Lancashire's literature festival, publisher and development agency

Independent Publishing Day: Comma Press Short Story Showcase

Saturday 10th March 4pm
Since its beginnings as an artists’ group in 2003, Comma Press has continued to evolve into a thriving northern publishing house by embracing innovation, collaborations and digital media. Despite its diversification over the years into translation, poetry, novels and film Comma still seeks to put the short story at the heart of its focus. Here, they showcase the latest short story collections from two of their best-loved writers – M. John Harrison and Martyn Bedford. In Letters Home Martyn explores a variety of characters each at a crossroads in their lives, and in his first collection of short fiction in over 15 years – You Should Come with Me Now: stories of ghosts – M. John Harrison pushes the boundaries of genre to bring us weird stories for weird times….

Independent Publishing Day: Bluemoose presents…Heidi James

Saturday 10th March 5:15pm

Founded in 2006 by Kevin and Hetha Duffy Bluemoose Books are an independent publisher based in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Here they present the latest novel from acclaimed writer Heidi James…

When award-winning journalist Marcus Murray’s latest story involves a corrupt alliance between a UK bank, the arms trade and the government, it seems he has triumphed again in his quest for the truth. But he is accused of fabrication and nothing in his life makes sense any more, including the disappearance twenty years ago of his best friend, Melanie. Why did she vanish, and who is the body recently discovered in a Kent orchard? A timeless story of how love and enduring friendship shape who we are, the novel exposes the fault lines in our own reality and who and what we believe to be true, including ourselves…

Independent Publishing Day: The Northern Fiction Alliance

Saturday 10th March 6:15pm

Litfest are delighted to present an exclusive panel of industry experts with a special
northern perspective. Representing four members of the Northern Fiction Alliance Rebecca Parkinson from Comma Press, Kevin Duffy from Bluemoose Books, Nathan Connolly from Dead Ink and Sara Hunt from Saraband gather together to give you a unique insight into the rapidly changing world of independent publishing.

Spotlight featuring Alabaster dePlume

Friday 16th March 7pm

In a specially extended edition of this long-running Lancaster staple, Spotlight presents a highly varied line-up. Alongside saxophonist and spoken word artist Alabaster dePlume Spotlight will also feature prolific writer Ian Marchant with an extract from his recent book A Hero For High Times. There will also be poetry from invited guests, music from Mollie Baxter & Chris Hargreaves and an Open Mic.

Poetry Day: Oversteps Press presents… Alwyn Marriage and Rebecca Bilkau

Saturday 17th March 12:30pm

We are delighted to open our poetry day this year with two poets from Oversteps Press—Alwyn Marriage and Rebecca Bilkau. Both of these poets have a widely varied background in poetry and bring all their experience to bear in their latest collections…

Poetry Day: Beautiful Dragons Press presents…Noble Dissent – Fall to Grace

Saturday 17th March 1:15pm

For our second event of Poetry day Litfest are delighted to welcome back Beautiful Dragons Press for the launch of their latest unique collaborative anthology — Noble Dissent.
Featuring 72 poets from across the world this anthology celebrates standing your ground and advocating for change. Sadly we cannot have all 72 poets here on the day but come and here some of them pull out the soap boxes and blow their whistles…

Poetry Day: Kate Fox and Rhiannon Hooson

Saturday 17th March 2:45pm

For our third Poetry Day event Litfest are delighted to present two rising stars of the poetry world. Both Rhiannon and Kate will reimagine the world from their unique perspectives. Drawing on a strong connection to their homelands of Wales and ‘The North’ the familiar grows strange when mixed with a liberal dose of Greek myth, Lake District floods, Glastonbury festival and the Great North run. Join us for a pair of truly memorable readings!

Poetry Day: Philip Gross and Katharine Towers

Saturday 17th March 4pm

For our penultimate Poetry Day event Litfest brings you two poets seeking to explore humanity’s connection to the world. Katharine Towers’ TS Eliot Prize shortlisted second collection The Remedies delves into our complex relationship with
nature. Whilst Philip Gross’ latest collection A Bright Acoustic breaches the echoing void between language and the world and gives voice to the numerous voices he finds there.

Poetry Day: Wayleave Press presents… Pauline Yarwood, Hannah Hodgson and Michael Bartholomew-Biggs

Saturday 17th March 5:15pm

We conclude a bumper day of poetry with the welcome return of Wayleave Press, a small independent publisher of poetry pamphlets based in Lancaster founded by Mike Barlow in 2014. This final reading will showcase three of their poets, two with recent pamphlets and one forthcoming.

