Diary of Events

Our next Festival runs from 4-19 March 2017

(Launch night Friday 3 March, additional Celebrating Kirklees Librairies events in February)

Some events are free but may require advance booking, some are pay on the door.

For all others, booking is as follows (unless otherwise stated, eg Town Hall events):

Online:     www.thelbt.org
Email:       boxoffice@thelbt.org
By phone: 01484 430528
In person: Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen St, HD1 2SP OR Central Library, Princess Alexandra Walk, HD1 2SU

Date Time Event Venue
2-9 February Various

Celebrating Kirklees Libraries events

16 February 10.30am-1pm Second-hand book sale Media Centre
16 February 6-7pm Threadbear Theatre Media Centre
2 March 7pm Tap Type launch Magic Rock Tap
3 March


HLF2017 launch night

University of Huddersfield
4 March 10am-3.30pm

HLF2017/Stafflex Free Family Day

North Huddersfield Trust School
4 March 11am-1pm WORKSHOP: Getting Started in Showbiz! with Simon Crump University of Huddersfield
4 March 12.30pm Talk & Guided Walk with Andrew White Denby Dale Library
4 March 2-4pm WORKSHOP: Liberating Poetic Chaos: Emily Dickinson, with Steve Ely University of Huddersfield
4 March 2pm-5pm The University of Huddersfield Presents... University of Huddersfield
4 March tbc PANEL: Memoir Writing University of Huddersfield
5 March 3pm Celebrating Pride and Prejudice Mechanics Hall, Marsden
5 March 6pm Poetry Supper tbc
6 March 6.30pm Jenni Murray In Conversation Town Hall
7 March 7pm The Write Stuff / Launch of the Lefty Caligari Arts Foundation Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield
7 March 7pm Polari Up North + Section 28 short LBT
8 March 4pm Fiction at Four Media Centre
8 March 7pm Julie Summers: From Jambusters to Home Fires University of Huddersfield
8 March 7pm Poetic Licence: The Ms Shakespeare Project Magic Rock Brewing
9 March 6pm Grist Launch & Open Mic Night Small Seeds
9 March 7pm Sophie Hannah: Agatha, Poirot and Me University of Huddersfield
9 March 8pm Albert Poets The Albert pub
10 March 4pm Fiction at Four: David Barnett Media Centre
10 March 7.30pm Ian Rankin In Conversation Town Hall
11 March 10am-12 noon WORKSHOP: Creating a Villain with Liz Mistry University of Huddersfield
11 March 11am-5pm Majikkon (Huddersfield Manga, Anime & Comic Con) Huddersfield Leisure Centre
11 March 12.30pm Jake Arnott In Conversation University of Huddersfield
11 March 2pm Getting Started, with Mark Hardie & Liz Mistry University of Huddersfield
11 March 3.30pm PANEL: tbc University of Huddersfield
11 March 4.30pm Joanne Harris, Different Class University of Huddersfield
11 March tbc Comedy evening tbc
12 March 3-5pm Literary Afternoon Tea Huddersfield Golf Club
12 March 3pm & 7pm Murray Lachlan Young Magic Rock Tap
14 March 6pm Lisa Luxx: The Polyphonic Scars Show Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield
14 March 7.30pm Lemn Sissay & Kit de Waal University of Huddersfield
14 March 7.30pm Ted Hughes' Gaudete LBT
15 March 7pm PechaKucha The Media Centre
15 March 7pm Miracle Brew, with Pete Brown Magic Rock Tap
15 March 7.30pm Ted Hughes' Gaudete LBT
16 March 4pm Fiction at Four Media Centre
16 March 6-7pm Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Publishing: Society of Young Publishers University of Huddersfield
16 March 7.30pm Henry Normal - Staring Directly at the Eclipse University of Huddersfield
17 March 7pm Michèle Roberts In Conversation University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc WORKSHOP: How to Write a Synopsis with Debbie Taylor University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc WORKSHOP: Short Stories with Michèle Roberts University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc PANEL: Short Stories University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc Crown of Blood: Nicola Tallis on Lady Jane Grey University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc Meet the Editors - a Mslexia event University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc Poetry Slam with Attila the Stockbroker Small Seeds
19 March 3pm Alan Johnson In Conversation Huddersfield Town Hall


Thursday 2 to Thursday 9 February

Celebrating Kirklees Libraries

Libraries are the lifeblood of many communities and the Huddersfield Literature Festival is proud to champion them every year.

Thursday 2 February, 7pm
The Game’s Afoot! with David Stuart Davies
Heckmondwike Library, Walkley Lane WF16 0LY
A dramatic presentation of the story of Sherlock Holmes and his creator Arthur Conan Doyle.

Saturday 4 February, 2pm
Tales from a Country Show, with Victoria Benn & Jamie Roberts
Cleckheaton Library, Whitcliffe Road BD19 3DX
Humorous tales of the eccentricities and passions of the locals involved in Kilnsey Show.

