The Writing On The Wall Festival is all about exploring the future past and present through sci-fi, super heroes, graphic novels, comics and… a Time Machine!

Established in 2000, Writing on the Wall is part of the National Arts Portfolio and is the longest standing literature festival in Liverpool and is an important part of the cultural landscape of the North West. Writing on the Wall will be celebrating its 17th festival which will run for the whole of May and typically culminates around 35 events. WoW Fest 2016 hosts local, national and international writers, performers, artists and commentators whose work provokes controversy and debate. They are unique in that they provide the opportunity to both high profile national and international guests as well as local talent and communities to promote and share their own writing, art and talent. Writing on the Wall celebrates writing in all its forms including literature, creative writing, journalism and non-fiction, poetry, songwriting, and storytelling. 

What can sci-fi teach us about climate change or our climate of fear, are graphic novels a real literary art-form, and just how long will it take us to get to The Ninth Planet? They’ll be featuring the best of SF classics, voyaging into the wonderful world of Afrofuturism, Girl’s Comics, technologies for creating and living, and, with their regular eclectic travelling companions of star struck festival guests, WoW is tilting to the future with a whole star ship full of new and up and coming writers. They’ve already delivered some quality events throughout May so far and the remainder of May looks just as exciting. Known authors, writers and performers will be coming together in a number of venues across the city.

WoWFest have broke down their excellent programme for us:

Science Fiction

WoWFest 2016 welcomes some of the most prolific science fiction writers and graphic novel writers and artists today including Dave Gibbons, Comic’s Laureate and Illustrator for Watchmen, the best -selling graphic novel of all time and Pat Cadigan (Synners), Stephen Baxter (The Time Ship), Ramsey Campbell (The Hungry Moon) and Dirk Maggs (HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for radio).


Writing on the Wall launch a schools literacy project Superheroes: Words are our Power. Special Guest: Comic’s Laureate and Illustrator for Watchmen, Dave Gibbons.

Contemporary issues and Debate

Gender Identity

Changes: Gender Identity in the 21st Century with Award-Winning, Transgender teenage fiction author, Juno Dawson, Liverpool’s very own sassiest drag queen and UK Ambassador for RuPaul’s drag race, The Vivienne and Award-Winning author, Abigail Tartellin (Golden Boy).


Join us for discussion and personal experience on the current debate on immigration with the exiled Syrian Poet, Maram Al Masri, academic Linda McDowell CBE and Gambian exiled journalist Pa Modou Bojang.

Author Events

Comedians, actors and now author’s Alexei Sayle (Thatcher Stole my Trousers), Peep Show Actor, Isy Suttie (The Actual One) and Grange Hill and Extras actor, Francesca Martinez (What the **** is normal?) will be joining us throughout May to showcase their latest books.

Award-Winning Irish Author, Kevin Barry discusses his latest book Beatlebone which takes the reader on a surreal trip to the island John Lennon bought off the coast of Ireland in 1967, for the princely sum of £1,550. Hosted by Chairman of Beatles Legacy Group and lead singer of the FarmPeter Hooton 

Poetry Events

Join the pioneer of Dub Poetry, Linton Kwesi Johnson performing together for the first time with Hollie McNish, 2013 UK Slam championship winner and the first poet to record at Abbey Road Studios..

 Stand Up and Spit – Speaking Volumes brings ranting poetry to WOW. Accessible, protesting, diverse, inclusive, political, working-class, humorous yet also deadly serious, Ranting poetry appeared in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Join original Ranters Tim ‘Teething’ Wells, a teenage Ranter who once stepped up between bands and at reggae nights to perform, and Ginger John, a stalwart of the Northern scene. Salena Godden, a poet who came after Ranting but fully embodied its ethos and ideas. WoW’s own Blue Saint and members of Liverpool Writers Alia Boqash and Amina Atique complete the line-up. 

Lots to do so go and check it out. More info here.