Got an idea for this year’s LitFest? Then we want to hear from you!

We are now taking applications for Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe’s 2017 festival, which will run from June 9 – 18th this year. In the interest of packing our festival line-up with the best literary talent from the local area and beyond, we are asking anyone interested in taking part in this year’s festival to contact us NOW!

Our application form will guide you through how to pitch your ideas to us; these ideas will then be discussed by the lovely LitFest and Fringe committee ahead of a decision being made.

So, if you’ve got a wonderful act that you want to see centre stage at our festival this year, you can email to request an application form and get the ball rolling.

We look forward to hearing from you!


BaldyPoems Presents… Are you ready for him?

kings-queens-of-comedy-posterThe thigh-slapping comedy of BaldyPoems (Kieran Davis, when he’s not playing the joker) is coming to St Swithun’s Institute, Worcester City Centre, tomorrow evening – that’s right, tomorrow – and he’s bringing along with him a host of hilarious friends for a truly stellar line-up of comedy and poetry.

If you’ve missed our Facebook updates then feast your eyes below because the line-up is not one to be missed…

Baldy will host our evening, including one or two of his own poems making an appearance, and throughout this we will be treated to the delights of…

John Lawrence

Neil Laurenson

Nina Lewis

Mark Kilburn

Catherine Crosswell

And your headliner for the evening… Mogs!!

We also have a super secret but super special guest lined up to make a surprise appearance during the evening as well.

So what more reason do you need to bring yourselves along tomorrow night? Comedy, poetry, free wine (did we mention the free wine?!), and an evening that is sure to be entertaining like no other.

Tickets are £5 on the door and you can find us at St Swithun’s (WR1 2PN) from 7pm tomorrow!

Our 2017 competitions are now OPEN!

Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe are delighted to announce that their 2017 competitions are now OPEN! You can now find details of our latest competitions in the Competitions section of our website – listed in the menu just above – including details on how to enter.

The competitions launched for 2017 are:

LitFest Young Writer Competition 

Flash Fiction Competition

And, drum roll please…

Worcestershire Poet Laureate Competition!

So check out our conditions of entry and get writing. 2017 could be your year! Good luck!

BaldyPoems Presents: The Kings & Queens of Comedy!


Worcester LitFest and Fringe are delighted to announce their first BaldyPoems Presents in the form of our Kings and Queens of Comedy event! The perfect remedy to your winter blues, Worcestershire’s best, brightest, and most amusing poets will be taking to the St Swithun’s stage on January 20th to entertain you with an evening of hilarious verse – packed with adult humour, so consider yourselves warned.

Price? £5

Place? St Swithun’s Institute.

Poets? All will be revealed over the coming weeks. During the Christmas period we will be making announcements via our Facebook and Twitter accounts to reveal the stellar line-up that BaldyPoems will bring to this event – and the first poet to be announced this week is…

John Lawrence!

Who? Oh, that John Lawrence! The chap of advancing years who pops up now and again with gently funny verse, then hides away in his fortified castle in Redditch, writing occasionally, until the next time he ventures out on his white steed.

Isn’t he also the author of The Secret Five and the Stunt Nun Legacy, that mirthful/irksome (delete as appropriate) Blyton parody? Yes, that’s the one.

Hmmm. Well, maybe his poetry will be funnier on the night? Worth a punt!

So get this date in your diary and keep your eyes peeled for further announcements…


Suz’s WPL Blog – December 2016

Interesting Times

There is said to be an ancient Chinese curse that runs “May you live in interesting times.” A more recent version might say “May you be Worcestershire Poet Laureate in interesting times”, and these past few months have been nothing if not interesting! Only a few days after my inauguration came the Brexit vote – I live in the most diverse and multicultural part of Worcester, and I absolutely love it; every day I hear a new accent, during Ramadan I see Muslim families setting out at sunset with baskets of food to break the day’s fast with friends, and recently the fireworks for Diwali have been going off over the city. It feels as though our strong, safe tolerant community now under threat, and now the result of the American election has left many of us shocked and fearful. These certainly are interesting times, and we poets, writers and artists have to be interesting in response, to understand, interpret and challenge this peculiar new reality.

I’ve had a very busy few months since I took up the role as Worcester Poet Laureate, and I think I’m the first holder of the position who has also been holding down a day-job, so I’ve certainly been keeping myself occupied since June! The role has opened a lot of doors for me. I’m now doing regular broadcasts on BBC Hereford & Worcester, and have a monthly column in SlapMag to spread the news about Spoken Word events in Worcestershire. I organised the event for National Poetry Day in October – a wonderful evening with great poets in a lovely new venue. I have contributed two poems to a forthcoming pamphlet to raise awareness of the presence of First World War graves in UK cemeteries. Combined with my role as Poet in Residence at the Museum of Royal Worcester, I’ve been running a poetry competition – we have had so many fantastic entries that it was really difficult to choose an outright winner.