Wednesday 8 February, 7.30pm
Flowers by the Road, with David Coldwell
Marsden Libarary, Peel Street HD7 6BW
Launch of the Marsden-based artist and writer’s debut poetry collection.

Thursday 9 February, 2pm
Our Dementia Diary, with Rachael Dixey
Kirkburton Library, Turnshaw Road HD8 0RT
A moving account of the emotional and practical challenges of looking after a loved one with dementia.

Thursday 9 February, 7.30pm
Making a Living as a Writer, with John Harvey
Almondbury Library, Stocks Walk HD5 8XB
Stories and advice from 40 years writing pulp fiction, crime novels and TV/radio drama.

Tickets £2, available from the library or Kirklees Box Offices: 01484 223200; www.kirklees.gov.uk/townhalls


Wednesday 15 February

Second-hand Book Sale

10.30am-1pm, free, Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street HD1 1RL

Bag yourself a bargain at our second-hand and nearly new book sale.


Wednesday 15 February

Threadbear Theatre

6pm-7pm, free, Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street HD1 1RL

Courage is stepping on stage with nothing and trusting what comes.

An evening of improvised playback theatre with Threadbear Theatre, playing back your stories and moments of courage. www.threadbeartheatre.com



Tuesday 2 March

Tap Type launch

7pm, free, The Taproom, Magic Rock Tap, Willow Lane HD1 5EB

Over the course of few months in 2016, the Tap asked their patrons to get involved to create something very unique. Armed with a Type Tap beer mat, a selection of pens and some very careful consideration, this customer led project has created unique letters and numbers in many shapes and forms, advocates of the Tap Room have now contributed to help design their very own typeface!

The Tap present a very special exhibition of the work, collated and orchestrated by their in house designer Richard Norgate, on the evening the Tap will be launching a special beer in collaboration with the Print Project, Shipley. Who will also be on board to show some of their work and host some letterpress workshops.

#TapType / @theeprintproject


Friday 3 March

HLF2017 Launch

Doors 6pm (Performance 6.30pm), free, Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Join us at the University’s brand new Oastler Building for the launch of our 2017 programme. Enjoy refreshments and a performance by poet Dr Owen Lowery.

Owen Lowery was born in 1968 and has released two acclaimed poetry collections: Otherwise Unchanged and Rego Retold.

Formerly a British Judo champion, he suffered a spinal injury while competing and is now a tetraplegic. He has a Master's Degree in Creative Writing from Bolton University, where he is completing his PhD. His poetry has appeared in Stand and PN Review, and has been listed in the Bridport Prize, the Welsh Open Poetry Competition, the Virginia Warbey Prize, and the International Sonnet Competition.

Book your free place at: www.hlf2017launch.eventbrite.co.uk or call 01484 943093.


Saturday 4 March

HLF2017/Stafflex Free Family Day

10am-3.30pm, FREE
No age restrictions (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)
North Huddersfield Trust School, Woodhouse Road HD2 1DJ

Enjoy a free film, interactive storytelling and creative activities - a great day out for all the family, brought to you by Stafflex.


10am    Doors open, free activities

11am-11.45am   Storytelling: Romany Tales, with Richard O’Neill

12.45pm-1.30pm   Storytelling: Department of Ability, with Dan White

2pm-3.30pm   FILM: Aladdin (Disney, 1992, Cert U)

Free activities all day will include storytelling, face painting, colouring tables (for children and adults!), stalls and more. 

Refreshments will be on sale, including mobile fish & chip van.

No need to book - just turn up on the day.

Please note: parents or guardians must supervise any children under 16 during this event.






Saturday 4 March

WORKSHOP: Getting Started in Showbiz! with Simon Crump

11am-1pm, £10 (£5 conc) Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

An introductory workshop for aspiring writers, covering getting started and training the eye, and providing tips for avoiding the dreaded writer’s block.

Available for booking soon


Saturday 4 March

Talk & guided walk with Andrew White

12.30pm talk, 1.30pm walk (return time before 5pm), Library café open up to 12 noon, £3 (£1.50 conc), Denby Dale Library, Wakefield Road HD8 8RX

A talk on great walks of Britain from writer, film-maker and broadcaster (Walks Around Britain), Andrew White, followed by a medium-level, guided five-mile circular walk and talk.

Warm/waterproof clothes and walking boots recommended.

Available for booking soon



Saturday 4 March

WORKSHOP: Liberating Poetic Chaos: Emily Dickinson, with Steve Ely

2-4pm, £10 (£5 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Emily Dickinson's poetry emerges from a chaotic inner life in which biographical elements (a repressed middle class upbringing, sexual frustration, mental and physical illness) are transformed by a visionary imagination informed by her religious training, experience of the American civil war, a love of nature, the observational eye of a scientist - and the existential terror and exhilaration she felt when she contemplated the fierce and fathomless powers of the inscrutable Universe she found herself thrown into. 

Participants will identify the elements of Dickinson's chaos and complete writing exercises in her style and spirit.

