Diary of Events

The Huddersfield Literature Festival runs from 4-19 March 2017

(Launch night Friday 3 March, additional Celebrating Kirklees Librairies events in February)

Some events are free but may require advance booking, some are pay on the door.

For all others, booking is as follows (unless otherwise stated, eg Town Hall events):

Online:     www.thelbt.org
Email:       boxoffice@thelbt.org
By phone: 01484 430528
In person: Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen St, HD1 2SP OR Central Library, Princess Alexandra Walk, HD1 2SU

For a map with key town centre venues, CLICK HERE

The Festival in Brief (see below for full details)

Please keep checking back as further events come online.

Date Time Event Venue
2-9 February Various

Celebrating Kirklees Libraries events

3 March tbc

HLF2017 launch night

4 March 10am-3.30pm

HLF2017/Stafflex Free Family Day

North Huddersfield Trust School
4 March 11am-1pm WORKSHOP: with Simon Crump University of Huddersfield
4 March 12.30pm Talk & Guided Walk with Andrew White Denby Dale Library
4 March 2-4pm WORKSHOP: Liberating Poetic Chaos: Emily Dickinson, with Steve Ely University of Huddersfield
4 March 2pm-5pm The University of Huddersfield Presents... University of Huddersfield
4 March 3pm PANEL: Memoir Writing Mechanics Hall, Marsden
5 March tbc PANEL: Memoir Writing University of Huddersfield
5 March 6pm Come Rhyme With Me tbc
6 March 6.30pm Major event - to be announced Town Hall
7 March 6.30pm The Write Stuff / Launch of the Lefty Caligari Arts Foundation Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield
7 March 7pm Polari Up North + Section 28 short LBT
8 March 4pm Fiction at Four Media Centre
8 March 7pm Julie Summers: From Jambusters to Home Fires University of Huddersfield
8 March 7pm Poetic Licence: The Ms Shakespeare Project Magic Rock Brewing
9 March 6pm Grist Launch & Open Mic Night Small Seeds
9 March 7pm Major event - to be announced University of Huddersfield
10 March 4pm Fiction at Four: David Barnett Media Centre
10 March 7.30pm Ian Rankin In Conversation with David Barnett Town Hall
11 March 10am-12 noon WORKSHOP: Creating a Villain with Liz Mistry University of Huddersfield
11 March 11am-5pm Majikkon (Huddersfield Manga, Anime & Comic Con) Huddersfield Leisure Centre
11 March 12.30pm Jake Arnott In Conversation University of Huddersfield
11 March 2pm Getting Started, with Mark Hardie & Liz Mistry University of Huddersfield
11 March 3.30pm PANEL: tbc University of Huddersfield
11 March 4.30pm Major event - to be announced University of Huddersfield
11 March tbc Comedy evening tbc
12 March 3-5pm Literary Afternoon Tea Huddersfield Golf Club
12 March 3pm & 7pm Murray Lachlan Young Magic Rock Tap
14 March 6pm Lisa Luxx: The Polyphonic Scars Show Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield
14 March 7.30pm Major event - to be announced University of Huddersfield
14 March 7.30pm Ted Hughes' Gaudete LBT
15 March 7pm PechaKucha The Media Centre
15 March 7pm Miracle Brew, with Pete Brown Magic Rock Tap
15 March 7.30pm Ted Hughes' Gaudete LBT
16 March 4pm Fiction at Four Media Centre
16 March 6-7pm Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Publishing: Society of Young Publishers University of Huddersfield
16 March 7.30pm Major event - to be announced University of Huddersfield
17 March 7pm Major event - to be announced University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc WORKSHOP: How to Write a Synopsis with Debbie Taylor University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc WORKSHOP: Short Story Writing University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc PANEL: Short Stories University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc Crown of Blood: Nicola Tallis on Lady Jane Grey University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc Meet the Editors - a Mslexia event University of Huddersfield
18 March tbc Poetry Slam The Parish
19 March 3pm Alan Johnson In Conversation with Nick Ahad Huddersfield Town Hall


Thursday 2 to Thursday 9 February

Celebrating Kirklees Libraries

Libraries are the lifeblood of many communities and the Huddersfield Literature Festival is proud to champion them every year.

