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Dear Festival-goers, welcome to Litfest’s 2019 Programme!

Litfest 2019 PDF Programme

I am proud to introduce the programme for Litfest’s 40th festival and we’re doing what we do best – only bigger and better. Our month long festival runs from Friday 8th – Sunday 31st March. This year our festival launch coincides with International Women’s Day and we will be kicking off by exploring the lives of the Suffragettes with Diane Atkinson, then showcasing some of the best of fantasy and literary fiction with Genevieve Cogman, Jen Williams, Sarah Moss and Carys Davies.

Our second weekend opens on Friday 15th with the long-standing Lancaster staple Spotlight ,   before taking our traditional Poetry Day to another level on Saturday 16th with events for all ages running from 10:15am until far into the night. On Sunday 17th we’re celebrating all things local with both new and established writers presenting their work. Both days have plenty of               opportunities for writer involvement through open mics and showcases.

In week three we’re celebrating the importance of reading with Ian Anstice and, demonstrating that not even ‘The Beast From The East’ can beat us, bringing back our much anticipated – and much delayed – snowed-off launch weekend from 2018. Olivia Lomenech Gill brings some pretty Fantastic Beasts, followed by our YA day with acclaimed author Cathy Forde and embracing new ways to love books with a talk on vlogging from Hannah Hodgson. On the Sunday we’ll be ‘going continental’ with our partners at Lancaster University’s Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC) exploring the possibilities of Digital Literature.

In our final week we have an evening of nature writing with Karen Lloyd and Beth Pipe, followed by a second DELC collaboration, exploring the potential of translation. Our finale weekend begins with an afternoon panel celebrating the wonderful world of children’s literature, before a sensational gala event in the evening: the triumphant return to Lancaster of the much loved poet Roger McGough, with music from LiTTLe MACHinE. Our festival finale is a specially commissioned adaptation of Gareth Thompsons’s local fairytale – The Sea Swallow – in partnership with our friends at LUDUS Dance.

Alongside our programme of events we also have literary walks, an exhibition, the Litfest Bookshop, workshops, the inaugural Litfest Scarecrow Competition and the launch of the new Litfest Friends Programme.

I hope you enjoy our 40th Festival, which will be my last as Chair. It has been a privilege to be a part of the third-oldest literature festival in England and I look forward to many years attending events and supporting this great Lancaster institution.

Jacqueline Greaves

Chair, Board of Trustees

 

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Festival Launch: International Women’s Day

Friday 8th March 7:30pm

Venue: Shire Hall, Lancaster Castle, Castle Parade, Lancaster

Tickets: £12 Full/ £10 Concession/ £8 Student

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

For our opening event, and to celebrate International Women’s Day, we are delighted to       welcome Diane Atkinson, author of Rise Up, Women! The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes, which is just out in paperback published by Bloomsbury. 101 years after the first women gained the vote, and 100 years after the election of Nancy Astor as the first woman MP, Diane will talk about the suffragette movement and why it was particularly strong in the north-west (Preston, especially, being a hot bed of activism) and how its membership spanned the divides of class and country. Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English actresses, mill-workers, teachers,  doctors, seamstresses, scientists, clerks, boot-makers and sweated workers, are all brought together in a lively biography of a movement that helped to bring about defining social change. This event will also include an audience Q&A.

Diane Atkinson was born in the north-east and completed a PhD on the politics of women’s sweated labour. She taught history at secondary schools in London before moving to the Museum of London, where she worked as a lecturer and curator, specialising in women’s history. She is the author of two illustrated history books, Suffragettes in Pictures and Funny Girls: Cartooning for Equality, and three biographies, Love & Dirt, Elsie and Mairi Go to War and The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton. A regular lecturer on the suffragettes at conferences and literary festivals, Diane Atkinson has also appeared on radio programmes including Woman’s Hour, and has consulted on numerous television documentaries as well as the film Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham-Carter.

www.dianeatkinson.co.uk @DitheDauntless 

 

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Here There Be Dragons: Genevieve Cogman & Jen Williams

Saturday 9th March 7pm

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

Tickets: £12 Full/ £10 Concession/ £8 Student

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Join us for an evening of multidimensional libraries, dragons with a difference and old gods with new ideas. Two fantastic voices in the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy come together to read from their work and to talk about their experience writing for one of Literature’s most popular genres.

