Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe: Our final few hurrahs!

The LitFest and Fringe team are nursing aches, pains, and smiling faces after a busy but wonderful festival week. Last Friday night saw us split between the Greek classicism of Natalie Haynes at The Hive and the Big Fat Quiz taking place at Titania, while Saturday morning calmed things down slightly with our children’s workshop at the wonderful St John’s library.

Things wouldn’t stay quiet for long, though! Saturday night, at Worcester Arts Workshop, LitFest and friends opened their arms to some top class London talent. We had an intimate evening of poetry and performance from Robert Cole, Math Jones, and Keleigh Wolf. A fabulous evening was had by all in attendance and we left on a grand high ready for the TWO slams that we had pencilled in for the following day.

Sunday evening saw us head back to Drummonds where we kicked the evening’s events off with a Flash Fiction Slam. After three rounds of top notch flash fiction, Roz Levens was crowned our 2017 Slam Champion (!) and so we send a massive congratulations to her this morning, and a huge well done and thank you to everyone who took part.

Following this there was the annual Poetry Slam! Poets battled it out round by round but there could be only one, and this year the Slam Champ for poetry is… Mark Kilburn! Again we send Mark our sincere congratulations, and a massive thank you to everyone who took part in this event – INCLUDING Matt ‘Man’ Windle, Birmingham’s own Poet Laureate, who hosted this stellar evening for us.

Then there came the drawing of the Big Fat Raffle, and then there came the goodbyes and thank yous…

Our thank yous aren’t over quite yet, though. The morning after the week before and we as a team are feeling hugely grateful to everyone who supported us, not only for festival week, but to those who continue to support us all year round. Without you, we would have no reason to keep doing what we’re doing.

So thank you: To our wonderful and dedicated audience members; to the marvellous performers who have graced Worcester in this last week; to our kind and generous sponsors who allow us to keep the festival going; and, finally, to our committee and our volunteers, for ploughing efforts and energies into this festival, year after year.

And now, folks, we’re all going to go for a little lie down…


Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe: The Final Countdown!

It’s been another wild couple of days for the Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe team! Wednesday night we welcomed The Anti Poet with open arms to appear at our Festival 42 Special. An evening devoted to gothic, horror, and sci-fi literature, a host of marvellous open mic performers were rolled out ahead of our headliners taking to the stage. The venue was packed and performance-ready from the off for this formidable pair of (anti) poets and by all accounts they did not disappoint! A stellar evening was had by all down at Drummonds and we’d like to thank everyone who attended, and everyone who performed, for making this such a crackin’ event in the LitFest calendar.

Last night saw the return of LitFest’s monthly open mic event, SpeakEasy, also celebrating its festival special and my, oh my, what a special it was! The outrageous Pete the Temp took to the stage as the featured artist for festival month and he, in no uncertain terms, WOWed the audience entirely with his energy, his enthusiasm, and his beautiful words. Couple this with the fact that we had both Suz Winspear AND Nina Lewis performing, with a wealth of open mic talent squeezed in between, and it really was a wonderful evening.

It’s the final countdown for the LitFest now, folks, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that we’re slowing down at all. We may only have three days left BUT we’ve still got FIVE events for you to choose from! We’ve got quizzes, we’ve got workshops, AND we’ve got Sunday’s slam-tastic finale to look forward to, so have another browse through the programme and get yourselves booked in for what promises to be an entertaining send-off for this year’s festival.

Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe: The halfway mark!

If you haven’t checked in with the Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe team yet this year then you really are missing out! We have been dotted at various venues around Worcester City Centre since last Friday, rolling out a stellar display of literary talent.

Our most recent events were Monday night’s Worcester Writers’ Circle and Friends’ evening, that took the form of Short Stories, Sketches, and Scurrilous Scribings. I am delighted to say that this evening was an absolute cracker of an event! We laughed, we emphasised, we shook our heads and groaned, and overall it was a marvellous evening with a supportive audience.

Last night saw something different brought to LitFest. The Hive, in partner with our fine selves, housed a theatrical work titled The Murderer – inspired by the Luke Kennard poem of the same name – performed by Clown Funeral. We didn’t know what to expect – although we were all excited by the prospect of seeing something so new and fresh. Well, we were NOT disappointed! The hour-long (ish) performance was moving, emotive, and unexpectedly amusing at times. Without giving too much of the concept away – it really is a surprise that you should experience for yourselves, should you get the opportunity – The Murderer is a refreshing and unexpected take on a controversial topic, and it made for wonderful viewing!

