Posted on


litfest logo
Lancaster & District Festival Ltd (trading as Litfest) are seeking a new:
Litfest, Lancaster is a Lancaster-based literature organisation that has been presenting festivals and literature-based events since 1978 and is the third oldest literature festival in England. It has a long and varied history during which it has been supported by Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council.
Litfest has, in common with so many mid-range arts organisations, seen its funding base diminished and now benefits from continued support from Lancaster City Council. The organisation has re-imagined itself to adjust to these changes and is now led, managed and run by its volunteer board with some paid part-time support.
Litfest is in a phase of re-development, re-focus and renewal; looking forwards to embrace new technologies and new visions. It is a time for new leadership and we are looking to appoint a Chair of the Board of Trustees to provide that leadership.
For further details and information pack please contact:
Louise Cross on
To book an informal discussion contact
Deadline: 3rd December 2018
Interviews: Monday 10th December.
Posted on

The Lost Words Litfest Crowdfunder – Coming soon!

As our 40th festival approaches, we at Litfest felt it was more important than ever to give back to our local community, in particular to the booklovers of tomorrow – our community’s children. Inspired by similar initiatives across the country and particularly by Jackie Morris’ fantastic event at Litfest 2018, we are delighted to announce this forthcoming project.

In the lead up to our March festival, Litfest will be aiming to crowdfund the purchase of one copy of The Lost Words for each school in the Lancaster and Morecambe district! The practicalities of undertaking this project are still ongoing so please watch this space for details on the launch and how you can contribute!

In the meantime you can read more about The Lost Words here and also more about similar crowdfunding efforts here.

Posted on


Litfest are very sorry to announce that the artists involved in our Fantastic Beasts Launch Night and Saturday’s YA Day have ALL been snowed in by the Beast from the East! All three artists live in the North of the UK (Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland) and, whilst the conditions in Lancaster are milder, are unable to forge through the snow to make it this far South!

As a result of this we have been forced to postpone the opening weekend of events. ‘Harry Potter’s Fantastic Beasts: an evening with Olivia Lomenech Gill’ and both events on YA Day are in the process of being rearranged for later in the year and we hope to release a new series of dates soon.

We will be contacting all those who have prebooked in the coming hours to make them aware of the postponement and to offer a refund. Again, we are very sorry to have to do this but we are at the mercy of nature and hope to still see you at the rest of the festival!!

Posted on

Litfest Needs You!

Looking ahead to our next festival, Litfest are seeking new volunteers and board members! If you are interested in any of the roles detailed below please email to find out more!
Our volunteering programme is largely focused around our annual festival in March, but volunteers are also needed to assist with events throughout the year. There are a variety of roles available ranging from leafleting to assisting with stewarding events, running the bookstall or box office and assisting the artists. There are also opportunities in helping with social media promotion, blogging and event photography (if you have your own camera)!

We are also seeking new board members. We are a board-run organisation and as such we handle the majority of tasks ourselves with support from our finance officer. This includes marketing, funding bids, project management, the commissioning of events etc. In this call out we are particularly looking for people with business, legal or marketing expertise but welcome all applications! Previous arts experience is not a requirement but an interest in and appreciation for Literature is essential! If you are not certain that you have the time available to join the board full time but still would like to help please email as we are also eager to develop a database of potential consultants.

Finally we are seeking Digital Advisors, people with IT experience who would be eager to help us embrace the potential applications of digital media to the world of Literature!

Posted on

Write for Who You Were – Short Story Competition

Litfest are delighted to announce their latest project in association with Arts Council England, a free to enter short story competition for young people aged 9 – 16!

When you were young, did you ever feel that the stories you would have liked to read just weren’t out there?  Would you like the chance to write the story you wanted to read but couldn’t find? Following from the BBC’s National Short Story Awards, Litfest is celebrating young talent in Lancashire and Cumbria with its own short-story competition!

Litfest invites 9 – 16 year olds to write a story for their ‘younger selves’ – or for an audience of people younger than you.  A small cash prize will be awarded to the best in each of the two categories; 9 – 12 years and 13 – 16 years, judged by Anne Fine, author of the ever-popular “Madame Doubtfire”.

Watch out for free writing workshops near you!

Deadline: Friday 18th November

2,000 words maximum.

Please Click the link here to download a competition-entry-form3476


Posted on

Markus Luukkonen at The Storey this November

This November, as part of our ongoing storytelling programme Litfest are delighted to welcome internationally renowned storyteller Markus Luukkonen to Lancaster!

Date and Time: Thursday 24th November 7:30pm

Venue: The Storey Auditorium, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TH

Tickets: £9.50 full/£8 Concession – tickets available online here or In person/by phone: Lancaster Visitor Information Centre, The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, 01524 582394 (Monday – Saturday 10am-4pm)

‘From the Woods’

 Finland is a land of endless forests and thousands of lakes. The forest is sacred, but it’s the edge of the civilized area, an unknown and frightening place. The vast wilderness has always been full of strange beings. The Devil might be lurking behind the trees; other creatures are watching from the undergrowth. Which are good and which are bad? And how can you be sure?

Markus weaves these traditional tales from his native Finland with narratives from his own life. The result is a string of stories about love, about death, and about dreaming, told in Markus’ down-to-earth and dynamic style. He combines dark Finnish humour with beautiful imagery and a gentle finger on the pulse of the human condition.

Markus Luukkonen is a storyteller from Finland. He studied performing arts in Helsinki and tells stories in clubs, theatres, galleries and festivals. He performs predominantly for adults and in his work he likes to mix personal stories, folktales and myths. He is a founder member of the Finnish Storytelling Association, Samova Storytelling.

Markus is based in Finland, but all his career he has been worked internationally. He has performed at storytelling festivals and clubs in Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. A member of the Executive Committee of the Federation for European Storytelling for three years, he has recently also been touring with the international storytelling company 3Troubadours.

in 2008-2009 Markus traveled over land and sea from Helsinki to Uluru in Australia. He spent nearly two years on the road, and he collected and wrote stories from places he visited. 

Through Autumn 2016 Markus is working as an artist-in-residence in Edinburgh. 

Posted on

The Devil’s Purse – a spellbinding storytelling performance by Dominic Kelly, Bridget Marsden and Leif Ottosson

Untitled design

 Litfest are delighted to welcome back Dominic Kelly as part of his touring production of THE DEVIL’S PURSE.

Is anything truly how we see it? How can we be sure? The Other People are waiting in the shadows, beneath your feet, even in the cracks in the walls: they’re waiting to show you just how hard it is to tell. And on summer nights their world is just a breath away… Come spend some time in the company of Themselves, The Gentry Below, the Fairies – and a labyrinth of stories.

Dominic, Bridget and Leif fuse storytelling performance and music in a wild journey into the cinema of the imagination. A traveller finds help in the mountain mist, a farmer meets a wonderful woman, a drinker discovers a magic purse and a mother worries her child is turning into skin and bone. But they’re all in for surprises: in the midsummer dusk, nothing is as it seems…

2 halves: 50 + 35 minutes

Suitable for adults and children 11 and over

DOMINIC KELLY is a performance storyteller whose dynamic style has captivated audiences across the UK, Europe, and around the world.

BRIDGET MARSDEN and LEIF OTTOSSON are rising young stars of the Swedish Folk Music Scene. Their deeply-felt new take on Scandinavian music is described by Songlines Magazine as “Powerful…thoughtful, inventive…and outstanding.”

Venue: The Storey Auditorium

Date: Tuesday 5th July

Time: 7:30 pm

Tickets: £10 Full/ £8 Concession

Tickets can be purchased here.