Steve Ely is a poet from the West Riding of Yorkshire. His book of poems, Oswald's Book of Hours, is published by Smokestack and was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2013 and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry in 2014. Englaland, his second book of poems, was published in April, 2015, also by Smokestack. His novel, Ratmen, is published by Blackheath Books. Ted Hughes's South Yorkshire: Made In Mexborough, a biographical work about Hughes's neglected Mexborough period, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2015.





Saturday 4 March

The University of Huddersfield presents…

2-5pm, free, Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

2pm: Anna Ralph Reading and Q&A
3pm: Stephen May, Reading and Q&A 
4pm: Amanda Hodgkinson In Conversation with Jodie Matthews & Simon Crump

Anna Ralph: Reading + Q&A

Anna Ralph (aka Barker) is an award-winning novelist and journalist. Her first novel The Floating Island (Arrow, 2008) won a Betty Trask best debut award from the Society of Authors. It was inspired by the real floating island on Derwentwater in the Lake District and tells the story of Matt, a 15-year-old boy, who rows out to the island with his younger brother to plant a flag with disastrous consequences.

Her second novel Before I Knew Him (Arrow, 2009) was also inspired by the landscapes of the north-east and in particular the coast of Northumberland. Much of this novel, which was shortlisted for a Good Housekeeping good read award, drew upon the themes Anna had begun to explore in the first book: love, sexuality, memory, trauma, obsession and betrayal.

Stephen May: Reading + Q&A

Stephen May is a novelist, playwright and TV writer. His third novel Wake Up Happy Every Day (Bloomsbury 2014) came out in March 2014. His previous  novel Life! Death! Prizes! (Bloomsbury 2012) was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and the Guardian Not The Booker Prize. It was translated into German as Wir Kommen Schon Klar.

Stephen’s first novel TAG (Cinnamon Press – 2008) was one of 10 books longlisted for Welsh Book of the Year and went on to win the Media Wales Readers' Prize.
His plays Back the World and Still Waiting for Everything toured nationally to good reviews.He also had an unhappy stint working as a storyline writer on A Top ITV continuing drama.

Amanda Hodgkinson in conversation with Jodie Matthews & Simon Crump

Amanda Hodgkinson is an award-winning British novelist. Her debut novel 22 Britannia Road was an international bestseller, an Amazon.com book of the year 2011, a Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee and was published in over 16 languages.

Spilt Milk is her critically acclaimed second novel, published in 2014. "Spilt Milk is a refracted version of real life, that impossible mess we inherit and muddle through, yet transmuted here into something shining and meaningful, told in beautiful prose" The Financial Times


Saturday 4 March

PANEL: Memoir Writing 

7-8pm, £3 (£1.50 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

A discussion on memoir writing.

Details to come.



Sunday 5 March

A Celebration of Pride and Prejudice
With ‘Mr Wickham’ & Regency Rejigged

3pm-5pm, £10 (£8 conc), Mechanics Hall, Peel Street, Marsden HD7 6BW

Join ‘Mr Wickham’ and the Regency Rejigged dancers for a celebration of all things Austen, marking the bicentenary of the author’s death.

Dashing actor Adrian Lukis, who played villain Mr Wickham in the 1995 BBC TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth and ‘that’ scene with the wet shirt) chats to local Jane Austen expert, Catherine Curzon.

Followed by a display of dances from Jane Austen’s era by Regency Rejigged.

Audience members are welcome to come in period dress.

Refreshments will be on sale to raise funds for the Friends of Marsden Library.






Sunday 5 March

Poetry Supper


Details to come.



Monday 6 March

Jenni Murray 

In Conversation with Dr Sarah Falcus

6.30pm, £5 (£3 conc), Town Hall, Corporation Street, HD1 2TA

Presenter of Woman’s Hour since 1987, Dame Jenni Murray talks about her career and reveals the fascinating stories of some of the trailblazing women featured in her latest book, A History of Britain in 21 Women, from Boadicea and Emmeline Pankhurst to Jane Austen and Nicola Sturgeon.

Booking: Town Hall box office: 01484 225 755, www.kirkleestownhalls.co.uk



Sponsored by: 





This event will have live subtitling by Stagetext to give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences access to the event.



Tuesday 7 March

The Write Stuff / Launch of the Lefty Caligari Arts Foundation

7pm-9.30pm, free, Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

A screening of the late poet and film-maker Lefty Caligari’s short film Death of a Vertical Community and launch of a new foundation, plus performance from The Write Stuff.



Tuesday 7 March

Polari Up North

+ Ending at Section 28 (short)

7.00pm (approx running time 2 hours, with two 20 min breaks), £8 (Kirklees Passport: £7, under 26: £7)
Age guidance: 16+
Syngenta Cellar, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP

“Always fun, always thought-provoking – a guaranteed good night out” – Sarah Waters

Polari returns to Huddersfield!

Entertaining, enthralling and eclectic – if you haven’t yet been to Polari you’re missing out on a fabulously enjoyable evening of performance.

Award-winning journalist and author Paul Burston presents a range of talented LGBT writers and performers with universal appeal.