 

Genevieve Cogman is the author of the Invisible Library series of books published by Tor. Five of the books in the series have been released so far including The Invisible Library, The Masked City, The Burning Page and The Lost Plot. The latest instalment –  The Mortal Word – was published in November 2018. She has also written for various roleplaying game lines, including GURPS and Exalted. She works for the NHS and lives in the north of England. Find out more at: http://www.grcogman.com/

 

Jen Williams lives in London with her partner and their cat. A fan of pirates and dragons from an early age, these days she writes character-driven fantasy novels with plenty of banter and magic. In 2015 she was nominated for Best Newcomer in the British Fantasy Awards. In 2018, The Ninth Rain, the first book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy, won the British Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy Novel. The sequel, The Bitter Twins, was published in March 2018, and the final volume, The Poison Song, will be released in May this year. Jen’s first series, The Copper Cat trilogy,  consists of The Copper Promise, The Iron Ghost and The Silver Tide. Both The Iron Ghost and The Silver Tide have also been nominated for British Fantasy Awards. Jen is partly responsible for founding the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, a social group that meets in London to celebrate a love of fantasy, and is partial to mead, if you’re buying. Find out more at: www.sennydreadful.com or @sennydreadful

 

 

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The Rise of the Novella: Sarah Moss and Carys Davies

Sunday 10th March 7pm

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

Tickets: £12 Full/ £10 Concession/ £8 Student

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

To close our launch weekend, we bring you a duo of superb fiction writers from Granta.     Carys Davies makes a welcome return to Lancaster reading from her critically acclaimed novella West, following the epic journey of Cy Bellman as he travels far from home in search of mysterious giant bones and the trials of the daughter he leaves behind. Sarah Moss will be reading alongside her from her latest stunning novella Ghost Wall, following the intertwined fates of seventeen year old Sylvie at an experimental archaeology dig in Northumberland and a bog girl sacrificed millennia earlier…

Sarah Moss is a Professor at the University of Warwick. Ghost Wall is her sixth novel, following Cold Earth, Night Waking, Bodies of Light, Signs for Lost Children, The Tidal Zone and a memoir about living in Iceland, Names for the Sea. She has been shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize three times & the RSL Ondaatje prize once. She has written for the Guardian, New Statesman, Independent and BBC Radio & has been a reviewer on Radio 4’s Saturday Review. She was a guest curator at last year’s Cheltenham Literary Festival. She lives in Coventry with her husband & two sons.

 

Carys Davies’ short stories have been widely published in magazines and journals, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She has won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s V S Pritchett Prize, and a Northern Writers’ Award. Her second collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2015. She was longlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, and shortlisted for the 2015 Wales Book of the Year. Her first novel, West, was a 2018 Book of the Year for both The Guardian and The Sunday Times. She lives in Edinburgh.

Find out more at: www.carysdavies.net

 

 

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Spotlight

Friday 15th March 7pm

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

Tickets: £5 Full/ £3 Concession

Available on the door only

We are delighted to see the return of this staple of the Lancaster Arts Scene in our programme. Founded in 1995, Spotlight seeks to promote and encourage the development and performance of writers in the North West. On the third Friday of every month Lancaster’s Spotlight Club takes over The Storey Auditorium to provide a platform for poets, writers, comedians and musicians. The evening begins with six 5 minute open mic slots, to apply for one of these please email spotlightclub@btinternet.com. This will be followed by two fiction writers, two poets and two musical acts including Claire Dean, Geraldine Green and Kerry Darbishire.

Join us for an evening showcasing some of the best of the North West arts scene!

Claire Dean is a writer and performer whose short stories have been widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Best British Short Stories, Best British Horror and Cabinet des Fées. Her collection of short stories, The Museum of Shadows and Reflections, has been published by Unsettling Wonder with illustrations by Laura Rae. Claire also creates digital stories that respond to readers or their environments. She is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University and lives in Lancashire with her family.

