LitFest Programme 2014

Worcestershire Literary Festival 20-29 June 2014

Book your tickets now at: LitFest Tickets are also available on the door at each event.

Note: Please bring your Box Office tickets / print out your transactions from PayPal (these are your tickets) and bring them along to the event. The person on the door will have a list of payments made and will check your tickets off against the list.

As the end of the festival is in sight, the final two day’s events appear first.

Steve Wilson’s Lunchtime Quiz

Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson

Saturday 28 June 12:30-14:00

The Old Rectifying House, North Parade, Worcester WR1 3NN

County Arts Officer Steve Wilson is hosting a lunchtime quiz Saturday 28th June to test the finest literary brains of Worcestershire residents. Do you fancy yourself a literary connoisseur? Or at least have friends who do? Join the party at the Old Rectifying House at 12.30pm. Lots of fun and laughter guaranteed – it will be a quiz with a difference!

To take part either get your team ticket via PayPal @ https://worcslitfest.co.uk/2014-programme-and-tickets or turn up and book onto the quiz on Saturday at around 12.20. Teams of up to five people.

Tickets £5 per team.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live or on the door. Note: precedence for places will be given to pre-booked teams.

The Magic of Story Time with Judy Pass

Judy Pass will read magical stories to the children
Judy Pass will read magical stories to the children

Saturday 28 June 14:00-15:00

Tudor House, Friar Street, Worcester WR1 2NA

Judy will journey back to ‘Storytime’ where every day ended with a favourite story. Enjoy extracts from Roald Dahl’s The Witches and other fabulous writers’ well-known stories and rhymes: Three Little Pigs, Peter Pan and more in an interactive, fun session.

Tickets on the door

Adults £2

Children £1 (buy one child’s ticket get one free)

Dr John Godrich and Stamford Cartwright present ‘Mountains of MOAB’

Colonel Stamford Cartwright
Colonel Stamford Cartwright

Saturday 28 June 14:00-15:00 and 16:00-17:00

Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, Foregate Street, Worcester WR1 1DT

Mountains of MOAB is the diary of a cavalryman in the Worcestershire Hussars at Gallipoli, Egypt, Sinai, Palestine and Syria.(1908-1919) This War Diary from 1908 to 1919 was kept by Dr John Godrich’s father and is based upon his time as a volunteer in the Territorial Army with the Queens Own Worcestershire Hussars. In August 1915 as a machine gunner the section was sent without horses to the Suvla Bay landing on Gallipoli. He fell asleep exhausted by the trench warfare, debilitated by typhoid and court martialled. After recovery in England he returned to the remnants of his regiment which in the meantime had been killed or captured at Katia in the Sinai desert in April 1915 and reformed as a cavalry regiment. They were used for scouting, raiding, swift attacks and finally chasing a retreating army in a very suitable terrain.

There will be two one-hour talks about this fascinating man’s diaries.

14:00-15:00

16:00-17:00

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live or on the door. Note: precedence will be given to those with pre-booked tickets.

Footy and The Divas!

Decadent Poetry Divas
The Decadent Divas

Note: new times!

Saturday 28 June 19:30-22:30

Drummonds Bar, The Swan with Two Nicks, 28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP

The 17:00 start originally stated allowed for the possibility of England playing – alas, that was not to be! Diva event now starts at 19:30. Please tell everyone. Fun with The Decadent Divas  Book a slot to read on the night – what a bargain for a fab evening’s entertainment.

Tickets £8.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live or on the door.

Maggie Doyle’s Poetry Exploration

Maggie Doyle
Maggie Doyle

Sunday 29 June 10:00-16:00 around Worcester

As ‘Voices of Worcester’, we aim to create a Group Poem for Worcester for the 2014 LitFest. The poem will be written and performed in a single day, in a coming together of different poetic/dramatic voices from across the UK.

