Literary festival line-up unveiled

Poet Louise Fazackerley
Poet Louise Fazackerley

FROM a masterclass by a multi-award-winning playwright to a day of folk and verse ... it can only mean one thing!

The full programme for Wigan and Leigh’s annual literature bonanza is out, and once again it’s promising an eclectic mix of events combining national and local literary luminaries for residents’ delectation.

Highlights of theninth Words Festival, which starts on Monday, April 9, include a masterclass with renowned playwright Jim Cartwright, author of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

Dinesh Allirajah will be showing people how to write humorous short fiction, and for lovers of fantasy, author of Necromancer’s Gambit and Empire of the Saviours AJ Dalton will be discussing current trends in fantasy literature, and how he finally signed a global book deal after 25 years of trying.

Wigan-based Secret Writers Club will be holding a day of poetry in the newly-restored bandstand at Mesnes Park, a networking event will be held at Leigh’s Turnpike Centre for local writers to meet local and international publishers, while Wigan’s Willpower Youth Theatre will perform a new show commemorating the lives of those lost with the sinking of the Titanic.

The programme has 31 events and runs from Monday, April 9 to Saturday, April 21.

Words co-ordinator Gillian Forrester said: “There are so many festival highlights this year, but for me it’s wonderful that we have such a talented playwright and best-selling author as Sarah Waters coming to Wigan.

“The author of Tipping the Velvet, Little Stranger and Night Watch is one of the biggest literary stars to ever come to the festival.

“This is a really exciting programme of events and one we hope, appeals across the age spectrum.

“There are light-hearted and fun evenings, family days and some touching and tragic events.

“There’ll also be improvisation classes, evenings of sketches and monologues, poetry slam events and a song writing event.”

Among other guests are novelist Emma Jane Unsworth who gives a talk called Running in Heels; and Manchester writer and lecturer Zoe Lambert, who discusses and reads from her debut short story collection, The War Tour.

The Secret Writers’ Club, featuring poet Louise Fazackerley, will host the first spoken word event in the bandstand at Mesnes Park.

Willpower Youth Theatre will give two performances of a new play about the Titanic.

And there are two festival performances of poetry and dance with CO2, Mark Mace Smith and Louise Fazackerley, plus The Woods performed by Linda Lee Welch and Animat.

Words Literature Festival is organised by the Leigh and Wigan Words Together committee in association with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust and supported by the Arts Council England’s National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts scheme.

For a Words brochure visit your nearest library or leisure centre.