 

 

Geraldine Green is the former writer-in-residence of both Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin, and Swarthmoor Hall, the home of George Fox and Margaret Fell. Geraldine has performed widely in the UK, North America, Italy and Greece. Her third full collection, Passing Through, was published in 2018 by Indigo Dreams. She has also completed a Research Diploma in Ecopoetics, exploring the influence of the land on the poetry of Emily Bronte.

 

Kerry Darbishire is a poet and songwriter. She grew up in the English Lake District where she continues to live on a Cumbrian fell side with her artist husband Stephen. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and magazines and she has won several competition prizes including shortlisted Bridport 2017. Her first poetry collection, A Lift of Wings was published in 2014 by Indigo Dreams. Her biography, Kay’s Ark, the story of her mother, was published by Handstand Press in 2016.

 

 

 

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Poetry Day: Bounce and Rhyme

Saturday 16th March 10:15am

Venue: The Herbarium, 5-7 Great John St, Lancaster, LA1 1NQ

Tickets: Free

I’m Stacey from Lancaster library and one of the best parts of my job is that I get to sing songs, read stories and generally make lots of noise at our baby groups three times a week. It’s brilliant to see the smiling faces of all the families that join us at our busy sessions and I really hope that we’ll always be a space where everyone in the community feels welcome. But today we’ll be bringing Bounce & Rhyme out of the library, to kick off the Litfest Poetry Day at the Herbarium!

Bounce & Rhyme is an under 5s session suitable for bouncing babies and tireless toddlers alike. Our sing-alongs are not only lots of rhyming fun, but also a great way of meeting new people, helping your child develop their language and motor skills! So get ready to clap your hands and stamp your feet, and remember… if you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream!

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Poetry Day: Dinosaur Poetry

Saturday 16th March 11am

Venue: The Herbarium, 5-7 Great John St, Lancaster, LA1 1NQ

Tickets: £6 per child (under 11) accompanying adults come free!

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Just how big is a dinosaur’s egg? And how many six-year-olds could a T-Rex eat? Immerse   yourself in a time when dinosaurs walked the earth and get Cretaceously creative by writing your own dino poem. Join us for an interactive reading and workshop led by Richard O’Brien, editor of The Emma Press anthology DRAGONS OF THE PRIME: Poems About Dinosaurs.

Richard O’Brien’s publications include ‘The Emmores’ (The Emma Press, 2014) and ‘A Bloody Mess’ (Valley Press, 2015), and work in a range of magazines and anthologies. Richard won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2017, and currently works as a Teaching Fellow in Shakespeare and Creativity at the University of Birmingham. He is also a commissioning editor at the Emma Press, and the Birmingham Poet Laureate 2018-2020. His writing for children has appeared in a number of Emma Press anthologies.

 

 

 

 

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Poetry Day – Lunchtime Open Mic

Saturday 16th March 12pm

Venue: The Herbarium, 5-7 Great John St, Lancaster, LA1 1NQ

Entry Free

Whilst we all take a break from our poetry programming and have a bit of lunch, we want to hear from you! 10 minute slots are available for poets who would like their moment in the     spotlight. All are welcome, including new, emerging and established voices.

To book your slot email marketing@litfest.org

 

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Poetry Day: Ian Seed and Catherine Smith

Saturday 16th March 1pm

Venue: The Herbarium, 5-7 Great John St, Lancaster, LA1 1NQ

Tickets: £10 Full/ £8 Concession/ £6 Student

or POETRY DAY COMBO 3 Double Bills for £25/£20/£15

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox or Combo ticket here.

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

We open the afternoon of our bumper poetry day with the first of our traditional double bills. Catherine Smith and Ian Seed are two poets always seeking to push the boundaries of the     genre and portray our world from their unique viewpoints.