Poets will walk and work with Maggie Doyle, Worcestershire Poet Laureate Emeritus, and explore and write about various locations in the city of Worcester. Together we will create a Group Poem from our writing, rehearse, and perform the finished piece as a Group Poem at Drummonds in the evening, between the two slam events, at around 7.00pm

We’re looking for writers who enjoy collaboration and performance to take part in this one day event.

Meet by the post box outside Worcester Cathedral at 10:30.

Tickets, £10 per person, can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

LitFest ‘Double Whammy Slammy’! And End Of Fest Party

PLUS The BIG FAT RAFFLE Draw!

Sunday 29 June

Drummonds Bar, The Swan with Two Nicks, 28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP

Flash Fiction Slam: 17:00-18:30

Voices of Worcester Group Poem: 18:30-19:00

Poetry Slam: 19:00-21:30

Come, watch and vote for flash fiction aficionados who will perform their short, short stories. Entrants will compete to become the very first Worcestershire Flash Fiction Slam Champion. To take part in the flash fiction slam just turn up on the night. Entry £5. The audience will vote for their favourites to go through to the next round.

Poets of Worcestershire create a Group Poem from their writing today, now they perform the finished piece.

And… the grand finale! Come, take part, or watch and vote for competing poets in the final event of the 2014 Worcestershire Literary Festival, as Fergus runs this legendary poetry slam championship.  Participants will vie for the chance to become the fourth Worcestershire Poetry Slam Champion. Previous champions: Fergus McGonigal, James Dolton and Alison Absolute.

Alison Absolute reigning champ of the 2013 LitFest Poetry Slam
Alison Absolute reigning champ of the 2013 LitFest Poetry Slam

To take part in the poetry slam please contact Fergus at speakeasy.litfest@gmail.com to find out how to enter. Entry £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live or on the door.

This is the end of festival party, let’s celebrate!

____________________________________

The Launch of the Festival – Poet Laureate Competition and Young Writers’ Awards

Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2013 Tim Cranmore
Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2013 Tim Cranmore

The Guildhall

Friday 20 June. Doors open at 19:00 for a 19:30 start

Join us for the launch of the Festival and watch 6 poets go head to head as they compete for the title of Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2014.

Judges: Worcestershire Poet Laureate Tim Cranmore, Poet Laureate Emeritus Maggie Doyle, County Arts Officer Steve Wilson, Young Poet Laureate Holly Perrett and Secretary of LitFest Polly Robinson.

To open the event, we will present the prizes for the Young Writer competition. Later, the winners of the Flash Fiction competition will be announced by judge and founder of the competition Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn.

£4 per single ticket – Group of 4 ticket £14

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Midnight Moonlight Solstice Walk

Moonlight on the Old Hills, Callow End
Moonlight on the Old Hills, Callow End Acknowledgement: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/blodandbirm/11671105156

The Old Hills – Callow End

Friday 20 June 22:30

Meet at the Old Hills car park, Callow End, at 22:30 for a wonderful walk into midnight.

Good company with poems and stories along the way – discover something of the heritage we so often take for granted – celebrate the solstice.

This LitFest Walk takes you around gentle walks on Old Hills, which was once part of the large hunting forest known as Malvern Chase.

Time 1-2 hours – feel free to take frequent breaks, maybe make some notes of your thoughts – bring along a short something of your own to read aloud – as ever we will be walking ‘There and Back Again’ (Tolkien, 1954)

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Native American Myths, Story-telling and Poetry Workshop with Ruth Stacey

Ruth Stacey
Ruth Stacey

Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum

Saturday 21 June 11:00-13:30

Family audience and adults

No charge

Max. 20

Please book a place with Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum – 01905 25371

Join author and poet Ruth Stacey to explore our wonderful collection of artefacts from North America. Ruth will share her deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the Native American culture, exploring the fascinating relationship between the people and animal kingdom. For the Native Americans story telling was, and still is, an important way to pass wisdom down to the next generation. To make the information memorable the stories are filled with heroes, villains, comedy, drama and animals (often trickster characters who upset the rules and bring chaos into situations!)

