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Litfest 2023

As the nights draw in and summer becomes a memory, Litfest’s 2023 Autumn Weekend bursts onto the scene, bringing us a celebration of poetry and its ability to challenge, to provoke, to comfort and to inspire… and what’s more, you will have the chance to shine too! All events are FREE: live at The Storey and The Dukes, and all are livestreamed online, so you can come along to one of our welcoming venues or watch from your own sofa – whichever suits you best.


Kicking off with a gala reading on 5 October to celebrate National Poetry Day, Litfest has invited prize-winning poet Caroline Bird to MC a selection of original poems on this year’s thought-provoking theme of ‘Refuge’. Everyone is invited to submit up to 3 poems to; all accepted poems will be posted on the Litfest website.


On 7 October, poets and prose writers, Polly Atkin and Kim Moore will discuss the difficult subjects thrown up by their latest books: a memoir of living with pain and the challenge of confronting everyday sexism.


And one of the Autumn Weekend’s most exciting events for emerging poets is a session with Lancaster University creative writing tutor Eoghan Walls who will MC readings and a discussion on getting a pamphlet published.


The Weekend also explores the best of contemporary fiction and non-fiction: two vitally important new non-fiction books will be featured: former Guardian Environmental Editor John Vidal’s gripping Fevered Planet links the climate crisis, pandemics and the loss of nature, while Lancaster University historian Nicholas Radburn’s Traders in Men presents a new history of the Slave Trade showing how widespread involvement was at every level of British society.


Fiction from the Northwest includes a Sunday afternoon session with best-selling crime writer MW Craven, as he launches his new character Ben Koenig (‘a man who does not feel fear’), followed by two acclaimed and prize-winning Lancashire-based writers: James Clarke on his new novel, Sanderson’s Isle, set in ’60s London and the Lake District, and Jo Baker on her new novel, The Midnight News, set in London during The Blitz.


Then we’re off to Europe for two online events featuring Georgi Gospodinov and his translator Angela Rodel who together won this year’s International Booker Prize with the outstanding novel Time Shelter. Angela Rodel will join the Litfest International Fiction Book Club to discuss Time Shelter, while the following day Georgi Gospodinov will give the prestigious 2023 Lancaster International Fiction Lecture – Litfest’s third such joint venture with Lancaster University.


Tickets are free and you can join us in person or online and donations are welcome.
Find out more and book here:

Details of all the events and the donation campaign are now available at

All Litfest events will be available on Crowdcast for 30 days after the festival ends.


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