butt Look Big In This? – a self-love and body positivity manifesto. Felicity is a social media star, one the UK’s most prominent curve models and a leading voice for change in the fashion industry.

Rosie Wilby

Comedian Rosie Wilby stars in the Friday evening bonanza at Turner Contemporary. She’s excited to be gigging live again: “I’m really looking forward to sharing extracts from The Breakup Monologues with a real live audience as part of a real live event. I’m hoping that the audience might even have some of their own breakup stories to share with me too.” She’s followed by Pete the Temp with his raucous show From Homer to Hip Hop.

Elise Valmorbida

Other names on the bill include Samantha Ellis and Emily Midorikawa discussing their book on female literary friendships A Secret Sisterhood, and creative writing sessions with Elise Valmorbida and Zoe Gilbert. We’ll hear from Sam Mills and her latest book  The Fragments of my Father. The Festival ends with a special reading of ‘The Waste Land’ led by Richard Skinner to mark one hundred years since Faber and Faber first published TS Eliot’s Margate masterpiece.

Zoe Gilbert photo credit Sophie Davidson

The Margate Bookie Poetry Slam is always an epic affair. Sam Tate vs Ciarán Barata-Hynes will be fighting it out for the Kent Poetry Belt on Saturday 4 June at Elsewhere, alongside eight local performers, and a grand headliner.

The Repeat Beat Poet

Over the last couple of years the Margate Bookie fanzine has connected people across the country and even the world, and the third issue will be the first to get a live debut.

Bookie brings big names to Margate, and at its heart it’s about inspiring a love of literature. The registered charity supports writers at all stages of their career. Many local writers, including Chloe Timms and Isle Write, will showcase their work and tells us about their inspirations and where they are heading. And Bookie Director and founder Andreas Loizou launches his new book The Story is Everything.


Andreas said: ‘We’re delighted to return with an exceptional line up of writers, authors and performers. Our team have been outstanding over the last year, we’ve had so much support from local people, and the publishing and arts industry has been working hard to maintain confidence in challenging times. It’s going to be fun!’

Events List

Thursday 2 June  

11:00AM         IsleWrite Anthology launch               Turner Contemporary

The launch of IsleWrite’s twentythirty anthology, featuring writers from all walks of life. Hosed by Jill Anabona Smith, we hear about the anthology’s journey as well as listen to readings of some of their great work.

12:30PM          Life as a Debut Author                       Turner Contemporary

Debut novelist Chloe Timms discusses her atmospheric new novel The Seawomen with Susannah Wise. She talks about what inspired her and the journey to publication, sharing her passion and writing advice.

2:00PM            Seaside Stories                                    Turner Contemporary

Zoe Gilbert takes us on a literary journey, looking at some salty folklore alongside contemporary writing, talking about how the sea can hold our losses and hopes, anxieties and longings, before helping us write a new story inspired by the folklore of the deep.

3:30PM            Faber & Vanguard                               Turner Contemporary

Vanguard Readings have held events for the Bookie every year and are honoured to take part! This year, they are proud to present some of the latest cohort of Faber Academy debut novelists.

5:30PM            The Story is Everything Launch          Lifeboat

Margate Bookie founder and CEO launches his new book, The Story is Everything. He’ll teach you how to grab your audience’s attention by targeting their feelings, actions and beliefs and how masters of influence appeal to our deepest emotions. An invite only event, email [email protected] for more info.

Friday 3 June  

11AM              Margate Waves                                   Droit Room

12:30PM          The Mermaid of Black Conch             Turner Contemporary

Monique Roffey will be heading to Margate to discuss her award-winning novel The Mermaid of Black Conch, in conversation with Amanda Smyth.

2:00PM            Careering                                            Turner Contemporary

Join us to celebrate the publication of Daisy Buchanan’s newest novel Careering. She’ll be discussing the book with author and journalist Lauren Bravo.

3:30PM            14 Anthology Launch                          Turner Contemporary

Join us in this amazing launch event as fourteen of their amazing contributors plus the five platform 14 women will be reading their work from the magazine.

5:30PM            The Breakup Monologues                  Turner Contemporary

Rosie Wilby presents stand-up comedy and book readings to explore some of the fascinating scientific and cultural facts she learned about love while writing her books Is Monogamy Dead? and The Breakup Monologues. She’ll also be taking questions about your own romantic dilemmas!

6:30PM            Homer to Hip-Hop                            Turner Contemporary

Former National Poetry Slam Champion, Pete ‘the Temp’ Bearder, brings to life the poetic movements that have shaped history. Find out why wordsmiths have always been vilified, feared and revered, from the ballad singers and Beat poets, to the icons of dub, punk and hip hop.

Saturday 4 June  

11AM              Margate Waves                                   Droit Rooms

12:30PM          The Red Children                               Turner Contemporary

Join Maggie Gee as she reads from her new book, The Red Children and talks about her life as a writer and how it has changed.

2:00PM            Know Your Own Power                    Turner Contemporary

Dr. Radha Modgil’s session will help you become more of who you truly are, find joy and create the life that you were born to live, and above all learn that you are the power & authority in your own life, no matter what you face.

3:30PM            Does My Butt Look Big in This?         Turner Contemporary

Felicity chats about the highs and lows of her life and career, giving hard-earned advice on achieving true body confidence, dispelling harmful body myths, tips for mental self-care and navigating toxic social media.

5:30PM            The Open Arms Zine Live Launch     Elsewhere

Continuing from the great success of the Margate Bookie’s lit ‘zines, The Great Indoors and Reset, The Open Arms welcomes you to our first in-person Live Launch, an evening of celebration, amazing writers, and, most importantly of all, the release of our incredible Zine.

7:00PM            The Bookie Slam                                 Elsewhere

The Margate Bookie Poetry Slam returns with Sam Tate and Ciarán Barata-Hynes fighting it out for the Kent Poetry Belt, alongside eight local performers and amazing headliner, The Repeat Beat Poet.

Sunday 5 June 

11:00AM         Outsiders Welcome                           Turner Contemporary

In Elise Valmorbida’s unique creative writing workshop, we’ll explore and cherish outsiderness. We’ll ponder, wonder, write and share.

12:30PM          Uncovering Past Lives                         Turner Contemporary

Join Emily Midorikawa and Samantha Ellis for a lively discussion about their books on the Brontës, Victorian spirit mediums, literary heroines and women writer friends.

2:00PM            Fiction & Fragments                            Turner Contemporary

In our penultimate event, join novelists Jude Cook and Sam Mills as they discuss their recent books, approaches to fiction and non-fiction, the writing life, and their paths to publication.

3:30PM            The Waste Land                                 Turner Contemporary

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of ‘The Waste Land’, the Margate Bookie, in conjunction with Vanguard Readings, is proud to present a live reading of the whole poem by award-winning Faber & Faber poets David Harsent, Richard Scott & Hannah Sullivan.

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