This year's featured artists are:

Paul Burston – Polari host, award-winning journalist and novelist, he will be reading from his latest work, the critically acclaimed chilling domestic noir The Black Path.

Curator and host of award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari and founder of The Polari First Book Prize, Paul Burston was born in York, raised in Wales and now divides his time between London and Hastings.

Shameless, his first novel, was published in 2001 and was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award; his third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award.

A founding editor of Attitude magazine, Paul has written for many publications including The Guardian, The Independent, Time Out, The Times and The Sunday Times.

Long-listed for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, The Black Path was described by the Huffington Post as: "An intense, tightly calibrated thriller”.


Jackie Hagan – an award-winning cosmic scally. A poet, comedian, live artist, playwright and community artist, who believes in the power of the arts to effect lasting social change and who will, if encouraged down champagne from her glittery false leg!

Her approach is to undercut awkwardness and taboo with smart, loving wit.

She has widely toured her solo show Some People Have Too Many Legs - a poetic comedy-with-depth about the summer of 2013 when she suddenly got a mystery illness and lost her leg. She also works closely with young people on the theme of body positivity and disability.

Jackie's awards for this show include the Flying Solo Winner 2014; Saboteur 'Best Spoken Word Show' award 2015; Creative Futures Literary award 2015. 

Channel 4 has also produced a short documentary covering a day in her life, as part of a series exploring the life of successful amputees.

Jackie also runs a successful poetry project enabling marginalised and silenced adults to express themselves creatively.


Juno Dawson – Queen of Teen 2014, multi-award-winning author of six Young Adult novels plus non-fiction.

Juno grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who and now lives in Brighton. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.

Her latest novel is the beautiful and emotive Margot & Me (Jan 2017) which will be followed by her adult debut, the memoir The Gender Games (Jul 17).

Juno also wrote the bestselling non-fiction guide to life for young LGBT people, This Book Is Gay, and a follow-up, Mind Your Head, which featured everything a young person needs to know about mental health.

Juno is a regular contributor to Attitude Magazine, Glamour Magazine and The Guardian and has contributed to news items on BBC Women’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight concerning sexuality, identity, literature and education.


VG Lee – crazy hat lady published in numerous anthologies and magazines author of five novels – the latest being Mr Oliver’s Object of Desire.

Her previous novels were: The Comedienne, The Woman in Beige, Diary of a Provincial Lesbian and Always you, Edina, and she is the author of a short story collection As You Step Outside.

In 2012 VG Lee was nominated for a Stonewall Award for writing and in 2014 she won The Ultimate Planet award for Best Established Author.

Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and she contributes articles for The Lady and Gaia Magazine.

In her sixtieth year she decided to become a stand-up comedian and is now a regular performer at Laughing Cows comedy nights in London and the Midlands.

VG Lee has performed at the Huddersfield Literature Festival every year since we first showcased Polari Up North in Huddersfield in 2014 and her performances are always a highlight of the evening.


Paul McVeigh – Bearded Irishman who likes to laugh and make other people cry – in a nice way. Writer of comedy, plays, short stories and novel The Good Son.

Born in Belfast, Paul’s work has been performed on stage and radio, published in print and been translated into seven languages.

He began his career as a playwright before moving to London where he wrote comedy shows, which were performed at the Edinburgh Festival and in London’s West End. Moving into prose, his short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies, read on BBC Radio 5 and commissioned by BBC Radio 4.

The Good Son, Paul’s debut novel, won The Polari Prize and The McCrea Literary Award. It was shortlisted for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize, was a finalist for The People’s Book Prize and chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016.

Find out more about Polari here


Bettina Carpi and Gary Lloyd - Ending At Section 28:

Dance & Music short inspired by Alan Moore's Prose History of Gender

Choreographer and performer Bettina Carpi and composer Gary Lloyd present excerpts and discuss work-in-progress on their forthcoming full-scale performance piece in collaboration with Alan Moore, the celebrated author of Lost Girls, Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell and Brought to Light.

The project charts a history of gender politics, philosophies and attitudes bookended by the birth of life on our planet and the idiocy of the now repealed Section 28 which banned local authorities in the uk from portraying homosexuality in any positive fashion.

Please note, this performance will begin at 7pm, followed by a short break before Polari Up North.



Wednesday 8 March

Fiction At Four

4pm-5pm, £5 (includes coffee/tea & cake), Café Ollo, Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street HD1 1RL

Featured author tbc.


Wednesday 8 March

Julie Summers – From Jambusters to Home Fires

7pm-8pm, £5 (£3 conc), Oastler Building University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Over three quarters of a century after the outbreak of the Second World War we are still learning about the impact on everyday life of that most damaging of conflicts. The role of women on the Home Front is often overlooked, yet their contribution to keep the country ticking was of inestimable value.

This talk looks at the role played by women in the countryside, who worked tirelessly to help keen the nation fed, while looking after evacuees, knitting for the troops, making-do and mend for the government and entertaining themselves to keep their spirits up. For many, the village Women’s Institute was a lifesaver. Julie reminds us that their story inspired ITV to create the magnificent drama series Home Fires, featuring Samantha Bond, Francesca Annis and Ruth Gemmell.