Also in these past few months, I’ve performed at the Worcester Music Festival, appeared at the event for Mental Health Awareness Day, become compere at SpeakEasy, performed at Woo Feministas events at Cafe Bliss, and been commissioned to write and perform a poem at the Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery for the opening of their Battle of Orgreave exhibition. I continue to perform regularly at 42, have had an acting role in a film, and even been an extra in a music video. Yes, things since June have definitely been interesting!

As for forthcoming events – I am planning what I think will be the main event of my year, a collaborative event with another Worcester-based arts group. It’s still at an early stage, and ideas are constantly evolving, but I am hoping that it will result in a spoken word event unlike anything that has ever been seen in Worcester before!

I’m beginning to think that a year isn’t enough to carry out all my plans – I need a decade at least . . .

This Year’s Winter Young Writer Competition is NOW OPEN!


FREE ENTRY to The Rotary Young Writer Competition 2016 supported by LitFest. The necessary entry and consent form for the competition can be found at the base of this post and can be copied and pasted into the submission email.

We’re looking for stories of around 300 words to be submitted by 30 November 2016.

Theme: ‘Reflection

Competition open to Young Writers between 7-17 years of age.

Competition Rules

1. Closing date is 30 November 2016.

2. Word limit: 300 words.

3. One entry only per young writer.

4. Submitted pieces must not have been published elsewhere and must be the entrant’s original work. Translations of anyone else’s work are not eligible. Copyright remains with the writer.

5. Entries may be published on Rotary and LitFest websites and social media, and read at Rotary and LitFest events.

6. Entries must be in English. 7. Submit entries by email to

8. The subject line of the e-mail must state: Young Writer Competition.

9. A circa 50 word profile of the young writer should be written in the body of the email.

10. Entries should be attached as a Word document. Give your name and contact details in the body of the email, as well as the title and word count of your submission. The entry and consent form below must be completed and digitally signed by you and your parent / guardian and be emailed with your entry. NB Schools who already have permission from parents / guardians need complete only one form on behalf of the school.

11. Entries should be single spaced, in a legible 12pt font such as Times New Roman or Arial.

12. The winner and runner-up will be notified via email.

13. The theme is ‘Reflection’ and all styles and genres are welcome.

14. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of this competition.

Entry into the competition signifies agreement to these rules.

Age Groups

JUNIOR: Aged 7 – 10 years

INTERMEDIATE: Aged 11 – 13 years

SENIOR: Aged 14 – 17 years on 31 August 2016

All entries will be judged by a panel of judges.

Judges have been selected for experience in literature, journalism or related experience and will include judges from LitFest and Rotary International.

Information will be updated on this page.

Competition closes 30 November 2016

1. First prize £20 book vouchers

2. Runner up prize £10 book vouchers

3. Third prize £10 book vouchers

All entries are likely to be published in Rotary magazines.

Our encouragement to all Young Writers! Good luck!

It is essential that the entry and consent form below be completed for applications to be accepted.

Entry and Consent Form

Disclaimers and parental consent should be written and digitally signed in the body of your email in the following manner:

I, ………………………………………………………………of

…………………………………………school/college,declare that this writing is entirely

my own work.

My age on 31 August 2016 is ……



I give permission for this writing to be reproduced in any format and for the author’s likeness

to be used for promotional purposes within Rotary International in Britain and Ireland and

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe. I also agree to be contacted by the Public Relations Officers

of these organisations for public relations purposes.

Parent/Guardian’s signature:


Phone number:


The act of electronic submission of this form by e-mail (copy and paste into the email) with typed signatures is deemed to be confirmation of the above and a declaration of acceptance of the rules by the signatories.

Winners of the LitFest, Rotary, and Titania Young Writer Competition Have Been Announced!


We are pleased to announce that the prize winners of the 2016 LitFest, Rotary and Titania Young Writer Competition are as follows:

7-10 years old

Martha Davey – winner (for the second year running)

Olivia Sproule – runner up

Edie Callanan – third

11-13 years old

Abby Trow – winner

Erika Jones – runner up

Vilmos Borodi – third


Lizzie Austen – winner

Charlie Johns – runner up

Sarah Adegbite – third

Congratulations to all the prize winners and commiserations to all other entrants.

The Anthology of the 2016 Young Writer Competition will be launched 4 December 2016 at Titania, Security House, Barbourne Road, Worcester WR1 1RU, and you are warmly invited to join us for what promises to be a wonderful event.

This year’s anthology is titled ‘Lucid’, after the prizewinning entry in the 14+ category, and will be on sale at the launch.