Thursday 2 February, 7pm
The Game’s Afoot! with David Stuart Davies
Heckmondwike Library, Walkley Lane WF16 0LY
A dramatic presentation of the story of Sherlock Holmes and his creator Arthur Conan Doyle.

Saturday 4 February, 2pm
Tales from a Country Show, with Victoria Benn & Jamie Roberts
Cleckheaton Library, Whitcliffe Road BD19 3DX
Humorous tales of the eccentricities and passions of the locals involved in Kilnsey Show.

Wednesday 8 February, 7.30pm
Flowers by the Road, with David Coldwell
Marsden Libarary, Peel Street HD7 6BW
Launch of the Marsden-based artist and writer’s debut poetry collection.

Thursday 9 February, 2pm
Our Dementia Diary, with Rachael Dixey
Kirkburton Library, Turnshaw Road HD8 0RT
A moving account of the emotional and practical challenges of looking after a loved one with dementia.

Thursday 9 February, 7.30pm
Making a Living as a Writer, with John Harvey
Almondbury Library, Stocks Walk HD5 8XB
Stories and advice from 40 years writing pulp fiction, crime novels and TV/radio drama.

Tickets £2, available from the library or Kirklees Box Offices: 01484 223200; www.kirklees.gov.uk/townhalls


Friday 3 March

HLF2017 Launch

More information to follow soon.


Saturday 4 March

HLF2017/Stafflex Free Family Day

10am-3.30pm, FREE
No age restrictions (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)
Huddersfield Trust School, Woodhouse Road HD2 1DJ

Enjoy a free film, interactive storytelling and creative activities – a great day out for all the family, brought to you by Stafflex.

10am  Doors open

Activities will include storytelling, face painting, colouring tables (for children and adults!) and much more. Refreshments available.

No need to book - just turn up on the day.

Please note: parents or guardians must supervise any children under 16 during this event.


Saturday 4 March

WORKSHOP: with Simon Crump

A creative writing workshop with Simon Crump.

11am-1pm, £10 (£5 conc)

Age guidance 16+

Oastler Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1 3DH

Available for booking soon


Tuesday 7 March

Polari Up North

+ Ending at Section 28 (short)

7.00pm (approx running time 2 hours, with two 20 min breaks), £8 (Kirklees Passport: £7, under 26: £7)
Age guidance: 16+
Syngenta Cellar, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP

“Always fun, always thought-provoking – a guaranteed good night out” – Sarah Waters

Polari returns to Huddersfield!

Entertaining, enthralling and eclectic – if you haven’t yet been to Polari you’re missing out on a fabulously enjoyable evening of performance.

Award-winning journalist and author Paul Burston presents a range of talented LGBT writers and performers with universal appeal.




This year's featured artists are:

Paul Burston – Polari host, award-winning journalist and novelist, he will be reading from his latest work, the critically acclaimed chilling domestic noir The Black Path.

Curator and host of award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari and founder of The Polari First Book Prize, Paul Burston was born in York, raised in Wales and now divides his time between London and Hastings.

Shameless, his first novel, was published in 2001 and was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award; his third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award.

A founding editor of Attitude magazine, Paul has written for many publications including The Guardian, The Independent, Time Out, The Times and The Sunday Times.

Long-listed for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, The Black Path was described by the Huffington Post as: "An intense, tightly calibrated thriller”.


Jackie Hagan – an award-winning cosmic scally. A poet, comedian, live artist, playwright and community artist, who believes in the power of the arts to effect lasting social change and who will, if encouraged down champagne from her glittery false leg!

Her approach is to undercut awkwardness and taboo with smart, loving wit.