Julie Summers is the author of 11 works of non-fiction, including Fashion on the Ration and When the Children Came Home; she also advises ITV on storylines and historical script details.




This event will have live subtitling by Stagetext to give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences access to the event.



Wednesday 8th March

Poetic Licence

The Ms. Shakespeare Project presents: Poetic Licence, as part of International Women’s Day

7pm, free, The Taproom, Magic Rock Tap, Willow Lane HD1 5EB

Verse, comedy and craft beer from some of the country's most exciting women writers at Magic Rock Brewing Co.

Award-winning poet and performer Emily Harrison heads up this evening of cutting-edge poetry from female writers. Harrison will be performing selections from her "fierce and uncompromising" collection I Can't Sleep 'Cause My Bed's On Fire (Burning Books, 2016). Expect consummate skill, infectious laughter and frank honesty. Two further acts to be announced.

The Ms. Shakespeare Project aims to provide support, platforms and new audiences for female writers. For more information, visit www.gardengatearts.com.


Thursday 9 March

Grist Launch & Open Mic Night with Talking Zebras

Small Seeds, 120 New Street HD1 2UD

6.00pm, free Grist launch
The launch of the latest publication of emerging poets and short fiction writers.

8.00pm Pay What You Like on the Night, Open Mic Night with Talking Zebras
Enjoy performers from Huddersfield’s Talking Zebras group, plus open mic slots in a friendly environment. No need to book – just turn up!


Thursday 9 March

Sophie Hannah - Agatha, Poirot and Me

7pm-8pm £4 (£2 conc), Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre, Business School, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories, and author of five poetry collections.

Here, she talks about how she came to write two new Hercule Poirot novels, The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s estate, and about her standalone crime fiction, including latest novel The Narrow Bed.


This event will have live subtitling by Stagetext to give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences access to the event.


Available for booking soon


Thursday 9 March

Albert Poets

8pm, free, Albert, Victoria Lane HD1 2QF

Tom Weir, Bob Horne, Natalie Rees & Ash Dickinson perform.


Friday 10 March

Fiction at Four: David Barnett

4pm-5pm, £5 (includes coffee/tea & cake), Café Ollo, Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street HD1 1RL

We all know someone like Thomas. The grumpy neighbour or work colleague who grumbles about everything. But behind his cranky exterior lies a sadness and a story.

David Barnett’s latest novel is a funny, heart-warming tale of a man who has given up on the world but finds it hasn’t given up on him.

Ticket includes coffee/tea and cake.

Available for booking soon





Friday 10 March

Ian Rankin

In Conversation with David Barnett

7.30pm, £7 (£5), Town Hall, Corporation Street, HD1 2TA

Thirty years’ ago, Ian Rankin created one of crime fiction’s most celebrated characters, Inspector John Rebus.

In one of only a few exclusive events to mark the anniversary and a new box set, the author will talk about his writing career, Including the latest Rebus novel, Rather Be the Devil.

Winner of four Crime Writers Association Dagger Awards, Ian Rankin has had his work translated into 22 languages.

Booking: Town Hall box office: 01484 225 755, www.kirkleestownhalls.co.uk


Sponsored by: 



This event will have live subtitling by Stagetext to give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences access to the event.




Saturday 11 March


Huddersfield Manga, Anime & Comic Con

11am-5pm; £8 (Under 10 years: £3); Huddersfield Leisure Centre, Spring Grove Street HD1 4BP

Majikkon is a celebration of not only Japanese pop-culture, fashion and games, but also Western comic book heroes and Sci-Fi shows. Visitors range from the age of 5 to 50 and come from all walks of life.

Stage events  * Cosplay Contest * Artists’ Alley * Special Guests * Creative Corner * Panels… and much more

Cosplay judges include Helen Alice (Helen Alice Cosplay) and Kenny (Kenny Cosplay Stuff), and special guests include SuperSorrell

Pre-booking is advisable (a limited number of tickets will be available on the door).










Saturday 11 March - Crime Day

10am-5.30pm, University of Huddersfield


Saturday 11 March

WORKSHOP: Creating a Villain, with Liz Mistry

10am-12 noon, £10 (£5 conc)

A practical workshop to develop ideas for creating a villain for a crime novel or short story.

Liz Mistry is a crime fiction writer whose debut novel Unquiet Souls was published in 2016.Liz Mistry taught in inner city Bradford schools for more than 20 years and Liz likes to use the rich tapestry of her life in Bradford, combined with her Scottish heritage, in her writing.

As well as writing crime fiction, Liz is co-founder of and main contributor to The Crime Warp blog, which reviews all areas of crime fiction, interviews crime authors and participates in blog tours. 

Please note: 12 places only


Saturday 11 March

Jake Arnott

In Conversation with Nick Quantrill

12.30pm-1.30pm, £4 (£2 conc)

The acclaimed author of six novels, including The Long Firm, adapted as a BBC2 drama, talks about his latest work The Fatal Tree.