Ian Seed’s collections of prose poems include New York Hotel (2018), Identity Papers (2016) and Makers of Empty Dreams (2014), all from Shearsman. His book The Thief of Talant (2016) (the first translation into English of Pierre Reverdy’s Le Voleur de Talan) is published by Wakefield. Identity Papers was featured by the BBC on their Radio 3 programme The Verb, hosted by Ian McMillan. New York Hotel is selected by Mark Ford as a TLS Book of the Year. Ford comments: ‘I greatly enjoyed the latest collection of Ian Seed’s beautifully-crafted prose poems, New York Hotel. Seed’s  micro-narratives and oblique parables are at once droll and haunting, as unpredictable as quicksand, and as elegant as the work of those masters of the prose poem, Max Jacob and Pierre Reverdy.’ Ian has an MA and PhD from Lancaster University, and now lectures in the English Department at the University of Chester.

 

Catherine Smith’s debut The New Bride (2001) was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. The Butcher’s Hands (2004) was a PBS Recommendation and also short-listed for the Aldeburgh/Jerwood Prize. In 2004, she was also voted one of Mslexia’s ‘Top Ten UK Women Poets’ and one of ‘The Next Generation Poets’ by the PBS/Arts Council. Lip, (2008) was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her latest collection Otherwhere was published in 2012. The New Cockaigne, a long supernatural, satirical poem, imagining the medieval fantasy land of Cockaigne imposed on 21st Century Britain, was written, adapted and performed as a Live Literature show in 2014.

 

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Poetry Day: Jacob Polley and John Glenday

Saturday 16th March 2:15pm

Venue: The Herbarium, 5-7 Great John St, Lancaster, LA1 1NQ

Tickets: £10 Full/ £8 Concession/ £6 Student

or POETRY DAY COMBO 3 Double Bills for £25/£20/£15

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox or Combo ticket here

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Our second double bill of the afternoon brings together another two poets with a long literary pedigree. Join Jacob Polley, winner of the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize and John Glenday, winner of a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, for an event showcasing some of the very best in lyrical poetry.

Jacob Polley was born and grew up in Cumbria. He has published a novel and four books of poems with Picador, winning the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry for his fourth, Jackself. A poet of the uncanny   and the startlingly lyrical, Jacob’s work explores his rural upbringing, the forces of tradition and history, and the power of speech as it approaches song. Jacob has written and performed drama for the radio, as well as made films and various collaborative public art and performance pieces. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and lives with his family on the North East coast.

John Glenday’s first collection, ‘The Apple Ghost’ won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and his second, ‘Undark’, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. ‘Grain’ (Picador, 2009) was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. His fourth collection ‘The Golden Mean’ won the 2015 Roehampton Poetry Prize.  He was appointed Scottish/Canadian Exchange Fellow in 1990/91, based at the University of Alberta, and taught on the poetry faculty at the Banff Centre in 2010.

 

 

 

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Poetry Day: Polly Atkin and Andrew McMillan

Saturday 16th March 3:30pm

Venue: The Herbarium, 5-7 Great John St, Lancaster, LA1 1NQ

Tickets: £10 Full/ £8 Concession/ £6 Student

or POETRY DAY COMBO 3 Double Bills for £25/£20/£15

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox or Combo Ticket here

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Our final double bill of the afternoon of brings together two poets with links to Lancaster   University reading from their latest work. Experts in articulating the complexities of what it is to be human, Polly Atkin, a former lecturer, will be reading from her new pamphlet With     Invisible Rain and Andrew McMillan, a graduate of their creative writing programme, will be reading from his new collection playtime.

Polly Atkin lives in Cumbria. Her first full poetry collection Basic Nest Architecture (Seren: 2017) is followed by a third pamphlet, With Invisible Rain (New Walk Press: 2018), which draws on Dorothy Wordsworth’s late journals to find a way to articulate pain. Her first pamphlet Bone Song (Aussteiger, 2008) was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award, 2009, and second, Shadow Dispatches (Seren, 2013), won the Mslexia Pamphlet Prize, 2012. She has taught English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Cumbria. She is a Penguin Random House WriteNow mentee 2017/18 for a non-fiction book reflecting on place, belonging and chronic illness.