She has widely toured her solo show Some People Have Too Many Legs - a poetic comedy-with-depth about the summer of 2013 when she suddenly got a mystery illness and lost her leg. She also works closely with young people on the theme of body positivity and disability.

Jackie's awards for this show include the Flying Solo Winner 2014; Saboteur 'Best Spoken Word Show' award 2015; Creative Futures Literary award 2015. 

Channel 4 has also produced a short documentary covering a day in her life, as part of a series exploring the life of successful amputees.

Jackie also runs a successful poetry project enabling marginalised and silenced adults to express themselves creatively.


Juno Dawson – Queen of Teen 2014, multi-award-winning author of six Young Adult novels plus non-fiction.

Juno grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who and now lives in Brighton. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.

Her latest novel is the beautiful and emotive Margot & Me (Jan 2017) which will be followed by her adult debut, the memoir The Gender Games (Jul 17).

Juno also wrote the bestselling non-fiction guide to life for young LGBT people, This Book Is Gay, and a follow-up, Mind Your Head, which featured everything a young person needs to know about mental health.

Juno is a regular contributor to Attitude Magazine, Glamour Magazine and The Guardian and has contributed to news items on BBC Women’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight concerning sexuality, identity, literature and education.


VG Lee – crazy hat lady published in numerous anthologies and magazines author of five novels – the latest being Mr Oliver’s Object of Desire.

Her previous novels were: The Comedienne, The Woman in Beige, Diary of a Provincial Lesbian and Always you, Edina, and she is the author of a short story collection As You Step Outside.

In 2012 VG Lee was nominated for a Stonewall Award for writing and in 2014 she won The Ultimate Planet award for Best Established Author.

Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and she contributes articles for The Lady and Gaia Magazine.

In her sixtieth year she decided to become a stand-up comedian and is now a regular performer at Laughing Cows comedy nights in London and the Midlands.

VG Lee has performed at the Huddersfield Literature Festival every year since we first showcased Polari Up North in Huddersfield in 2014 and her performances are always a highlight of the evening.


Paul McVeigh – Bearded Irishman who likes to laugh and make other people cry – in a nice way. Writer of comedy, plays, short stories and novel The Good Son.

Born in Belfast, Paul’s work has been performed on stage and radio, published in print and been translated into seven languages.

He began his career as a playwright before moving to London where he wrote comedy shows, which were performed at the Edinburgh Festival and in London’s West End. Moving into prose, his short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies, read on BBC Radio 5 and commissioned by BBC Radio 4.

The Good Son, Paul’s debut novel, won The Polari Prize and The McCrea Literary Award. It was shortlisted for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize, was a finalist for The People’s Book Prize and chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016.

Find out more about Polari here


Bettina Carpi and Gary Lloyd - Ending At Section 28:

Dance & Music short inspired by Alan Moore's Prose History of Gender

Choreographer and performer Bettina Carpi and composer Gary Lloyd present excerpts and discuss work-in-progress on their forthcoming full-scale performance piece in collaboration with Alan Moore, the celebrated author of Lost Girls, Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell and Brought to Light.

The project charts a history of gender politics, philosophies and attitudes bookended by the birth of life on our planet and the idiocy of the now repealed Section 28 which banned local authorities in the uk from portraying homosexuality in any positive fashion.

Please note, this performance will begin at 7pm, followed by a short break before Polari Up North.







Friday 10 March

Ian Rankin In Conversation with David Barnett

7.30pm, £7 (£5), Town Hall, Corporation Street, HD1 2TA

Thirty years’ ago, Ian Rankin created one of crime fiction’s most celebrated characters, Inspector John Rebus.

In one of only a few exclusive events to mark the anniversary and a new box set, the author will talk about his writing career, Including the latest Rebus novel, Rather Be the Devil.

Winner of four Crime Writers Association Dagger Awards, Ian Rankin has had his work translated into 22 languages.

