Lancaster Litfest 2013 line-up revealed

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Autumn brings with it a huge array of events at Lancaster’s 35th annual literary festival.

The wordy week kicks off with readings and discussion from two novelists, acclaimed science fiction writer M John Harrison, and master of the uncanny, Nicholas Royle.

Robert Macfarlane, chair of the Man Booker Prize, rates M John Harrison as one of the most brilliant novelists writing today.

A very special children’s event will be taking place in one of the spooky prison wings at Lancaster Castle.

Leading children’s writer Joseph Delaney, most famous for The Spook’s series, introduces his new novel, The Ghost Prison, in this atmospheric setting which provided the inspiration for the book.

Joseph’s novel, The Spook’s Apprentice, has been turned into a major feature film starring Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges and will be released next year.

Also appearing will be novelist and short story writer Alison MacLeod whose novel Unexploded was longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize.

Alison will be reading in a fiction event with Evie Wyld who features on Granta’s list of Best Young British Novelists.

The list has previously included Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro whose novel, Never Let Me Go, was made into the 2010 acclaimed film of the same name starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.

Other highlights include an appearance from the ever-popular poet Simon Armitage whose latest book, Walking Home: Travels With a Troubadour on the Pennine Way, is a comic journey of self-discovery and an account of the poet’s attempt to tramp the ‘wrong’ way up Britain’s most gruelling trail, the 256-mile Pennine Way.

Simon writes for radio, television and film, and is the author of four stage plays. He received an Ivor Novello Award for his song-lyrics in the Channel 4 film, Feltham Sings.

A powerful storytelling performance of classic gothic horror Bluebeard will also be taking place, presented by one of Europe’s greatest performance storytellers, Cat Weatherill.

In a 15-year international career, Cat has performed at every major literature and storytelling festival in the UK, and on national radio and TV.

This year there are also special three-for-two offers on the poetry day events and the Afternoon Classics Lectures. These daytime lectures are a 40-minute introduction to works of classic literature and a chance to hear the work read aloud. This year’s writers are G.K. Chesterton, W.B. Yeats and Joseph Conrad.

Most events will be taking place at The Storey with others at Lancaster Library, The Dukes, Lancaster Castle and Live at LICA.

To book tickets or to download a full copy of the festival brochure, visit