Top writers revealed for Wakefield Lit Fest

Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy

Bestselling authors, comedy script writers and leading poets will headline this year’s Wakefield Lit Fest as it returns for a second year.

The 10-day festival, which is being backed by the Express, will celebrate reading and writing through a series of activities, workshops, talks and games at venues across the city next month.

And organisers have secured seven big names from the world of literature to build on last year’s inaugural success.

Launching the festival at Westgate Chapel on Saturday, September 21, will be internationally bestselling author Tracy Chevalier, who wrote Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Other performers include poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, comedy writer David Nobbs, historian Michael Wood, music journalist and writer Paul Morley and the UK’s leading performance poet John Cooper Clarke.

Young adult’s horror writer Darren Shan will bring the festival to a close on Monday, September 30.

The event is run by Beam, owners of The Orangery, on Back Lane, and this year’s theme is ‘Everyone has a story’.

Beam director Robert Powell said: “While it’s true, and exciting, that there are lots of literature festivals and activities on offer in Yorkshire at this time of year, we hope there’s something very unique about Wakefield’s.

“In addition to having ‘the story’ as a linking theme, we have built in a strong sense of ‘places and spaces’, and the relationship between the written and performed word and the places we live in, walk through, and imagine.”

Young people will also get to share their own stories through the Takeover Lit Fest project and through creative writing workshops delivered by Yew Tree Youth Theatre in local primary schools.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for adults to get creative through a wide range of workshops and events.

The festival, backed by Arts Council England and Wakefield Council, will run from September 21 to 30.

Tickets and the full festival lineup will be available from Monday, August 19.