Welcome to a world of “academies” (brothels), “bung-nippers” (pickpockets), “buttocks” (prostitutes) with “Covent Garden Gout” (syphilis) being chased by “prig-nappers” (Thief-Takers).

It is the world Elizabeth Lyon has been thrown into after being betrayed by her first love. She changes her name to Edgeworth Bess and joins the seedy underworld of 1720s London. Her life changes when she falls in love with the crack thief, Jack Shepard, and the two become the 18th Century Bonnie and Clyde – notorious, passionate and daring.

This is her memoir, written by William Archer, the Grub Street hack, whose own story is revealed as he tells the tale of the notorious Edgeworth Bess.


Saturday 11 March

Getting Started, with Mark Hardie and Liz Mistry

2pm-3pm, £3 (£1.50 conc)

Mark Hardie and Liz Mistry discuss the route into writing and publishing their first novels.

Mark Hardie studied creative writing after losing his sight in 2002 and published his debut novel, Burned and Broken, in 2016. This stylish and gripping debut introduces a brilliant new detective duo to the world of crime fiction, weaving together two suspenseful stories that end in a breath-taking finale.

An enigmatic policeman - currently the subject of an internal investigation - is found burned to death in his car on the Southend sea front. A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend. As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery that surrounds their colleague's death, they're under intense pressure to crack the case without damaging the force's reputation.


Liz Mistry’s debut Unquiet Souls is the first book in a dark and compelling new police series, set in and around Bradford. When the body of a prostitute is found, followed by the discovery of children locked in an attic, DI Gus McGuire is handed the case. But what at first appears to be a simple murder soon turns into an international manhunt for the members of a twisted child trafficking ring. McGuire who is suffering with his own emotional problems, must pick his way through the web of deceit and uncover the truth in time before the body count rises.


Saturday 11 March

PANEL: Crime Scenes, with Cay Rademacher 

3.30-4.15pm, £3 (£1.50 conc)

German author Cay Rademacher and others discuss the ongoing hunger for international crime writing and their experience of seeing their work in translation in the UK market.


Saturday 11 March

Joanne Harris, Different Class

4.30pm-5.30pm £4 (£2 conc)

The bestselling writer talks about her latest novel: Different Class.

Eccentric Latin Master Roy Straitley is shocked to find an ex-pupil returning as the new Head of St Oswald’s Grammar School. Especially as he was involved with a scandal that ended with a teacher being jailed.

“Crime novel or literary novel? Categories really don't matter, readers will find themselves comprehensively gripped” The Independent

Published in more than 50 countries, Joanne Harris is the award-winning author of 15 novels, two short story collections and three cookbooks.

Sponsored by





Saturday 11 March

Comedy Night

Details to come.

Sponsored by Michael & Beverley Blake



Sunday 12 March

Literary Afternoon Tea with Susie Dent and Phaedra Patrick

3-5pm, £15 (£12), Fixby Hall, Huddersfield Golf Club, Lightridge Road, HD2 2EP

Enjoy afternoon tea in the lovely setting of Fixby Hall with two fabulous guests.

Susie Dent is the resident word expert in Dictionary Corner on C4’s Countdown. Her latest book Are You Speaking My Language? is a witty guide to Britain’s modern tribes and the ‘slanguage’ they use.

Phaedra Patrick’s sparkling debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, follows the story of a loveable widower who embarks on a life-changing adventure.






Sunday 12th March

Modern Cautionary Tales for Children with Murray Lachlan Young  

3pm, free, Magic Rock Tap, Willow Lane HD1 5EB

An acclaimed mix of poetry, stand-up comedy, storytelling, a touch of panto, and lots of fun participation. A hilarious and positive route to showing children that poetry can be fun, thought-provoking and even quite cool! A raucous, silly, scary, funny, poignant and enlightening hour of merriment and mayhem, packed with dark tales and nonsense. This show gets children dancing on-stage, completing simple fun poems, being ponies and getting seriously involved in live interactive poetry.    

"Enchanting". Sunday Times                                                                                          


Sunday 12 March

An Evening with Murray Lachlan Young

7pm, free, Magic Rock Tap, Willow Lane HD1 5EB

An evening of satirical soliloquy, rock-n-roll reverie and devastating-ditty as BBC6 music resident poet presents his stunning  new live up-close and personal show. A delightful and satirical romp  into the bizarre facets of fame, fashion, people, politics, a mild erotic folk ballad and the space-time continuum. This is unique stand up poetry/spoken word performance, from one of the very best in the business. 

Acclaimed playwright, actor, screen-writer and poet - extraodinaire. Celebrated for his hybrid mix of stand-up comedy with delightful commentaries on the bizarreness of contemporary life, expect flamboyant, punchy wit, brooding subtext and empathetic humour. Mick Jagger recently presented Keith Richards with a CD  of Murray’s poem, marking the anniversary of Keith falling out of a coconut tree.



