Litfest 2021: Autumn Weekend

This Autumn Litfest is back! They are delighted to present an extended weekend of fantastic online events featuring local and international award-winning writers. The weekend will include the launch of several new titles or editions and these will soon be available to order from the Litfest bookshop with the option of signed bookplates.

Click here to see a full PDF of the festival events.

All of the weekend’s events will be free to access and view via Crowdcast and there will be plenty of opportunities for our audiences to get involved. Read on to find out more…



To celebrate National Poetry Day on 7th October, Litfest is delighted to launch ‘The Litfest Poetry Mosaic’. Submissions will be open for the month of September, and everyone in the Northwest is invited to contribute!

The theme for National Poetry Day this year is ‘Choice’ and we are inviting poets of all ages and levels of experience to submit poems to the mosaic that fit this theme. You can submit up to three poems of your own original work, with a maximum length per poem of 40 lines.

Your poems will help Litfest to create a poetry ‘mosaic’, which will be revealed on their website on Monday 4th October.

Submissions for this project are now open!


7th October – Autumn Weekend Launch and Poetry Mosaic Showcase: National Poetry Day with Hannah Hodgson


Many great poems have been written about choice, from Shel Silverstein’s ’The Voice’ to Julia Donaldson’s ‘I Opened a Book’, and from Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ to Grace Nichols’ ‘Harbour’ – about choosing a human hug over constant digital contact. Many of these poems are available online, others can be found in a book you might have at home or can get at the library.

Hosted by Hannah Hodgson, this event will feature some of the best poems written on the theme of choice from the past. It will also be a showcase for Northwest poets – of all ages – who are writing today.

In the days leading up to National Poetry Day, Hannah Hodgson will curate a selection of outstanding poems from those submitted to the Litfest Poetry Mosaic, and on 2nd October Litfest will contact those poets (or a nominated reader) to invite them to read their work online at this special National Poetry Day showcase event!

After the event, all the submitted poems will remain online in our specially created Litfest Poetry Mosaic.


8th October – Sarah Hall in conversation


Please note that this event will start at 7pm, not 7.30pm as previously advertised. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this error.

Sarah Hall is one of the most highly praised novelists writing in Britain today and has twice been winner of the BBC Short Story Award. For this event she will read from and discuss her extraordinary new novel Burntcoat, the story of a love affair set during and after a pandemic.

‘You were the last one here before I closed the door of Burntcoat, before we all shut our doors.’


9th October – Poetry Double Bill: Polly Atkin & Kim Moore


Much With Body is Polly Atkin’s startlingly original second collection. The beauty of the Lake District is both balm and mirror, refracting pain and also soothing it with distraction. Much of the landscape is lakescape, giving the book a watery feel, the author’s wild swimming being just one kind of immersion. Here the natural world is revered with an uneasy awe, contingent upon knowledge of our fragility and mortality.


All The Men I Never Married is Kim Moore’s eagerly awaited second collection. It is pointedly feminist, challenging and keenly aware of the contradictions and complexities of desire. The numbered poems take us through a gallery of exes and significant others where we encounter rage, pain, guilt and love. A powerful collection of deeply thoughtful and deeply felt poetry.


10th October Karen Lloyd: Abundance – Nature in Recovery


In this collection of literary essays, Karen Lloyd explores abundance and loss in the natural world, relating compelling stories of restoration, renewal and repair, describing how those working on the front lines of conservation are challenging the inevitability of biodiversity loss, as well as navigating her own explorations of the meaning of abundance in the Anthropocene.


11th October – Litfest International Fiction Book Club: Juan Gabriel Vásquez


The Litfest International Fiction Book Club was launched in April 2020 with Lars Mytting’s The Sixteen Trees of the Somme, for which the author joined us by Zoom from Norway. Since then, the club has discussed a book each month, often with the writer, translator or editor. Among our guests have been authors Delphine de Vigan, Daniel Kehlman and Andrey Kurkov, and translators Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Olga Tokarczuk), Margaret Jull Costa (Javier Marías), Carlos Rojas (Yan Lianke) and Sasha Dugdale (Maria Stepanova).

For this special edition of the book club we are delighted to welcome the acclaimed Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez and his translator Anne McLean to discuss his novels, his latest story collection, the morally complex Songs for the Flames, and the art of translation.


12th October – The Lancaster International Fiction Lecture: Juan Gabriel Vásque


We are delighted to announce the first Lancaster International Fiction Lecture, a joint venture with the Department of Languages & Cultures and the Department of English Literature & Creative Writing at Lancaster University.

Fiction is an artform shared by almost all languages. Right now, as the English-speaking world – thanks to translators and innovative publishers – has become more aware of the extraordinary fiction that has been and is being written everywhere and in all languages, it seemed to us that a lecture to discuss and celebrate fiction as an international artform could not be more timely.