The second year of Leeds Lit Fest offers a unique programme with three themes, one of which will build on the quirky nature of the first Festival in 2019:
The first is a non-traditional literary inspired theme facilitated by funding from the Arts Council. Joe Williams, a Leeds poet, has been commissioned to bring his verse novella, An Otley Run, to life through an immersive walk, in which audience members will play a part.
The second theme is the core programme, which will offer talks, discussions, panel events, Q & A sessions and an all-day roadshow from the Northern Fiction Alliance, with writers both local and regional, as well as national, such as Helen Fielding, AC Grayling, Jenny Eclair Helen Taylor Gavin Esler and Marie Le Conte.
The third is ‘Inspiring the City’, a community programme enabled by the support of Leeds Inspired (part of LCC).
Other artists and performers for 2020 include, IOU Theatre, international artist Ant Hampton, Scary Little Girls, Nunkie Theatre and Visible Fictions, bringing sound installations, theatre performance, immersive experiences, more themed walks, music, multi-genre spoken word and film events to the Festival.
It’s an impressive undertaking – over 100 events taking place across the City as well as in venues outside of the City centre, encouraging local people to participate in creative activity, writing and reading. It’s much easier if it’s not far from home, and even better if you can pay what you feel, which will often be the case this year. 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.
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.
Carl Hutton, Chair of Leeds Lit Fest 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…… 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.”
Look out for the full programme, to be announced on 21 January, when tickets will be available. All the information is here.
Mags is the Content Editor at Leeds Living, who scours articles and makes sure they’re perfect before they’re published. She also reviews theatre.