 

Andrew McMillan’s debut collection, physical, published by Cape Poetry in 2015 won multiple awards including the Guardian First Book Award 2015. His new collection playtime was also published by Cape Poetry in 2018 and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, Telegraph Poetry Book of the Month and a Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year. He lives in Manchester

 

 

 

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Poetry Day: Evening Open Mic

Saturday 16th March 7pm

Venue: The Herbarium, 5-7 Great John St, Lancaster, LA1 1NQ

Tickets: £6 Full/ £4 Concession – Free Entry for participants

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Our final event of our bumper Poetry Day is hosted by BigCharlie Poet in a special one off   collaboration with Working Title. Alongside the specially selected performers below we want to hear from you! This is your chance to bring your poems—regardless of previous experience, form or style—out into the light. To book your 5 minute slot email marketing@litfest.org!

Charlie Hart is otherwise known as BigCharlie Poet. He has performed across the North, including trips to Edinburgh to compete at the BBC Fringe Slam. His poem “It’s The Grit That Makes The Pearl” was chosen as The Guardian’s Spoken word video of the week. He was also the host of the monthly night Working Title in Lancaster.

 

 

Benjamin Guilfoyle is a woolly hat wearing performance poet. His unique style is wonderfully warm and woolly and has seen him headline poetry nights all across   the North of England. His poetry covers all bases from ‘cinema eaters’ to the life teachings of Brian Blessed. Benjamin is the 2018 Morecambe poetry slam champion.

 

 

Steve Fairclough is a multi skilled creative with over 21 years of freelance experience. He writes script, blogs, short stories and poetry. His poetry is often written in the moment, short, punchy and direct. Sometimes it’s handed out or left in envelopes for passers-by to find!

 

 

Geneviève L. Walsh is a writer and performer. She has performed at Kendal Calling, Manchester Literature Festival, Wakefield Lit Fest and every scary backstreet pub you can imagine. Her debut collection The Dance of a Thousand Losers was published by Flapjack Press in 2017 and her one-woman show A Place in the Shade will debut later in 2019. She is the founder and host of Spoken Weird (Halifax), including its main night at the award-winning Victorian Craft Beer Cafe, and its upcoming LGBT+ event, Spoken Queered. She is also co-host of Stirred (Manchester) and co-founder of their Invisible Disabilities Slam, which debuted in 2017.

 

 

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Local Writers Day: How to Get Published

Sunday 17th March 1pm

Venue: Pizza Margherita, Lancaster

Tickets: £7 Full/ £5 Concession

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Local authors, Zosia Wand and Caroline Gilfillan, describe their very different routes to       publication. The inside story on the traditional agent/mainstream publisher deal and the   independent press/self-publication route. Join us for a frank discussion and Q&A about how to navigate your way through the highs and lows of the publishing process and how to write quality fiction that has commercial potential.

Zosia Wand is a novelist and playwright. She has gained an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and has had numerous plays commissioned for BBC Radio 4. Her stage play, Quicksand, was premiered at The Dukes Playhouse Lancaster in 2011 and sold out during its run at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. In 2014 she wrote the script for The Lancaster Williamson Park/Dukes Theatre production Hansel and Gretel and More Tales from the Forest, the largest outdoor promenade production in the country. In 2017 she was selected for the Royal Court Northern Writers Programme. Her novels, Trust Me (2017) and The Accusation (2018) are published by Head of Zeus. She was born in London and lives in the Lake District with her family. She currently developing a new drama for Radio 4. To find out more about Zosia’s work and teaching go to www.zosiawand.com or The Reading Room on facebook.

Caroline Gilfillan grew up in Sussex and spent most of her young adult life in London, where she played music in various groups, including The Stepney Sisters, one of the first women-only bands, and joined several inspirational writers’ groups. After taking an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster  University, she taught in universities and communities in Lancaster and North Norfolk and has published four collections of poetry, the two most recent of which are Pepys (Hawthorn Press) and Poet in Boots (Brewster Press). Her debut murder mystery novel, The Terrace, was published by Cowslip Press in 2018. She also writes plays and songs, and performs in the South Lakeland area of Cumbria where she now lives. She’s currently working on The Theatre, the second Rags Whistledown novel, which will be published by Cowslip Press in 2019. To find out more visit www.carolinegilfillan.co.uk.