Tuesday 14 March

Lisa M Luxx: Polyphonic Scars and The 4th Brain

6.00-7.00pm; £1.50; Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1

As a kid of the net-generation, Lisa Luxx grew up online. Clutching a cellular device, which stood in for teachers, lovers, friends and self. But after a crazy anti-net road trip round the wild landscapes near Silicon Valley, she briefly sobered up from technology to realise her peers are in deeper than she thought. Sacrificing mind, identity and future in the digital vortex that began long ago. The Polyphonic Scars show is made up of personal stories and poetry about addiction, evolution and direct experience. The show is an accompaniment to Luxx’s acclaimed book Polyphonic Scars.

"Polyphonic Scars places Lisa Luxx squarely in a generation of contemporary poets, including Kate Tempest and George the Poet, who combine performance and verse with a fresh, bruised candour." - BBC Arts

Lisa Luxx is a writer, performer and public speaker exploring consciousness, liberation and the human potential. Known best for her socio-political spoken word and her work as an editor and journalist. She has collaborated with the likes of Selfridges & co on a poetry infused fashion film, worked as a lyricist in LA and performed across festival stages including Latitude and Isle of Wight.

She is one half of musical duo Luxx & the Bones and in 2013 she founded Prowl House, and Prowl magazine – an internationally praised publication that celebrates the art of being human.





Tuesday 14 March

Lemn Sissay & Kit de Waal

In Conversation with Amanda Huxtable

7.30-8.30pm, £4 (£2) Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre, Business School, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

What happens to the children whose parents can’t look after them but no one adopts? Theatre director Amanda Huxtable leads a discussion between poet Lemn Sissay and novelist Kit de Waal, both of whom have direct experience of the care system and address the issue in their work.

Lemn Sissay is one of the nation’s best-loved poets; his latest collection is Gold from the Stone. An official poet of the 2012 Olympics, he presented 10 Pieces at the 2016 Proms and is a great example of the success that children raised in care can achieve.

Kit de Waal has worked in criminal and family law and advised Social Services on the care of foster children. Her debut novel, My Name Is Leon, tells the story of a mixed-race boy separated from his younger brother in the care system in 1980s Britain.










Tuesday 14 March

Ted Hughes’ Gaudete

7.30pm, Lawrence Batley Theatre

See www.thelbt.org for full details.


Wednesday 15 March


7pm doors, 7.30pm performance, free, Café Ollo, Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street HD1 1RL

Entertaining, moving, thought-provoking – PechaKucha is an eclectic evening of fast-paced presentations on our theme of ‘Courage’.

Each performer tells a story through 20 images they have selected – each automatically advancing after 20 seconds.

Free but booking recommended: https://pknhudds20.eventbrite.co.uk



Wednesday 15 March

Miracle Brew: Hops, Barley, Yeast, Water and the Nature of Beer with Pete Brown

7pm, £10, Magic Rock Tap, Willow Park Business Centre, Willow Lane HD1 5EB

Beer is the world most popular alcoholic beverage, so why do so few of us know what’s in it? Award-winning writer and broadcaster Pete Brown tells stories from his new book and tastes beers that reflect the character of the four main ingredients. Over 18s only, ticket includes 3 x 1/3 of Magic Rock. 

Pete Brown is a British author, journalist, blogger and broadcaster specialising in food and drink, especially the fun parts like beer and cider. His broad, fresh approach takes in social history, cultural commentary, travel writing, personal discovery and natural history, and his words are always delivered with the warmth and wit you'd expect from a great night down the pub. He writes for newspapers and magazines around the world and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Food Programme. He was named British Beer Writer of the Year in 2009 and 2012, and Fortnum and Mason Online Drinks Writer of the Year in 2015. He blogs at petebrown.net. Born in Barnsley, he now lives in That London.

Advance booking only.


Wednesday 15 March

Ted Hughes’ Gaudete

7.30pm, Lawrence Batley Theatre

See www.thelbt.org for full details.


Thursday 16 March

FICTION AT FOUR: Beth Underdown, The Witchfinder's Sister

4pm-5pm, £5 (includes coffee/tea & cake), Café Ollo, Media Centre, 7 Northumberland Street HD1 1RL

Beth Underdown talks about her stunning debut novel, based on the life of a real witchfinder.

It’s 1645 – Alice Hopkins returns, husbandless and pregnant, to her brother Matthew’s house in Essex. But what keeps him out late at night and why is he compiling a book of women’s names?

Ticket includes coffee/tea and cake.





Thursday 16 March

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Publishing

6-7pm, £1.50, Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Bookworms often dream of being authors – but there are many other ways to work with books. Established in 1949, the Society of Young Publishers is now open to all ages. Hosted by the SYP North branch, this event will tell you all you need to know about a career in publishing.


Thursday 16 March

Henry Normal: Staring Directly at the Eclipse

7.30-8.30pm, £5 (£3 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

“The Alan Bennett of poetry” The Scotsman.

