Walking Solo


For ‘Walking Solo’, we invited two locally based writers Polly Atkin and Jenn Ashworth to make a podcast each, based on a solo walk or walks taken in or around Lancaster. They have created two terrific pieces which you can download free from SoundCloud here or, if you prefer, read as texts here:

And that’s not all, Litfest now invites you to make your own podcast using Audacity, a free download App that works on computers, laptops, iPads, tablets or smart phones, and is available at: https://www.audacityteam.org

Your podcast can be about a real walk or a walk in imagination or memory. It can be about the countryside or the city, a river, a mountain or a lake, the sea, the coast or the moors; it can be about your life, your work, your school or college, your dreams, memories or ambitions. And you can make up up as you go along.

Make it friendly, like a spoken letter to a friend, and make it as interesting as you can. It should last between 15 and 20 minutes and if you want to supply a written version too that’s fine, but not necessary. Above all, it’s your voice and your stories we want to hear.

When it’s done save it as an MP3 file and email it to litfestbill@gmail.com. The best three podcasts, in the opinion of the judges, submitted to Litfest by 21st August 2020 will be posted as free downloads on the Litfest website in September.

For more tips and advice on creating podcasts we asked Jenn and Polly to give us the benefit or their experience which you can read here – Notes and Tips.

The judges are: Jennifer Dobson (Manager of Waterstones, King Street, Lancaster), Karen Lloyd (Award-winning writer and Environmental activist) and Beth Pipe (aka ‘The Cumbrian Rambler’).

We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say while ‘walking solo’.

Three Northwest Walkers Win Litfest Accolade

Today, we are delighted to announce that in the opinion of the judges the best three podcasts on the theme of ‘walking solo’in lockdown, in alphabetical order, are: 

•       ‘Williamson Park – My Exercise Yard’ by Mary Ainsworth
•       ‘The Magic Cattlegrid’ by Loren Cafferty
•       ‘Borrowdale Valley’ by Tara Vallente 

All three podcasts are available at The Litfest Soundcloud account to be listened to for free by clicking on each podcast above, or you can find all the Walking Solo Podcasts here.

You can also read these podcasts as texts if you prefer here:



Polly Atkin

lives in Grasmere. She grew up in Nottingham, then lived in East London for seven years before moving to the North West. She has taught English Literature and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, the University of Cumbria, and most recently at the University of Strathclyde. Her debut collection of poetry Basic Nest Architecture was published in February 2017 by Seren.



Jenn Ashworth

was born in Preston and studied at Cambridge and Manchester. Her novels include A Kind of Intimacy and Fell. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018. Her latest book, Notes Made While Falling, is a memoir told in a series of essays published by Goldsmiths Press. She lectures in creative writing at Lancaster University.




Jennifer Dobson

is currently the Bookshop Manager for Waterstones, King Street, Lancaster. Having been in the business for more than twelve years, she is passionate about reading and working with the local community. She has been involved in many events over the years and has worked in many branches of Waterstones around the country. Her hobbies include illustration, getting out in the wild when she can and one day owning her own cabin.

Karen Lloyd

is an award winning writer and environmental activist based in Cumbria. Her first book, The Gathering Tide; A Journey Around the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay was published by Saraband. It won the Striding Edge Productions Prize for Place in The Lakeland Book of the Year Awards 2016. The Blackbird Diaries, published by Saraband in 2017, won The Lakeland Arts and Literature Award 2018.

Beth Pipe 

Is a regular rambler. She writes the words, husband Steve takes the pics. Both have a passion for the outdoors and have been working together for five years, whilst drinking tea and eating copious amounts of maltloaf. @CumbrianRambler