Ruth will encourage you to shape your response in to poetry, short stories or observation drawing.

Space limits places to a maximum of 20. Book soon to avoid disappointment.

Authors’ Fair

Worcester Guildhall

The Guildhall

Saturday 21 June 11:00-16:00

A showcase of writing talent from across the region in the beautiful Worcester Guildhall in the heart of Worcester. Entry is free. Up to 25 local authors will be displaying their work and short performances will take place on the stage throughout the day.

Authors: Tables cost £12.50 and can be booked in advance: LitFest

Romantic Novelists’ Panel

Alison May
Alison May
Christina Courtenay
Christina Courtenay
Liz Harris
Liz Harris
Sue Moorcroft
Sue Moorcroft

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN

Saturday 21 June 14:00-16:30

Don’t miss this! A chance to talk to your favourite Romantic Novelists as four award winning authors join as a panel for LitFest.

Alison May (hosting/chairing)

Alison is a Worcester-based novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel was published by Choc Lit Lite in November 2013, followed by her first novella, Holly’s Christmas Kiss, in December. Her short stories have appeared in Romantic Novelists’ Association, Choc Lit and Black Pear Press anthologies, and she is former winner of the RNA’s Elizabeth Goudge Trophy. www.alison-may.co.uk

Christina Courtenay (panellist)

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and YA contemporary romance, all published by independent publisher Choc Lit.  She is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, she moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East.  Christina is the current chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.  Her novels Highland Storms and The Gilded Fan have both won the Romantic Novel Award (RoNA) for Best Historical Romantic Novel of the year (in 2012 and 2014 respectively).  Her latest novel is The Secret Kiss of Darkness (time slip). www.christinacourtenay.com

Liz Harris (panellist)

Liz Harris has lived in the UK and California, and now writes historical and contemporary romances in settings around the world. Her debut novel, The Road Back, was named the US Coffee Time & Romance Book of the Year 2012, and A Bargain Struck, published in 2013, was shortlisted in the Historical category of The Romantic Novel of the Year 2014. Liz has also published three Choc Lit Lite ebooks: Evie Undercover, The Art of Deception and A Western Heart.

Liz has also written several short stories which have been published in anthologies, including her short story, Angel Cake, which appears in the Choc Lit Love Match anthology. www.lizharrisauthor.com

Sue Moorcroft (panellist)

Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Is this Love? was nominated for the Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. She received three nominations at the Festival of Romance 2012, and is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. She’s vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies.

Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, writing ‘how to’ and is a competition judge and creative writing tutor. www.suemoorcroft.com

Doors open 14:00 for a 14:30 start. Tickets £7.50 to include tea and cake.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

‘How to be Glorious’ – Cat Weatherill

Cat Weatherill
Cat Weatherill

The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester WR1 3PB

Saturday 21 June 19:30

HOW TO BE GLORIOUS is something different – a compelling, deeply personal show that touches hearts and moves minds. Funny, sexy, joyous, fiery, uplifting, but rooted in the reality of midlife, this is truly entertainment for grown ups.

We are delighted that Cat is joining us for the festival this year. She is a multi-talented storyteller and fine adult speaker and entertainer. Cat travels the world telling her stories and comes highly recommended by the Writing West Midlands team.

Cat will be at The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester WR1 3PB Saturday 21 June and her performance will start at 19:30.

Tickets £10.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Cat Weatherill 2 lowres

Women’s Suffrage – Lucienne Boyce

Lucienne Boyce
Lucienne Boyce

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN Sunday 22 June 11:00-12:00

Lucienne Boyce is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. The Bristol Suffragettes (non-fiction) was published in 2013. Lucienne has done numerous articles and talks about the suffragette campaign, which have included comparisons of the campaign in the south west with activity in other parts of the country and she will be focussing on Bristol and Worcester for this talk. Her historical novel, To The Fair Land (2012) is an eighteenth-century thriller about a voyage of discovery set in London, Bristol and the South Seas. She is currently researching the impact of the First World War on the suffrage movement, and writing a historical novel about a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist.