 

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Local Writers Day: Hotspots

Sunday 17th March 2:30pm

Venue: Pizza Margherita, 2 Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1WD

Tickets: ‘Pay What You Can’

Available on the door only

Following on from the open mic opportunities for poets as a part of our Poetry Day, we offer a last chance in our 40th Festival to get up on stage and present your work. Regardless of genre, form or experience, here is a platform where you can present yourself and your writing to a new audience and to existing friends. Over the course of two hours, we will present writers from Lancaster, Lancashire and the Northwest in a series of 10-15 minute slots. Slots are available on a first come basis so please contact marketing@litfest.org to book you place today!

 

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Local Writers Day: Litfest Local Picks

Sunday 17th March 5pm

Venue: Pizza Margherita, 2 Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1WD

Tickets: ‘Pay What You Can’

Available on the door only

Our third event of the day features three Litfest Local Picks: AS Chambers author of the Sam Spallucci series, Kurtis Murphy author of a globetrotting memoir and Jacqueline Harris an     acclaimed storyteller turned author of YA fiction. They may be names you know well, or names you’re just hearing for the first time but sit down to listen to some of the best of Lancashire.

Lancaster’s master of the macabre, A S Chambers, is well known for marking his home town’s place on the horror map of the United Kingdom. His Sam Spallucci books, with their quirky blend of urban fantasy, film noir and dry humour, have gained a cult following over the last few years with fans journeying from around the country to see where reality meets an ever expanding universe of vampires, werewolves, angels and a plethora of other supernatural characters. He has a dark and brooding website at www.aschambers.co.uk.

 

 

Kurtis Murphy was born into a travelling fairground family but by an early age his family chose to live and settle in Morecambe. This meant that dissimilar to many from his background, Kurtis was able to benefit from a full education and eventually attend Lancaster University. Upon graduation, Kurtis found himself with ‘itchy feet’ and a desire for travel and adventure that he felt he had lacked. Recruiting his best friend they decided to attempt to traverse the globe on motorbikes, not that either could ride a motorcycle, but this was a small detail to be addressed. The journey tested them physically, mentally and emotionally in what was a true coming of age experience.

 

 

Jacqueline Harris is a writer/storyteller whose performance work brings together folktale, autobiography and people’s stories.  Previous performances of her work for Litfest include festival finales East o’ the sun, West o’ the moon and In Skrikers Footsteps. Her latest collaboration, Where We Land, is an exploration of stories from The Isle of Arran and a collaboration with musician/composer Lee Affen and film maker Graham Kay. Today Jacqueline will be reading from her first YA novel, The Shadow.

 

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Local Writers Day: Deep Cabaret – Homecoming

Sunday 17th March 7pm

Venue: Pizza Margherita, 2 Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1WD

Tickets: £9 Full/ £7 Concession

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Deep Cabaret are a special band not just because they bring together specialists in jazz, folk, improv and world music to make deeply intelligent pop. And not just because they include bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, cello bass clarinet and throat singing alongside the usual guitar and drum kit combo.

No, what is most special about Deep Cabaret are the lyrics of their atmospheric songs.

The band don’t write them. Instead lead singer Steve Lewis finds them in his reading. Novels, poetry, science, history, psychology and nature are all grist . So Deep Cabaret songs adapt   sentences from contemporary writers like Jonathan Franzen, Haruki Murakami, Alice Munro and Marylinne Robinson. Sometimes neat, sometimes mashed together with extracts from books on the neuroscience of attachment or the geology of Morecambe Bay.

This homecoming performance will be the band’s first Lancaster gig in over two years and marks the end of their Jazz North supported ‘Slow Tour’.

In honour of Litfest’s 40th anniversary they will premiere a sequence of songs adapted from Jonathan /Safran Foer’s most recent novel “Here I Am”, focussing on Foer’s astute take on the satisfaction and desperations of love in couples, in families, in life.

