Leeds Lit Fest Shortlisted For an Award in its First Year

It’s a significant achievement for Leeds Lit Fest – shortlisted as Best Lit Fest in the Saboteur Awards 2019.   There are nominations for Leeds writers in two other categories – Joe Williams for Best Novella for his “An Otley Run” and Strix Magazine for Best Magazine.

If you want to support this Leeds Festival as a contender for the award, please cast your vote by 12 May!

Carl Hutton, Chair of Leeds Lit Fest said: “All of the Leeds Lit Fest partners are incredibly touched that in our first year the Festival has been unexpectedly recognized by our supporters for this national award. We feel we have created something special for Leeds. We are delighted that Joe Williams and Strix magazine are shortlisted alongside us in the Saboteur Awards and hope that as many people as possible will vote for the triple and bring these awards back to Leeds.”

Photograph from Shahnameh taken at this year’s Leeds Lit Fest and provided by Adverse Camber.

Joe Williams said: “I’m excited to have made it to the shortlist in the Best Novella category. “An Otley Run has been getting some great reviews, and a lot of strong engagement with audiences and readers, and it’s fantastic that it’s now got some national recognition. It’s brilliant to see Strix and Leeds Lit Fest there, too. It’s a reflection of the huge amount of talent and passion for literature that we have here in the City. I can think of lots of other writers and organisations who could sit comfortably on these shortlists.”

Co-poetry editor of Strix, Ian Harker, said: “We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award for a second year running, but to be representing our City with Joe Williams and Leeds Lit Fest means the world to us. Writing and spoken word is flourishing in Leeds and the region, and we’re proud to be a part of these exciting times.”

The Saboteur Awards were started by Sabotage Reviews in 2011, to showcase events and writers on the UK indie literature scene. spotlight a diverse range of literary publications, events and writers on the UK indie literature scene.  They are voted for by the public and highly valued by the writing community.

Leeds Lit Fest 2019 – 34 Years of Peepal Tree Press. Photograph by Fiona Gell, Leeds Big Bookend

Voting closes at midnight on 12 May and can be done here.  Winners will be announced on 18th May at Fazeley Studios in Birmingham.

Leeds Lit Fest current partner organisations include The Leeds Library, Leeds Libraries, Carriageworks Theatre, Chapel FM, The Leeds Big Bookend and Northern Short Story Festival, Headingley LitFest, Hyde Park Book Club, MILIM, Leeds Minster, Leeds Church Institute and #foundfiction.

Venues this year included Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds Central Library, The Leeds Library, Hyde Park Book Club, HEART Centre, Leeds University, Leeds Beckett University, Holy Trinity Church, Chapel FM, Mill Hill Chapel and Leeds Corn Exchange.  You can find out more here.

About Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a former starving musician who transformed into a starving writer and poet in 2015, entirely by mistake. He lives in Leeds and appears regularly at events in Yorkshire and beyond. He has been published in numerous anthologies, and in magazines online and in print. His debut poetry pamphlet, ‘Killing the Piano’, was published by Half Moon Books in 2017, followed by the verse novella ‘An Otley Run’ in 2018. He won the Open Mic Competition at Ilkley Literature Festival in 2017 and was runner-up the following year. www.joewilliams.co.ukwww.anotleyrun.com | joe@joewilliams.co.uk

About Strix Magazine

Now approaching its seventh issue, Strix is edited by Leeds-based writers SJ Bradley, Ian Harker, and Andrew Lambeth. Hand-made in their home city, its striking design and unique format bring the best and most exciting writing from across the English-speaking world three times a year. Shortlisted in 2018 and 2019 for a Saboteur Award for Best Magazine, poems from Strix have featured twice as the Guardian’s Poem of the Week. Its editor Carol Rumens called Strix “…handsome, stream-lined and sharp-eyed…” https://www.strixleeds.com/

Feature photograph is of Leeds Lit Fest Launch, taken by Stan Graham.

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