And that brings us to today! What can you look forward to from here on out? PLENTY! The Anti Poet are set to bring down the house at Drummonds Bar this evening and then we’re back to Cafe Bliss tomorrow (Thursday) evening for a PACKED night of open mic performers AND a featured appearance from Pete The Temp. So get booking, folks, because tickets are still available online and you’ve still got time to enjoy this year’s LitFest and Fringe!

For questions regarding events and ticketing, please email secretary@worcslitfest.co.uk.

Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe: What’s happened so far?

We have absolutely SMASHED our festival opening this weekend with not one, not two, not even three events taking place, but FIVE over a total of just three days. Friday saw the official launch of the festival, though, and for those not yet privy to the news (where have you been?) we are delighted to announce that our new Poet Laureate was revealed for the coming year and that poet is… NINA LEWIS!

Nina has been a determined supporter of Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe in past years, and we are delighted to see her take up the position of Worcestershire Poet Laureate. We know that she’ll make us proud!

Saturday saw Holly Daffurn drop a workshop in St John’s Library in the afternoon followed by Suz Winspear – out-going Poet Laureate – putting on a stellar display of poetry at Worcester’s porcelain museum (she was accompanied by a fair amount of laureates, past and present, might we add).

Sunday’s events started off with another workshop – Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know – that taught attendees of the wicked wonder of hard-to-like characters. AND to round the weekend off we had the marvellous 30-40-60 event taking place at The Hive. It was a new event – new concept, even! – but audiences were in awe of the stunning poetry delivered, accompanied by wonderful multimedia elements, too.

So there you have our weekend round-up. But of course, it doesn’t stop there…

The festival team will be heading back to the beautiful Cafe Bliss this evening for the exciting Short Stories, Sketches, and Scurrilous Scribings (doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start).  Tickets can be purchased on the door for this event, and we hope to see many of you there!

We are delighted to announce our Flash Fiction Shortlist for 2017!

After months of preparation from writers and judges alike, the team of Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe are delighted to announce the official shortlist for this year’s Flash Fiction competition.

Please note, the numbers that appear alongside the shortlisted works are how we identify the entries during the judging process:

FF shortlist 2017

Congratulations to our shortlisted writers and commiserations to those who did not make our shortlist this time around. There has been such a high standard of talent this year more so than ever so please do not be disheartened, and please do enter again next year!

Keep your eyes peeled in the coming days for our official announcement of who has ranked in the winning position for this year…

And the Worcestershire Poet Laureate finalists are…

After wading through a pool of impressive applicants, our WPL Competition judges have made their decisions regarding this year’s final three.

Remember, the Worcestershire Poet Laureate for the coming year will be announced at our festival launch, which is taking place at Worcester Racecourse on June 9th (doors open at 6:30pm for a 7:30pm start). During this event the judges and the audience members will hear performances from all three finalists ahead of a final decision being made.

And, at long last, your three finalists for this year are, in alphabetical order…

Nina Lewis

Damon Lord

Louise Reeder

Our sincere congratulations to all three poets for making it this far in the process. We wish them all the very best of luck in the next stages of the competition, and we hope that as many as of you as possible will join us next Friday to see the lucky winner crowned as Laureate for the year!

Poetry Salon doors to swing open once more this Thursday!

This Thursday (May 25th), Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe will be opening the doors to their Poetry Salon, for the second year running. A unique and intimate evening, the Poetry Salon allows audience members to experience one to one readings from a selection of local poets. Alongside this – to keep those not attending the Salon entertained – there will be an open mic section hosted by Worcester’s very own Poet Laureate, Suz Winspear.

Inside the Salon itself, audience members will have 15 minutes in which they can visit three of our poets. And, if you’re wondering who the wonderful performers are this year…

Alan Durham

Nina Lewis

Kieran Davis

Holly Daffurn

Kevin Brooke

Charley Barnes

These six will be waiting, poems at the ready, to read to you, answer any questions you have about their work, and generally share their poetic-loveliness with anyone who comes along to listen.

So, this Thursday, do come along to The Old Rectifying House in Worcester (WR1 3NN); doors open at 7pm and the Salon event itself will start at 7:30pm. Don’t miss your chance to be involved in this unique evening of poetry and performance!

If you want to book 6 minutes in our open mic section, you can email: secretary@worcslitfest.co.uk to do so now.