Success for first Lancaster Words festival

PJ Harvey at Lancaster Words Festival. Picture by Darren Andrews.
PJ Harvey at Lancaster Words Festival. Picture by Darren Andrews.

The first ever Lancaster Words festival has been hailed a success after attracting a thousand people.

Lancaster Words, a three-day celebration, took place in more than 20 venues, exploring all aspects of the written and spoken word.

Readings, interviews, lectures, exhibitions, panel discussions, performances and workshops were held at Waterstones, the castle, the Priory, the Storey, and the library as well as the university and more. 

With the exception of the headline event everything was free.

Tajinder Hayer, lecturer in creative writing, said: “The festival was a great success with people of all ages coming from all over the north west to take part and benefited enormously from the generous support of the University’s Friends Programme, the Arts Council of England, Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University and Waterstones.”

Lancaster Words included Mercury Prize-winning singer-songwriter PJ Harvey, Pulitzer Prize-winner poet Paul Muldoon, Emmy award-winning comedy writer and producer Ian Martin, Booker Prize short-listed author Carol Birch, playwright and screenwriter Daragh Carville, prize-winning fantasy author Zen Cho, Jo Baker, author of the best-selling novel Longbourn, and a host of other talented writers from around the north.

PJ Harvey’s current album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, reached number one in the UK Album Charts.

In addition to the public events there was also two special events working with year 12 students from schools across the city and region, as well as a year 10 Book Club project based at Heysham High School.

The programme was organised by the university’s department of English literature and creative writing, led by a committee chaired by John Schad, and including Tajinder Hayer as director, George Green as assistant director, and Yvonne Battle-Felton as creative producer.

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