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Pop up Poets – Bus Tour

Sunday 22 June 12:30-14:30

Maggie Doyle & Suz Winspear - two of our Pop Up Poets
Maggie Doyle & Suz Winspear – two of our Pop Up Poets

Starting at The Hive the coach will circumnavigate Worcester taking in The Cathedral, The Commandery, Lea & Perrins Worcester Sauce Factory and travel onwards to Gheluvelt Park where it will park for a while for more poetry readings.

More poetry readings? Oh yes! As we journey around Worcester poets will pop up at intervals, board the coach and perform their work.

Deborah Alma, Emergency Poet
Deborah Alma, Emergency Poet

And… Deborah Alma, the Emergency Poet, will be outside The Hive with her ambulance. ‘Poetry on Prescription’.

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Beatfreeks at Worcester Arts Workshop

Beatfreeks
Some of the Beatfreeks

WAW, 21 Sansome Street, Worcester WR1 1UH

Sunday 22 June 15:00-16:00

Beatfreeks is more than just a social enterprise; it’s a movement, a family, a team… a dynamic and innovative organisation committed to creating social change, empowering and engaging youth and unleashing creativity and unlocking passion, drive and creativity within young people. A young and vibrant team of performers bring Beatfreeks to the LitFest.

Tickets £7.50.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

LITtle Fest with Karen King

Karen King
Karen King

Worcester Arts Workshop, 21 Sansome Street, Worcester WR1 1UH

Sunday 22 June 16:30-18:30

Especially for the children – storytelling for 4-9 year olds with local writer Karen King. There will be picture books and detective stories for children aged between 7-10.

Karen has been writing children’s books since the mid-eighties. She’s written for many children’s magazines too including Sindy, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine. She writes for all ages and in all genres; YA, story books, picture books, plays, joke books and non-fiction. Karen also writes romance novels under the name of Kay Harborne.

Tickets on the door

Adults £2

Children £1 (buy one child’s ticket get one free)

An Evening of Poetry with Mike Harding

Mike Harding
Mike Harding

Guesten Hall, Avoncroft Museum, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, B60 4JR

Sunday 22 June, 19:30

Mike who? Isn’t he a folk singer or a comedian? Wasn’t he on TV a lot? Didn’t he present the Radio 2 folk programme? And was it him that had a top ten hit with a daft song about a Rochdale Cowboy? Must have retired years ago.

The answer is mostly yes, in that despite successful parallel careers as a folk singer and musician, radio and TV broadcaster, and a stand-up comedian still selling out venues all over the country, Mike is increasingly focussed on his writing.

Mike now brings his work as a poet to a wider audience. His publications include Daddy Edgar’s Pools and Crystal Set Dreams (Peterloo Poets) Strange Lights Over Bexley Heath (Luarth Press) and his latest collection, just published, Connemara Cantos (also Luarth Press).

His 40-plus non-poetry publications range from fell walking to fly fishing, taking in such diverse subjects as a series of 8 “Little Books” on aspects of church architecture and, more recently, a biography of the VW Camper Van.
Come along to see Mike Harding at Guesten Hall, Avoncroft Museum, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove B60 4JR Sunday 22 June, 19:30.

Tickets £12.00.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Do You Have A Novel In You?

Alison May
Alison May

Writing Workshop with Alison May (Session 1 – Character)

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN

Monday 23 June 17:45-19:00

Do you have a novel in you? Whether you’re a new writer who’d like to give novel writing a go, or someone who’s had a nearly-finished manuscript in the back of a drawer for years, these workshops are designed to help you focus on the key elements of any novel: ‘Character’, ‘Setting’ and ‘Plot’. Come along to all three, or dip in and out. Characters make stories happen. This workshop will look at how to create believable characters, with writing exercises to give you a go at crafting your own character.