Co-writer of award-winning TV shows and films such as The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show and The Parole Officer, and producer of Gavin and Stacey, Moone Boy, Alan Partridge and the Oscar-nominated Philomena, Henry returns to his first love: poetry.
Here, he showcases work from Staring Directly at the Eclipse, his first collection of poetry for over 20 years, including poems from his acclaimed BBC R4 programme A Normal Family. As well as his trademark humour, the show covers the subjects of death, loneliness, loss, human frailty and other classic conversation stoppers.

Sponsored by 






Friday 17 March

Michèle Roberts

In Conversation with Rose Condo

7pm, £4 (£2 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

The Booker Prize shortlisted author talks about her new novel, The Walworth Beauty, a haunting, sensuous tale weaving two story strands from Victorian and contemporary London.

Michèle Roberts is the author of 13 highly acclaimed novels, including Ignorance, The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House, which won the WHSmith Literary Award. She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.


Saturday 18 March

MSLEXIA WORKSHOP: How to Write a Synopsis with Debbie Taylor

10am-12noon, £10 (£5 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

A foolproof method to take the pain out of writing the most difficult page a novelist has to compose. For writers who have started or completed a novel (women only). Debbie is the Editor of Mslexia, an experienced tutor and an acclaimed novelist.

Mslexia is the best-selling literary magazine in the UK. It combines expert advice and information about writing with fiction, poetry and literary listings: www.mslexia.co.uk

Saturday 18 March

PANEL: Short Stories with Michael Stewart

11am-12noon, £3 (£1.50 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Details to come.


Saturday 18 March

MSLEXIA WORKSHOP: Short Story Writing with Michèle Roberts

12.30-2.30pm, £10 (£5 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Details to come.


Saturday 18 March

Crown of Blood – Nicola Tallis on Lady Jane Grey

1.30-2.30pm, £3 (£1.50 conc), Oastler, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

An important retelling of the story of the ‘Nine Days Queen’, executed for treason aged 17.

Accomplished researcher and historian Nicola Tallis focuses on the human side of the Protestant radical and brings her story to life with everyday details of the time.


Saturday 18 March

MSLEXIA PANEL: Meet the Editors

3pm-5pm, £5 (£3 conc), Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Independent publishers are the first step to literary stardom for many novelists – and for writers of short fiction and poetry they are the only game in town. To find out what they are looking for and how to submit, come along to an informal discussion with three specially invited editors: ARC Publications, Route Publishing and Comma Press. Chaired by Mslexia’s Editor Debbie Taylor.

Mslexia is the best-selling literary magazine in the UK. It combines expert advice and information about writing with fiction, poetry and literary listings: www.mslexia.co.uk

Saturday 18 March

Poetry Slam, hosted by Attila the Stockbroker

7pm, £3 (£1.50 conc), Small Seeds, 120 New Street HD1 2UD

Open to all performance poets, with a top prize of £50.
Loud, funny, hard hitting – bring your poems, raps, comedy to be performed live and judged by audience members. Or just come along for the entertainment.

Hosted by performance poet, musician, journalist and political activist Attila the Stockbroker. Attila has performed around 3,400 gigs in 24 countries, released 40 albums, seven books of poetry and an autobiography: Argument’s Yard (2015).

Slam rules: Sign up 6.30pm, original work only (3 mins max). No racist, sexist or homophobic language. Round one: all performers, round two: top three scored by audience members.



Sunday 19 March

Alan Johnson MP

In Conversation with Nick Ahad

3pm, £5 (£3 conc)

No age guidance (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)

Sponsored by



From postman to politician – and now multi-award-winning writer – a not-to-be-missed In Conversation with Alan Johnson MP.

The third volume of his remarkable memoir – The Long and Winding Road – sees the man who grew up in the condemned slums of West London enter the corridors of power at Westminster.

As Tony Blair famously once said to him: “Oh, so you really are working class.”

After his negotiating skills as a trade union leader – including seeing off the planned privatisation of the Post Office – brought him to the attention of senior Labour figures, including Tony Blair, Johnson was chosen to stand as MP for Hull West and Hessle.

He entered Parliament after Labour’s landslide election victory in 1997 and served in a variety of cabinet positions in the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary, followed by taking the post of shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer until January 2011.

The first installment in Alan Johnson’s memoirs, This Boy, won the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize in 2013; his second, Please Mister Postman, won the National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year in 2014.

Praise for This Boy
“The best memoir by a politician you will ever read” The Times

Praise for Please, Mister Postman
“Wry, self-deprecating, sometimes uproariously funny and sometimes unbearably sad.” New Statesman

Alan Johnson was born in May 1950. He is a British Labour Party politician who served as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that, he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary. Until 20 January 2011 he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Johnson has been the Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle since 1997.

He is the author of three bestselling memoirs: Please, Mister Postman and This Boy – described by The Times as ‘the best memoir by a politician you will ever read', it was a Sunday Times bestseller and won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2014 and the Orwell Prize 2014.


This event will have live subtitling by Stagetext to give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences access to the event.






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