Andrew Michael Hurley: Devil’s Day

Thursday 22nd March 7:30pm

To begin our final week of this year’s festival we are delighted to welcome back Costa Prize winner Andrew Michael Hurley reading from his fantastic second novel—Devil’s Day…
In the wink of an eye, as quick as a flea,
The Devil he jumped from me to thee.
And only when the Devil had gone,
Did I know that he and I’d been one . . .

Springfest: Kathleen Jamie

Friday 23rd March 7pm

We begin our Springfest weekend with a double bill with a distinctly Scottish flavour…

First we have award-winning poet and essayist Kathleen Jamie, possessing a poet’s eye and a naturalist’s affinity for the wold places of the world . Whether she is following the call of a peregrine in the hills above her home in Fife, sailing into a dark winter solstice on the Orkney islands, or pacing around the carcass of a whale on a rain-swept Hebridean beach, she creates a subtle and modern narrative, peculiarly alive to her connections and surroundings.

Springfest: Jim Crumley

Friday 23rd March 8:15pm

In the second half of our Scottish double bill we welcome prolific nature writer Jim Crumley. The author of the much loved (and recently reprinted!) The Company of Swans has led a long and varied career including journalism, Radio and TV work. But throughout he continues to delight his readers with many new publications. The latest of these is the second in his seasons quartet—The Nature of Winter.

Springfest: Paul Evans

Saturday 24th March 7pm

In Field Notes from the Edge, the acclaimed writer of the Guardian’s ‘Country Diary’, Paul Evans, takes us on a journey through the in-between spaces of Nature – such as strandlines, mudflats, cliff tops and caves – where one wilderness is on the verge of becoming another and all things are possible. Here, Evans searches out wildlife and plants to reveal a Nature that is inspiring yet intimidating; miraculous yet mundane; part sacred space, part wasteland. It is here that we tread the edge between a fear of Nature’s dangers and a love of Nature’s beauty. Combining a naturalist’s eye for observation with a poet’s ear for the lyrical, Field Notes from the Edge confirms Paul Evans’s place among our leading nature writers today.

Springfest: Jackie Morris – The Lost Words

Saturday 24th March 8:15pm

Much-loved and award winning illustrator Jackie Morris will talk about her latest book The Lost Words. Inspired by the words that were dropped from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Jackie’s response was the creation of a large format, illustrated book of spells based around these words. Jackie will talk about the inspiration behind the idea for The Lost Words, the process of collaborating with author Robert MacFarlane and give a glimpse into the creation of a book that speaks with eloquence and lyricism about our relationship with both landscape and language.

The Invisibility Hat – Dominic Kelly

Sunday 25th March 3pm
The Swedish forests are filled with the strangest things… and most of them are trolls!
When a brother and sister find an extraordinary hat, they are plunged into these creatures’ world and things quickly spin out of control. Could a moment’s kindness save them before it’s too late?
Join Dominic on a storytelling journey into the vast northern forests: through mystery, suspense and a great deal of fun. On the way you’ll gain invaluable knowledge: what to do should you ever come face to face with a troll…

The Devil’s Violin: Stolen

Saturday 11th November 7:30pm Venue: The Storey Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes + interval Tickets: £12/£10 Tickets now available! Tickets can be purchased in a variety of ways: Online: VIC Ticketbox By Phone: 01524 582394/ 01524 582808 In Person: Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres No guards met him at the palace. He made…

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Adverse Camber: Dreaming the Night Field

Saturday 23rd September 7:30pm
Venue: The Storey Auditorium, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, Lancashire, England, LA1 1TH
Tickets: £12/£10 
Following last year’s hugely popular performance of ‘Fire in the North Sky’ , Adverse Camber and Lifest have partnered once again to bring the acclaimed touring production ‘Dreaming the Night Field’ to Lancaster.

Graham Mort: Black Shiver Moss

Friday 25th August 7:30pm
Venue: Waterstones, King Street, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1
Tickets: Free – just come along on the day!
Come along for a wonderful evening of poetry celebrating the release of Graham Mort’s tenth poetry collection! The event will run until about 9pm and will include a reading, Q&A and book signing.

Welcome to the 38th Lancaster Literature Festival 3rd-26th March 2017!

Hello festival-goers and welcome to the Litfest 2017 programme! This year we bring you a fabulously varied programme of events throughout March as we wave good-bye to the Winter and welcome the Spring. This year Litfest has enjoyed the support of many friends and supporters and we welcome April Poets and Spotlight into this year’s…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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