Top Lancashire author to speak at festival

Photo Ian Robinson'Official launch at Haigh Hall of the Wigan & Leigh Words Festival'Author Joseph Delaney
Photo Ian Robinson'Official launch at Haigh Hall of the Wigan & Leigh Words Festival'Author Joseph Delaney

Literature fans and aspiring writers will get to meet some of the North West’s most respected authors at a top literature festival.

The Word festival this year features phenomenally successful young adult fiction writer, former Lancaster University student Joseph Delaney, whose first book The Spook’s Apprentice has been made into a Hollywood blockbuster due for release in February.

The author’s novels, set in the Lancashire of the 17th Century, draw heavily on the county’s folklore and ghostly past and his latest book, Spooks – A new Darkness – sees teenage hero Tom battling against the forces of darkness alone having lost his master.

Also speaking at the event will be best-selling self published thriller writer Conrad Jones, author of the Child Taker, who will be sharing his tips for online marketing and telling why he turned down a publishing contract.

Other speakers include young South African short story writer and poet, Marli Roode, whose first novel, Call it Dog, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize, and Lancashire--based travel writer Alan Whelan who is best known for his motorcycle travels around Africa in African Brew Ha-Ha and Black Stars of Ghana. He has just returned from his latest African adventure.

Entertainment will be provided by Les Malheureux – otherwise known as micro fiction supremos David Gaffney and Sarah-Clare Conlon who will be performing with the aid of an electric guitar.

The founder of independent publishing house Unthank Books, Robin Jones, will be talking about his work and will bring along Unthank writers Sarah Dobbs and Elizabeth Baines.

The Word, which has built a reputation for having respected writers while allowing its audience time for networking amid copious quantities of tea, coffee and biscuits, has this year moved from its previous home at Astley Hall Chorley to the New Continental pub on South Meadow Lane in Preston.

John Rutter, one of the organisers and former Lancaster University student, said the Word group chose the Conti because of its thriving arts scene.

He said: “Well respected for its live music, poetry, comedy and theatre nights, the Conti is also the spiritual home of They Eat Culture, an organisation responsible for commissioning arts and cultural events across the county.”

The Word festival will be held in the Arts Theatre at the New Continental on Saturday, September 20 and admission includes a hot lunch (vegetarian option available) plus coffee and tea. Details and tickets can be had from