Press release introducing Weymouth Leviathan

Media friends,

We’ve written a press release to announce the festival and have distributed it to some of the journalists we know. If we’ve missed sending it your way then, good news, here it is…

Feel free to fire over any questions and we hope you can make it to Weymouth in March.


Weymouth Leviathan, ‘Fear & Courage’, Weymouth, Dorset, 12 – 13 March 2016

11/11/2015: The UK will soon welcome its only dedicated maritime literary festival. The historic harbour of Weymouth, Dorset, will host Weymouth Leviathan on the weekend of 12 – 13 March 2016. Festival goers will meet Britain’s best maritime authors and hear about the challenges they’ve personally met, the achievements of others they’ve described or created, and the practical seafaring guidance they’ve offered.

A selection of confirmed authors and talks featuring in the Weymouth Leviathan programme:

  • Dr James Davey, Curator of Naval History at the National Maritime Museum, ‘In Nelson’s Wake’
  • Barbara Tomlinson, Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum, ‘Heroism of the shipwrecked’
  • Richard Dunn, Senior Curator for the History of Science at the National Maritime Museum, ‘Re-finding longitude’
  • David Childs CBE, former Development Director of the Mary Rose Trust and author of The Warship Mary Rose, ‘Fighting the French’
  • Richard Woodman, LVO, board director of Trinity House and author of 50 books, ‘The Making of a Sea Officer in Fact and Fiction’
  • Philip Hoare, BBC presenter, award winning author and co-curator of Moby-Dick Big Read, ‘The Sea Inside’
  • Tom Cunliffe, journalist, author and BBC broadcaster, ‘In the Wake of Heroes’
  • J D Davies, award winning historian, author of the acclaimed naval historical fiction series, The Journals of Matthew Quinton, ‘Samuel Pepys and the ‘Gentleman Captains’ of Charles II’s Navy’
  • Julian Stockwin, acclaimed author of the Kydd series of historical novels, ‘The Real Jack Tar’
  • Antoine Vanner, author of the four-part Dawlish Chronicles, ‘Hazard in Nautical Fiction’

With its historic harbour, London 2012 sailing legacy and unparalleled views across to the Jurassic Coast, Weymouth is the perfect venue to celebrate maritime writing and find inspiration for spending the warmer months to come actively engaged with the sea.

“Since we began talking about a maritime specific literary festival, we’ve received overwhelming interest from near and far. Authors we approached immediately appreciated the need for the festival so we were quickly able to put together a programme of talks and events of exceptional breadth and quality,” said James Farquharson, festival director.

On naming the festival, he said, “Who hasn’t looked out from the shore to the horizon with a sense of fear? Everyone who sets out on a voyage has summoned the courage to meet the sea’s challenge. Leviathan, our sea monster and the name of the festival, embodies fear and courage. We’ve asked our authors to weave that theme into their talks and we’re looking forward to hearing the ripping yarns they’ll present.”

To support the creation of a unique Weymouth Leviathan atmosphere, festival organisers have confirmed a range of further entertainments and performances:

  • A screening of the 1956 classic adaptation of Moby Dick, starring Gregory Peck, at Weymouth’s state of the art multiplex cinema
  • Sound installation, ‘Moby-Dick Big Read’, inside Weymouth’s large harbourside church, Holy Trinity
  • Maritime literature award for first editions published since 1 March 2015
  • Dorset Wrecks, sea shanties, bringing the sound of the sea to introductions and intervals
  • Island Voices, Portland Community Choir, original songs of the sea and Portland

Tickets go on sale from 1st December at the festival website and at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club, Custom House Quay, Weymouth.

More information

To find out more about the festival, visit the website or follow us on Twitter @ WeyLeviathan.


To discuss the festival in more detail contact James Farquharson, 07887 712472.


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