Date of release: Friday, April 22, 2016

Greenwich Book Festival Wartime London, Victorian crime, refugees at sea and new parenthood – these are just some of the worlds explored at the Greenwich Book Festival, hosted by the University of Greenwich in May.

Tickets are now available for a wide range of author events, discussions and workshops for all ages at the university's historic riverside campus, on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 May.

Chris Cleave reveals the background to his latest novel about wartime London, Kate Summerscale and Bruce Robinson discuss Victorian murder and morality, Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes tell tales from the Calais refugee camps and performance poet Hollie McNish reads from Nobody Told Me on pregnancy and parenthood.

The Children's Festival has a full line-up too including Andy Stanton (You're a bad man, Mr Gum), Chloe Inkpen (Zoe and Beans series), Jim Smith (Barry Loser), a Harry Potter show and Michelle Robinson (Goodnight Spaceman).

Children are in for a double treat as local shop Ottie and the Bea host a festival-within-a-festival including bubble-writing with Linda Scott, a trip with Ben Newman and Professor Astro Cat, a workshop with Okido, meeting the only tapir to star in its own book (Clara Vulliamy and Polly Faber's Mango and Bambang) and drawing with award-winning illustrator Marion Deuchars.

Festival co-director and the university's head of creative writing, Alex Pheby, says: "We have an incredible line-up with authors people will recognise, and others they will be delighted to discover. There are special events too for aspiring writers, for lovers of short stories, and those looking for insights into the publishing industry."

Alex is also author of Wellcome Prize-nominated Playthings and will be discussing art and the idea of madness with fellow writers Andrew Hankinson and Anakana Schofield at 'Inside the mind of an outsider' on Saturday at 3.30pm.

Tickets for most events cost £6 (£5 for Greenwich Card holders). Free events include a panel discussion on the growing importance of independent publishing, and creative workshops for children – including the opportunity to draw and tell stories with 'Dave Pigeon' illustrator Sheena Dempsey.

Local primary children have a dedicated Schools Day at the festival, sponsored by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, when they will meet popular authors and discover how books are made.

'No BAME, no gain: Why publishing needs more diverse stories' is discussed by 'Brixton Bard' Alex Wheatle, MBE, (2016 Carnegie-nominated YA book Liccle Bit), Catherine Johnson (2016 YA Prize-nominated The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo), Booker longlisted Yvette Edwards (The Mother, A Cupboard Full of Coats) and emerging talent Irenosen Okojie (Butterfly Fish, forthcoming Speak Gigantular) on Saturday at 6pm.

Comedy lovers can hear Sara Pascoe talking to fellow stand-up Shappi Khorsandi about Animal, her funny feminist exploration of the female body, while fans of The Fall can see Brix Smith Start tell her own extraordinary story from postpunk guitarist to fashion pundit.

The National Maritime Museum, across the road from the university, hosts tales of nature and survival including Charles Foster on Being a Beast; 'Natural Navigator' Tristan Gooley introducing his acclaimed new book How to Read Water: Clues, Signs and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea; real-life explorer Justin Miles inspiring young adventurers and Caitlin Davies on swimming the River Thames.

Anyone wondering what to read this summer should attend The Pool Party, in association with ThePool.com, an evening showcase of the freshest emerging talent in women's writing, including Laura Barnett (The Versions of Us), Kit De Waal (My Name is Leon) Amy Liptrot (The Outrun) and Lisa Owens (Not Working).

There is lots for aspiring writers including 'How to Get Your Book Published: A Writers' Masterclass' with authors Lucy Atkins and Fanny Blake, and 'Inside Grip-Lit', an opportunity to get inside the minds of thriller writers Fiona Barton, Gillian Slovo and Sam Baker.

For more information and tickets go to the Greenwich Book Festival website: http://www.greenwichbookfest.com/

Twitter: @GreBookFest

Story by Public Relations

Picture: The three co-directors of the Greenwich Book Festival, Patricia Nicol, Alex Pheby and Auriol Bishop, at the Greenwich Campus.