All three sessions will feature advice from an experienced writer and writing tutor, and lots of exercises to develop your own writing.

Monday – Character

Tuesday – Setting

Thursday – Plot

Alison May is a novelist and short story writer, and an experienced creative writing teacher. She has taught writing courses and workshops for Worcester College of Technology, the University of Worcester and Worcester Arts Workshop, and led writing sessions for organisations such as the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Her debut novel was published by Choc Lit Lite in November 2013, followed by her first novella, Holly’s Christmas Kiss, in December. Her short stories have appeared in Romantic Novelists’ Association, Choc Lit and Black Pear Press anthologies, and she is former winner of the RNA’s Elizabeth Goudge Trophy.

www.alison-may.co.uk

Tickets £5 each, £9 for 2, £13 for all three workshops.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Michael Arnold – ‘Stryker’ Civil War series

BoW flyer 2014 low-res

The Commandery

Monday 23 June 18:00

LitFest is pleased to be working with The Battle of Worcester Society, who announce that best selling author of the ‘Stryker’ Civil War novels, Michael Arnold, will discuss his books and his interest in the Civil War.

Q & A, book signing, refreshments and merchandise available.

Tickets £5 on the door.

‘Man Up Jonny Fluffypunk’

Jonny Fluffypunk
Jonny Fluffypunk

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN

Monday 23 June 19:30

Stand-up poet, failed revolutionary and coffee-house layabout Jonny Fluffypunk has become a father. Who is he to shape a young life? Fusing lo-fi spoken word theatre, performance poetry and stand-up comedy, this is a funny, poignant show about big dreams and small victories, DIY and one man’s struggle with late-onset responsibility. Warning: contains references to anarcho-syndicalism.

‘Acute social observation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit… and England’s most pretentious moustache’- The Independent

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Michael Thomas Launches ‘The Girl From Midfoxfields’

Michael W Thomas
Michael W Thomas

Bindles, 55 Sidbury, Worcester WR1 2HU

Tuesday 24 June 12:00-15:00

A treat at Bindles as Michael W Thomas launches his newest collection of poetry ‘The Girl from Midfoxfields.’ Michael is joined by ThreezAcrowd, Jan and Campbell Perry, who will add to the entertainment.

Since 2004, Dr Michael Wyndham Thomas has helped develop and spearhead the workshops for the Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival. His hands-on teaching skills make poetry exciting for even the novice; his depth of knowledge is impressive.

Michael is an Irish-British writer and lived in Canada for a number of years. He now lives in Worcestershire. He is an internationally-known poet, fiction-writer, dramatist and musician. His poetry, prose and scripts have appeared in many publications most recent reviews have appeared in The London Magazine and the TLS.

‘Michael Thomas’s poems are rich with the details of past and present lives.  They explore the wildest possibilities of those lives with passion and humour.’
–Alison Brackenbury

Entry free of charge.

Do You Have A Novel In You?

Writing Workshop with Alison May (Session 2 – Setting)

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN

Tuesday 24 June 17:45-19:00

is the second of three workshops in which Alison explores setting in novel writing. Setting is the where and when of your story. Great settings can elevate stories to another level. Imagine Wuthering Heights without the moors, or Juliet without her balcony. Find out how to use setting to enhance your story, and practise describing your imaginary world.

Tickets £5 each, £9 for 2, £13 for all three workshops.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Worcester Writers’ Circle and Friends Present: ‘Rubber Swordplay’

Tony Judge
Tony Judge

Mary Hirsch says that humour is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood!

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN

Tuesday 24 June 19:30

The talented members of Worcester Writers’ Circle and Friends present a selection of their humorous stories and poems in an evening that is sure to leave your sides aching. Your host, Tony Judge, has again brought together performers who are out to give you a laugh.

