A festival of words

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WIGAN and Leigh’s eighth ‘Words’ Literature Festival – which kicked off yesterday at The Orwell at Wigan Pier – is nothing if not thrillingly unpredictable.

Highlights during the 14 days include writer and academic Professor Germaine Greer discussing Shakespeare’s Wife, a panel of rugby league experts – including commentator Ray French – hosting an evening of good natured chat about sporting words and Standish scriptwriter and author Paul Finch entertaining horror fans with a specially written novella set in Wigan’s historic Haigh Hall.

Words Literature Festival blends local and national literary luminaries, provides workshops in scriptwriting and under fives storytelling sessions for an eclectic mix of literary opportunities for the residents of Wigan and Leigh.

Organised by the Leigh and Wigan Words Together Committee and supported by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, this year’s event has been made possible following funding from Arts Council England.

What’s On At Words:


Memoir and Autobiographical Writing - 8pm start at Sam’s Bar, Warrington Road, Ashton. Enjoying Books as a Blind Person - 10am to 12.30 pm, Wigan Cricket Club, Bull Hey, Parson’s Walk, Wigan. Paul Finch Ghost Story - 8pm Haigh Hall. Not for the squeamish. Includes a short history tour.

Culture Bites! Leigh Main Library, 7.30pm – 9pm. Free event. Call 01942 404 404 to book, or turn up on night.


Dorothy Nelson - 2pm, Beech Hill Library. Free.

Other Voices. St Thomas Church Leigh, 7.30pm. ‘The Wednesday Club’, a new play written by Leigh playwright Julie McKiernan Pay at the door £4.00 including wine, tea or coffee.

Brighton Rock - 7pm, Turnpike Centre, Leigh. Screening of the classic 1947 film starring Richard Attenborough. Free.


Kenneth Steven - Imagining Things! - Wigan Cricket Club, 10am until 3pm. Pay at the door £5. Booking essential. Tea and coffee available all day but bring sandwiches for lunch. To book phone Chris on 07874 303 559

The Dead Poets, 8pm, The Tudor House Hotel, New Market Street, Wigan. Find out how Mark, an English teacher from Peterborough, struggles as he attempts to compete on the hip hop battle circuit

Tyldesley Creative Writers – ‘Words to Treasure’ - 7:30pm, Dam House, Astley Hall Drive, Astley, Tyldesley. Come along and listen to a showcase of work by members of the writing group. Wine reception and other refreshments, £3, admission by ticket only; to book, phone Doris on 01942 88 4644

The Knights Templar – 7.30pm, Derby Rooms, Turnpike Centre, Leigh. Illustrated talk on the enigmatic order of warrior monks which features in The Da Vinci Code and many other popular books with historian and mystery enthusiast Mark Olly, TV’s “Man in Black”. Free

Shakespeare’s Wife – Prof Germaine Greer at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, Turner Street, Wigan. 8pm. Tickets £10 from The Museum of Wigan Life. 01942 884 644.


Hear the Word - Derby Rooms, Leigh, 2-4pm. There is no need to pre-book; just turn up at 1.45 pm. Free

The Secret Writers Saturday Night-Out - Independence, King St. West, Wigan. The Secret Writers Club invite you to come and celebrate their first birthday with an evening of spoken word and comedy from local upcoming writers and special guests. For more information email Louise or Kenny at secretwriters@live.co.uk Doors open 7.30 pm. Free event.


Fiction Writers’ Self-Editing Workshop , Wigan Cricket Club, 10 am to 1.30 pm. Suitable for short story writers and novelists. Phone Michael on 01942 824 923. Refreshments. Tickets £5 on the door.

‘Mothers and Daughters’ - 7.30pm. Author Kate Long at Standish Library, Cross Street, Standish. Tickets £5, including cheese and wine. Tickets from Standish Library, 01257 400 496

In League with Literature - 7.30pm at Ashton Library, Wigan Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield. Some say Rugby League and literature don’t go together. Publishers of all things Northern culture, Scratching Shed, host an evening featuring five well-known rugby league writers and broadcaster who disagree. Come and join Phil Caplan (No White Flag), Professor Tony Collins (1895 and All That, Rugby’s Great Split), Dave Hatfield (Up and Over, Down and Under), Tony Hannan (Being Eddie Waring, Seasons in the Sun), and BBC rugby league commentator Ray French (Ray French and Rugby) for an evening of good-humour. Tickets £5 from Ashton Library 01942 727119.

For details of other events log onto www.wordstogether.org