Booking: Town Hall box office: 01484 225 755, www.kirkleestownhalls.co.uk





Sponsored by: 




Saturday 11 March


Huddersfield Manga, Anime & Comic Con

11am-5pm; £8 (Under 10 years: £3); Huddersfield Leisure Centre, Spring Grove Street HD1 4BP

Majikkon is a celebration of not only Japanese pop-culture, fashion and games, but also Western comic book heroes and Sci-Fi shows. Visitors range from the age of 5 to 50 and come from all walks of life.

Stage events  * Cosplay Contest * Artists’ Alley * Special Guests * Creative Corner * Panels… and much more

Cosplay judges include Helen Alice (Helen Alice Cosplay) and Kenny (Kenny Cosplay Stuff), and special guests include SuperSorrell

Pre-booking is advisable (a limited number of tickets will be available on the door).











Tuesday 14 March

Lisa M Luxx: Polyphonic Scars and The 4th Brain

6.00-7.00pm; £1.50; Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate HD1

As a kid of the net-generation, Lisa Luxx grew up online. Clutching a cellular device, which stood in for teachers, lovers, friends and self. But after a crazy anti-net road trip round the wild landscapes near Silicon Valley, she briefly sobered up from technology to realise her peers are in deeper than she thought. Sacrificing mind, identity and future in the digital vortex that began long ago. The Polyphonic Scars show is made up of personal stories and poetry about addiction, evolution and direct experience. The show is an accompaniment to Luxx’s acclaimed book Polyphonic Scars.

"Polyphonic Scars places Lisa Luxx squarely in a generation of contemporary poets, including Kate Tempest and George the Poet, who combine performance and verse with a fresh, bruised candour." - BBC Arts

Lisa Luxx is a writer, performer and public speaker exploring consciousness, liberation and the human potential. Known best for her socio-political spoken word and her work as an editor and journalist. She has collaborated with the likes of Selfridges & co on a poetry infused fashion film, worked as a lyricist in LA and performed across festival stages including Latitude and Isle of Wight.

She is one half of musical duo Luxx & the Bones and in 2013 she founded Prowl House, and Prowl magazine – an internationally praised publication that celebrates the art of being human.






Tickets for this event will be going on sale very soon...

Sunday 19 March

Alan Johnson MP

In Conversation with Nick Ahad

3pm, £5 (£3 conc)

No age guidance (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)

Sponsored by



From postman to politician – and now multi-award-winning writer – a not-to-be-missed In Conversation with Alan Johnson MP.

The third volume of his remarkable memoir – The Long and Winding Road – sees the man who grew up in the condemned slums of West London enter the corridors of power at Westminster.

As Tony Blair famously once said to him: “Oh, so you really are working class.”

After his negotiating skills as a trade union leader – including seeing off the planned privatisation of the Post Office – brought him to the attention of senior Labour figures, including Tony Blair, Johnson was chosen to stand as MP for Hull West and Hessle.

He entered Parliament after Labour’s landslide election victory in 1997 and served in a variety of cabinet positions in the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary, Education Secretary and Home Secretary, followed by taking the post of shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer until January 2011.

The first installment in Alan Johnson’s memoirs, This Boy, won the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize in 2013; his second, Please Mister Postman, won the National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year in 2014.

Praise for This Boy
“The best memoir by a politician you will ever read” The Times

Praise for Please, Mister Postman
“Wry, self-deprecating, sometimes uproariously funny and sometimes unbearably sad.” New Statesman

Alan Johnson was born in May 1950. He is a British Labour Party politician who served as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that, he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary. Until 20 January 2011 he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Johnson has been the Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle since 1997.

He is the author of three bestselling memoirs: Please, Mister Postman and This Boy – described by The Times as ‘the best memoir by a politician you will ever read', it was a Sunday Times bestseller and won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2014 and the Orwell Prize 2014.


This event will have live subtitling by Stagetext to give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences access to the event.






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