2010’s festival featured Simon Armitage, Dorothea Smartt, Moniza Alvi and Alexei Sayle; as well as a specially commissioned version of Gilgamesh, a unique film commission and première, and an album-in-a-day event. There was also a big emphasis on storytelling, short fiction, cabaret, novel writing, poetry, comedy, song, theatre, Manga, screenwriting, guided walks and masterclasses – making a truly innovative and distinctive programme of events.
Innovative events included:
- a songwriting masterclass,
- a burlesque show with a literary theme,
- an art exhibition celebrating literature and the word,
- and a poetry karaoke.
New and emerging writers such as Chris Humphries, Gaia Holmes and Khadijah Ibrahim, were given a platform alongside established names such as Joanne Harris, Lemn Sissay, John Cooper Clarke and Ian McMillan. We were very pleased to have Mark E Smith in conversation as our finale event. This is only the second time Mark has appeared at a literature festival (the other being the Guardian Hay Festival).
Although in its infancy as a festival it is already making a name for itself and our ambition is for it to grow in reputation to be a major national literary event putting Huddersfield (along with the Yorkshire region) in a prominent position.
Previous festivals have featured Andrew Motion, Simon Armitage and The League of Gentlemen. Last year’s festival featured 54 writers/artists, many of them emerging or new writers and the 23 events were attended by nearly 2000 people, a significant number of whom had never visited a literature festival before. The vast majority of events sold out making The Huddersfield Literature Festival one of the most successful at attracting new audiences in the region. This year our aims and objectives have been developed. Have a look at our brochure to see our vision.
In 2008 the festival was inspired by a series of photos taken in and around Huddersfields Beast Market by Amanda Crowther. These evocative photos served as the creative base for Chol Theatre's play, Beast Market and the festival competition.
Ann Cleeves, Duncan Lawrie Dagger Winner launched the festival which hosted 28 events. These events included appearences from Joanne Harris, Doreen Lawrence and
Kester Aspden, Sefi Atta, Janet Fisher, Louise Page, Jim Greenhalf, Nick Toczek and Yunis Alan.
After the success of 2007's workshops we ran a variety of successful workshops and masterclasses for all ages.
In 2007 we presented 16 events and workshops and introduced debut authors Adam Foulds and Robert Low. Poet laureate, Andrew Motion, launched our festival which also included appearances by Joanne Harris, Dorothea Smartt, Joolz Denby and SImon Scarrow. Chol Theatre also performed their new work in progress 'Beast Market' which we plan to premiere at next year's festival.
A new addition for us were our writing workshops and we intend to develop our workshop program in the future to offer even more opportunities for budding writers to get involved.
Our 'Adaptation' event - where poems were adapted into short films - was one of the most popular events of the festival and we'll certainly look to collaborate with Comma Film and more Yorkshire filmmakers and writers next year.
In 2007 we were funded by the University of Huddersfield and Kirklees Council, with support from the Media Centre Network, The Poetry Business, Chol Theatre, Small is Beautiful, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Cafe Ollo, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Transpennine Express and Comma Film.
2007 line-up (in order of appearance):
...Andrew Motion, Joanne Harris, Adam Foulds, Joolz Denby, Simon Trewin, Simon Scarrow, Robert Low,Dorothea Smartt, Gaia Holmes, Shamshad Khan...
Workshops were led by:
... Lee Hughes, David Wheatley, George Green, Michael Stewart, Sol B River...
In 2007 we ran a poetry competition in collaboration with The Poetry Business, Huddersfield and a short story competition in collaboration with the Huddersfield Examiner
From over 300 entries to our poetry competition we chose joint winners. Well done to Philip Holland and Wils Wilson.
In 2006 we offered the chance to meet 36 authors during 16 events held over 4 days. We attracted audiences from across the UK, with 2 sell-out events and positive audience and author feedback.
In 2006 we were funded by the University of Huddersfield and the Arts Council, with support from the Media Centre Network, Cafe Ollo, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Transpennine Express and Cooper's Coffee.
2006 lineup (in alphabetical order)
...Abdellatif Akbib, Francesca Beard, Martyn Bedford, John Boyne, Donna Daley-Clarke, David Stuart Davies, Gideon Defoe, Jeremy Dyson, Paul Farley, Mark Gatiss, George Green, Sarah Hall, Stephen Hall, Geoff Hattersley, Peter Hobbs, Gaia Holmes, Simon Ings, Heleln Ivory, Chris Kerr, Shamshad Khan, Frances Leviston, Mil Millington, Julie Myerson, Patrick Neate, Jacob Polley, Geoff Ryman, Adam Strickson, George Szirtes, Harriet Tarlo, Sophie Wainwright, Louise Welsh...