Festival aims to bring words to life

Top authors Jodi Picoult, Joanne Harris and Kate Atkinson will bring words to life when they take part in the Huddersfield Literature Festival.

After a gap last year, the festival returns from March 14 to 17 for a weekend of comedy, workshops, readings and exhibitions.

Highlights of the festival will include an ‘in conversation’ event with global best-seller Joanne Harris, who lives in Huddersfield, Whitbread prize-winner Kate Atkinson and acclaimed novelist Jeremy Dyson who is one of the writers on The League of Gentlemen.

Kirklees library service will host an evening with the hugely-popular American author Jodi Picoult on Wednesday, April 3 at Huddersfield Town Hall.

The best-selling author wrote My Sister’s Keeper, which was made into a film starring Cameron Diaz, Lone Wolf and Sing You Home. She will be talking about her latest book The Storyteller.

Festival director Michelle Hodgson said: “We are delighted with the line-up for this year’s festival and hope it will bring in audiences from a wide area. Some events are free and most cost less than £5.

“We know there is a lot of interest in books and in reading and we want to encourage that.There was no funding for a festival last year and this year’s event is mainly based around a long weekend of activities but we hope it will lay the basis for something bigger next year.

“The festival has established a great reputation for attracting big name authors and promoting new writing. In past years, the festival has welcomed writers as diverse as Simon Armitage, Anne Fine, A L Kennedy, Andrew Motion, David Nobbs, David Peace, Alexei Sayle and Mark E Smith.”

Michelle said the festival would be working closely with other organisations in the town such as Huddersfield Giants, Huddersfield Town FC, the library service, writers’ groups and book shops to encourage an interest in reading.

“Some libraries in the area have been threatened with closure but many children get their first experience of reading from libraries. It’s important that they stay open.”

Other events during the festival will include a talk on Ted Hughes’s Yorkshire roots, creative writing events for children aged from five to 17, and a celebration of Manga, the Japanese animation.

• To book tickets or check the diary of events contact 01484 223200 or log onto www.litfest.org.uk