Join us for a spectacular evening celebrating the power of words – and music!

Steve Lewis (vocals & guitar)

Maja Bugge (cello)

Ben McCabe (drums & vocals)

Matt Robinson (clarinets, baritone, saxophone & flutes)

Paul Sherwood (hurdy-gurdies & bagpipes)

Jayson Stilwell (overtone vocals & percussion)

 

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Are Books the Best Drug in the World? Confessions of a library dealer

Thursday 21st March 7:30pm

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

Tickets: £10 Full/ £8 Concession/ £6 Student (With Valid ID)

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

He looked at the children and, in front of their teachers, tried to get them addicted. He felt no remorse. After all, he had to pay for the Nissan Micra somehow…

Self-described as “probably the biggest library nerd in Britain”, multiple award-winning       librarian Ian Anstice talks about the joy and impact of reading, using anecdotes from his career and examples from around the world before opening up the subject to the audience for views. Is reading the only addiction that is good for you apart from the joy of stamping library books? You decide

Ian Anstice does many things: in charge of the reading development partnership Time To Read for 22 northwest library services, a book-buyer and manager for the national award-winning Cheshire West and Chester Libraries and the person responsible for Public Libraries News which is the main source of news on the sector. He is regularly consulted by the media, the public, professionals and politicians on public libraries. In-between times, he’s also the father to two daughters in High School who keep him busy, walker to one dog and husband to a leading expert in religious education. Ian has won several awards for his work, including an honorary fellowship from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. He was also awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honour List.

 

 

 

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Illustrate them: An evening with Olivia Lomenech Gill

Friday 22nd March 7:30pm

Venue:  Shire Hall, Lancaster Castle, Castle Parade, Lancaster

Tickets: £12 Full/ £10 Concession/ £8 Student (With Valid ID)

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox

In Person: Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

The magical worlds conjured up by J. K. Rowling have enchanted readers for over two decades. Litfest are     delighted to bring back to the festivals 2018’s snowed-off launch event— a very special evening with Olivia Lomenech Gill, illustrator of the new coffee table edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

Set in the historic Shire Hall at Lancaster Castle, this is a not-to-be-missed event for all fans of the books, films and anyone interested in illustration. Olivia will offer a behind-the-scenes insight into the creation of this extraordinary book, her life and work and some truly fantastic beasts. 

Cosplay is welcome at this event.  

Studio I photo - Copy (2)‘There is a wildwood spirit about Olivia’s work. She seems to be in touch with an inventiveness that  everyday life knocks out of most people, as we toil through adulthood. She knows it’s not easy to keep that spirit alive, and consequently there is a determined joy in her work, a playfulness with hidden gravity.

 Animals and children are Olivia’s touchstones, all living creatures in fact, in their various landscapes. There are some imagined beasts too, but living ones triumph. Olivia calls herself ‘an untaught artist and accidental illustrator’. Perhaps that’s her secret. Her work speaks to everyone, unforced, and full of soul’. Kathleen Jamie, poet.

Olivia lives and works in Northumberland, UK.

 

 

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YA Day: Cathy Forde – Story to Stage

Saturday 23rd March 4:30pm

Venue: The Gallery, The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QE

Tickets: £6 per event or SPECIAL OFFER YA COMBO £10

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox or YA Combo here

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Young Adult fiction has seen a real boom in recent years and Litfest are delighted to welcome acclaimed novelist Cathy Forde to speak as part of its programme.  Known for gritty and uncompromising prose that leaves readers thinking long after the final pages of her books are finished, Cathy has also worked with National Theatre Scotland on Theatre for young people.  In this session, she will discuss her bestselling novels Fat Boy Swim and The Drowning Pond exploring the journey of adapting these from novels to the stage.  A fascinating talk that will be of interest to writers and all interested in drama.

Cathy’s breakthrough novel, Fat Boy Swim, was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and Blue Peter’s ‘Book I Couldn’t Put Down.’ It won the inaugural Grampian Book Award in 2004, and in 2014 was voted their ‘Winner of Winners’.