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

PILGRIM Workshop

Sarah Hayward
Sara Hayward
Maggie Doyle
Maggie Doyle

Crypt of St Wulstan, Worcester Cathedral, Worcester WR1 2LA

Wednesday 25 June 14:30-16:00

PILGRIM POETRY Workshop with Assistant Education Officer & Artist Sara Hayward MA (RCA) and Worcestershire Poet Laureate Maggie Doyle. A Poetry Workshop on the theme of Pilgrimage with an introductory talk about the Worcester Pilgrim, followed by a quiet reflective time producing poems in the evocative and spiritual Crypt of St Wulfstan.

Tickets £5 to include a cup of tea or coffee.

Tickets available in advance from the Cathedral Shop (off the Cloister, open 10am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday).

Three Illustrated Talks

St John’s Library, Glebe Close, St John’s, Worcester WR2 5AX

Wednesday 25 June between 13:00-17:00

13:00-14:30 Ellie Targett – ‘Another Man’s Shoes’

Ellie Targett
Ellie Target

Many of us remember Ellie as she spent eight years with BBC Hereford and Worcester as a presenter. Her illustrated talk brings to Worcester the documents shown on Antique Roadshow of her father’s work for the Norwegian Resistance movement during WWII. Sven Somme spent two months evading capture following escape and is known for his incredible bravery.

The incredibly brave Sven Somme
The Norwegian Hero – Sven Somme

14:45-15:45 Rebecca Gethin – ‘What The Horses Heard’ – War, Madness and Horses

Rebecca Gethin
Rebecca Gethin

Award winning writer, Rebecca Gethin, says ‘the words historical fiction suggests two opposite intentions pulling in different directions so how can they be reconciled?  Why would anyone write a historical novel? And why do people love to read them?  Rebecca Gethin will be reading from and talking about the genesis and the history of her latest novel, ‘What the horses heard’ – set before, during and after World War One. She will be discussing some of these questions, as well as any others you may bring.

What-the-horses-heard-small

16:00-17:00 Poet Prof. Tony Curtis – ‘My Life with Dylan’

Tony Curtis
Poet Prof Tony Curtis

My Life with Dylan is an entertaining account of the influences and interactions felt by the Welsh poet Tony Curtis whose early years growing up in Carmarthen overlapped with Dylan’s last years. He was taught at university by Dylan’s best friend Vernon Watkins; has won the Western Mail’s Dylan Thomas Prize and also the Dylan Thomas Prize for Spoken Poetry. Tony Curtis has taken the great American beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti to Dylan’s Boat House and has talked with many who knew the infamous man.

We recommend pre-booking tickets for these events due to the space limitations.

Tickets £10 to attend all three at St John’s Library, Glebe Close, St John’s, Worcester WR2 5AX.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

42 Worcester Festival Special

Lou Morgan
Lou Morgan

Drummonds Bar, The Swan with Two Nicks, 28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP

Wednesday 25 June 19:30

42 Worcester’s Festival Special this year features Lou Morgan who grew up in Wales, became a Londoner and now lives in the historic city of Bath – where she spends her days herding cats, writing and drinking tea. Not necessarily in that order of importance.

The British Fantasy Society published her first short story in 2008, and since then her work has appeared in anthologies from Jurassic Press to Solaris Books.

Her first novel, “Blood and Feathers” – an urban fantasy described as ‘Alice in Wonderland goes to Hell’ – was published in the UK & the US by Solaris Books in August 2012, with a sequel, “Blood and Feathers: Rebellion” released in the summer of 2013.

She has a weakness for pizza, cathedrals and Christopher Nolan films (although possibly not all at the same time), and gets very excited about medieval history & literature.

