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About Us

About Us

About Us

Leeds Lit Fest is back and returns from Wednesday 4 - Sunday 8 March 2020. 

Leeds Lit Fest promises to be unlike any other literature festival in the UK and will offer a unique programme with 3 clear themes:

• A core programme of local, regional and national writers including Leeds’ own Helen Fielding, alongside AC Grayling, Jenny Éclair, Helen Taylor, Gavin Esler and Marie Le Conte. There will be talks, discussions, panel events, Q & A sessions and an all-day roadshow from the Northern Fiction Alliance.

• A non-traditional literary inspired programme made possible by funding from the Arts Council which will build upon the quirkiness that defined the 2019 Festival.

Leeds poet, Joe Williams has been commissioned by the Festival to bring his award nominated verse novella, An Otley Run to life in an immersive walk which will see audience members doing part of the famous Otley Run.

Other artists and performers for 2020 include, IOU Theatre, international artist Ant Hampton, Scary Little Girls, Nunkie Theatre and Visible Fictions which will bring sound installations, theatre performance, immersive experiences, more themed walks, music, multi-genre spoken word and film events to the Festival.

• An ‘Inspiring the City’ community programme made possible by the support of Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council.

This will see over 40 events including a series of writing workshops that take place across the city in venues primarily outside of the city centre. The aim is to bring literary events closer to where people live and to encourage more people to embrace reading, writing and creative activity. Many of these events will be Pay What You Feel to encourage people to get involved with the Festival. Linked to this programme will be a series of podcasts that will see writers encourage listeners to develop their writing skills and increase their engagement with literature.

Alongside these core programme elements, American author, Diane Cook will take on the role of International Writer in Residence for the Festival through the support of the British Council and in partnership with Leeds Beckett University. During her time at the Festival, Diane will deliver a number of events and activities and at the close of the Festival set out a challenge for the Festival team, in the form of a Manifesto, to take up for the next Festival. This writer Manifesto is anticipated to be a common theme of the Festival for future years.

Carl Hutton, Chair of Leeds Lit Fest and CEO of the Leeds Library is excited by the way the Festival is developing in only its second year: “The Festival is unique as a literature festival in the UK in that we embrace non-traditional literature events alongside a core programme of writer talks and events. It is also unique in terms of arts and cultural festivals in Leeds in the way that we are taking so many events and activities across the city, making the Festival as accessible as possible for all.

We are committed to delivering over 100 literature-based events in 5 days, a programme that will have something for everyone whether it’s family activities at Leeds Central Library, an internationally renowned writer at Carriageworks Theatre or a literature walk taking people on an adventure through a part of the city.

Whilst we may not have the budgets of some festivals, with the support of the Arts Council, Leeds Inspired, the British Council and the creative input of some amazing festival partners, we feel we have an understanding of what the Festival needs to be like to be able to engage the people of Leeds of all ages and from all communities in a celebration of reading, writing and creative thought and ideas.”

The full programme for the Leeds Lit Fest can be found here.

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