Cathy has adapted Fat Boy Swim for the theatre, commissioned by National Theatre of Scotland. Her novels Skarrs and The Drowning Pond won Scottish Arts Council book awards, and Dead Men Don’t Talk was shortlisted for a Scottish Children’s Book Award. Cathy is an experienced public speaker and leads many workshops in creative writing and drama. She was the virtual writer-in-residence for the Scottish Booktrust and is mentor to young writers at Toonspeak in Glasgow.

http://cathyforde.co.uk/

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YA Day: Hannah Hodgson – The World of Vlogging

Saturday 23rd March 5:30pm

Venue: The Gallery, The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QE

Tickets: £6 per event or SPECIAL YA COMBO OFFER £10

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox or YA Combo here

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Ever wondered how to take the plunge and start a Bookish YouTube channel? Or maybe you already have, but wonder how to build up a relationship with Publishers, viewers or authors themselves? In this talk and Q and A session Hannah Hodgson will be revealing everything she has learned (sometimes the hard way) to get you on your way towards starting a YouTube channel. She will be discussing everything from how to approach publishers for free books, how to manage your time when you have a serious illness or many commitments, and how to get yourself out there using Twitter and other social media platforms. Most importantly, Hannah will be talking about how to enjoy yourself in your new online diary. Her favourite thing about her channel is the fact that her viewers feel like her friends – which means that she has avoided social isolation due to her disability. There will also be a Q and A session, where you can ask Hannah anything, from why she started her channel to what editing software she uses. 

Hannah Hodgson started her YouTube channel in June 2017. She quickly gained over 2.3k followers. 

www.youtube.com/c/HannahHodgson

She reviews books and poetry collections on her channel; and also discusses her ill health to try and raise awareness of seriously unwell young people. Her first poetry pamphlet was published by Wayleave Press in 2018.

 

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When Stories Go Digital: Explore and Contribute!

Sunday 24th March 11 am

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

Tickets: £4 Full/ £3 Concession Performance Only or DIGITAL COMBO £8/£6

Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: AVAILABLE NOW!

Online: VIC Ticketbox – Please note there is currently an issue with booking the DIGITAL COMBO, please check back soon for this to be resolved

In Person: Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Centres

By phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808

Literature is (much) more than just books in any form. Digital technology allows authors and readers – who become users and players – to play with words, worlds, and stories differently, to offer and experience many stories in one, and to interact and create together. This session offers just that: Alexandra Saemmer and Serge Bouchardon, both digital authors and academics based in France, will present two of their works that engage the digital medium in the form of a performance and discussion and invite the participants to experiment and create their own in the following workshop.

Alexandra Saemmer’s Bömische Dörfer uses Prezi, the presentation software inventively to walk us through a historical moment, the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from Brno in 1945 and their ‘March of Death’, mixed with personal memory of the author’s mother who lived through it. On a much lighter tone but not without reminding us of the risks involved in technological progress, StoryFace, created by Serge Bouchardon and Alexandra Saemmer,   imagines what might happen when machines read and interpret our facial expressions.

The workshop the following performance offers participants the opportunity to experiment with the tools and create their own Prezi stories with Alexandra’s guidance or create characters for StoryFace guided by Serge.

Alexandra Saemmer is Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at University Paris 8. Her research projects focus on the semiotics and aesthetics of digital media, reading and writing on digital platforms. She is author and editor of several books and articles on digital textualities, and she also writes ‘paper’ poetry and fiction in German and French, as well as and digital poetry and fiction on Facebook.

 

 

 

Serge Bouchardon Professor of Communication Sciences at the University of Technology of Compiègne in France, where he teaches interactive writing. His research focuses on digital creation, in particular digital literature. As an author, he is interested in the way the gestures specific to the digital contribute to the construction of meaning. His creations have been exhibited across Europe, America, Africa, and the Middle East and selected in various online journals (bleuOrange, Hyperrhiz, SpringGun, The New River). His Loss of Grasp (http://lossofgrasp.com/) won the New Media Writing Prize 2011.