Tickets £5 can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

'Blood and Feathers' Lou Morgan
‘Blood and Feathers’ Lou Morgan
'Rebellion' Lou Morgan
‘Rebellion’ Lou Morgan

‘Poems in the Park’ with Sue Johnson

Sue Johnson
Sue Johnson

Sons of Rest Building, Cripplegate Park, Worcester WR2 5BA

Thursday 26 June 11:00-13:00

A wonderful opportunity for aspiring poets and creative writers to hear poems inspired by Worcester’s greenspaces from local residents. Led by Sue Johnson. A networking and learning event. Refreshments available. Free of charge.

Sue Johnson is published as a poet, short story writer and novelist. Her short stories have appeared in Woman, My Weekly, Woman’s Weekly, Chat: it’s fate, Take a Break, The People’s Friend and That’s Life – Australia.

Her first novel Fable’s Fortune was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2011. They will also be publishing her second novel The Yellow Silk Dress and a collection of poetry entitled Tasting Words, Hearing Colours in the near future.

Sue has also published three books aimed at helping other writers. She runs her own brand of writing courses and is a Writers’ News Home Study Tutor. Further information about her work can be found at www.writers-toolkit.co.uk

This workshop is free of charge, but please book your place online at www.worcester.gov.uk/parks or via Michelle.Newell@worcester.gov.uk

‘Letting off Steam’ with the Steam Poets and Bert Flitcroft

Severn Valley Steam Train Concourse, Kidderminster Station, Comberton Hill, DY10 1QX

Thursday 26 June 11:00-15:00

‘av you ze little grey cells of a Hercule Poirot? Would you like to investigate a 1950’s Pullman Sleeper carriage AND listen to some fine poetry courtesy of the Steam Poets? Then book your ticket for another Worcestershire LitFest Special, this time at Severn Valley Steam Railway. Get a sneak preview of life in the 1940’s from the temporary in situ exhibition as Severn Valley Railways re-create life in the 1940s together with a replica house, air raid shelter etc. for their forthcoming Step Back to the 1940s weekend. We have been able to join with them for a sneak preview and let our poetic festival revellers wallow in nostalgia as they listen to fine poets and poetry.

To find the station follow the brown tourist signs showing the little steam engine.

The Steam Poets will perform their poetry at the Kidderminster station concourse with a special guest appearance by Staffordshire poet, Bert Flitcroft. Bert’s work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Fineleaf published his collection ‘Singing Puccini at the kitchen sink’ in 2011 and Jonathan Davidson of Writing West Midlands said, “Bert Flitcroft has an unnerving knack for capturing moments; dramatic, comic, bizarre. Coupled with his sure handling of language this makes for poems that lift off the page; immediately enjoyable but worth re-reading.”

Bert Flitcroft
Bert Flitcroft

Who are the Steam Poets? Dave Reeves is the Station Master of Ceremonies and is joined by Greg Freeman, Suz Winspear, and Deborah Alma for a wonderful day of steaming poetry.

Steam Master of Ceremonies Dave Reeves
Steam Master of Ceremonies Dave Reeves

Station Master of Ceremonies Dave Reeves is a poet, performer and historian. He was born in the Black Country and his work has appeared internationally. Dave’s writing is inspired by the local area and his experiences growing up and living here, and his work in the region’s dialect has attracted serious attention throughout Europe.

Greg Freeman has written many poems about railways, and a few about canals; in 2013 he read some of his railway poems in the station refreshment room at Sowerby Bridge arts festival in West Yorkshire. He is a former newspaper sub-editor, and now news editor for the poetry website Write Out Loud.

Greg Freeman
Greg Freeman

Suz Winspear says she’s, ‘…stranded in the present era following a time machine malfunction and now lives in a disused church. She has a day-job in a Victorian museum. She spends a lot of time sitting in the dark, cultivating strange imaginings, which she turns into poetry and dark tales. Suz has never quite adapted to modern concepts of mainstream fashion.

Suz Winspear
Suz Winspear

Deborah Alma was born in London and lives in Ludlow. She writes poetry, runs poetry workshops for children and dementia sufferers and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Keele University. She is also Emergency Poet in her 1960′s ambulance.

Deborah Alma, Emergency Poet
Deborah Alma, Emergency Poet

Come along for an 11:00 start, going on until 15:00 with a break for lunch. We recommend that tickets be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tickets £10.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Do You Have A Novel In You?

Writing Workshop with Alison May (Session 3 – Plot)

Thursday 26 June 17:45-19:00

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN

This is the third of three workshops in which Alison explores plot in novel writing. How do you work out the story for your novel? Do you plan or do you just sit down and write? This workshop will look at plot structure and how to avoid the dreaded saggy middle.

Tickets £5 each, £9 for 2, £13 for all three workshops.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

SpeakEasy Festival Special

Thursday 26 June 19:30

Emma Purshouse

The Old Rectifying House, North Parade, Worcester WR1 3NN

SpeakEasy Special with Emma Purshouse. If you would like the chance to read your short stories, poems, prose, try out your performance poetry or music that tells a story, this evening is for you! Please email curators Maggie and Fergus at speakeasy.litfest@gmail.com or arrive early to claim an open mic slot at Worcester SpeakEasy, The Old Rectifying House, North Parade, Worcester WR1 3NN

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Spice Girl LIVE @Bindles- Anita Sharma-James

Friday 27 June 12:00-14:00

Bindles, 55 Sidbury, Worcester WR1 2HU

Anita Sharma-James
Anita Sharma-James

Spice up your life with Anita Sharma-James @Bindles, Worcester. A live Indian cookery demonstration with our fabulous local expert, and afterwards enjoy a mouth-watering Indian finger buffet made with Anita’s authentic recipes from her wonderful cookery book.

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Gail Ashton War Writing – The Naming of Parts With apologies – event withdrawn due to illness

Friday 27 June 14:30-16:30

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN

‘For readers and writers’

Gail Ashton
Gail Ashton

Good writers are also good readers. If you love reading poetry (and prose), enjoy the sound of it read aloud, and sometimes wonder how and why a piece of writing is made effective, then this active workshop is for you. You’ll be introduced to a small selection of WWI writings in a friendly, accessible and supportive atmosphere. You’ll consider the nuts and bolts of individual works and leave with an enhanced literary awareness that will sharpen your reading, and even your own writing. And… there will be a short reading from the course leader.

Gail Ashton is a writer and creative writing teacher/mentor. She publishes poetry: Ghost Songs, and The Other Side of Glass (Cinnamon Press) and creative non-fiction, has a PhD in medieval literature, and formerly lectured at the universities of Manchester and Birmingham.

EVENT WITHDRAWN

‘Identities’ Poetry Workshop with Amanda and Polly

Friday 27 June 17:00-19:00

St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2P

Amanda Bonnick
Amanda Bonnick
Polly Robinson
Polly Robinson

Amanda and Polly invite you to a poetry workshop about identities – bring poems you are working on or join in our thought-provoking activities. Let’s talk about free verse and form in poetry.

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live.

Sketches of Worcester with Worcester Pub Theatre Company

Friday 27 June 19:30

The Old Rectifying House, North Parade, Worcester WR1 3NN

Worcester Pub Theatre Company
Worcester Pub Theatre Company

Based in a Worcester Pub, Worcester Pub Theatre Company perform plays, sketches, murder mysteries and improvised comedy. These talented players write most of their material themselves. They also run the Worcester Pub Theatre Festival.

Tickets £5.

Tickets can be purchased online at LitFest or via the Box Office|Worcester Live and some will be available on the door at events. Precedence will be given to those with pre-paid tickets.

Note: Please bring your Box Office tickets / print out your transactions from PayPal (these are your tickets) and bring them along to the event. The person on the door will have a list of payments made and will check your tickets off against the list.

Further information is available from the LitFest website or by visiting the Eco Hub 7 The Lychgate, Cathedral Plaza, the Transition Worcester / Worcester Roots Foundation / LitFest shared shop in Worcester city centre.

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