Start a new chapter at annual LitFest event

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BOOKWORMS are invited to start a new chapter at the seventh annual Headingley LitFest.

The three-week event, which first launched in 2008, is run by the Headingley Network – a community organisation that aims to improve the environment and facilities for the local community.

LitFest is run by a group of local residents and aims to engage audiences in the celebration of literature and the spoken word.

It will run from March 10 to March 31.

Organiser Richard Wilcocks said: “We have got more events than ever before.

“It all started because we wanted to do something for the Headingley community.”

Jo Shapcott, who has won the National Poetry Competition twice and was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, will headline the event.

Jo will do a reading at the Heart Centre café on Bennett Road on March 20, along with new poet John Wedgwood Clark.

Event organiser Richard will also give a talk about the book ‘Stories from the War Hospital’, which he compiled.

The book is based on true events connected with the hospital that was based at Beckett Park during the First World War, and Richard will launch the book on March 21 at the New Headingley Club.

He added: “Over the course of a year of research, the most extraordinary true stories have come to light.”

Professional writers and poets James Nash and Michelle Scally Clark are also working with local primary and secondary schools to develop youngsters’ confidence in writing.

Emily Mayhew will talk about her new work, Wounded – From Battlefield to Blighty, in Headingley Library on March 18 and Trio Literati will perform work by Victorian poet Lord Tennyson at the New Headingley Club on March 15.

On March 22, local author Alison Taft will talk about her recent crime novel, Shallow Be Thy Grave, at The Bowery, and Sarah Shafi will read from her ‘Ridiculous Witches’ series, which is aimed at seven to 10-year-olds, at Headingley Library.

More events will be held across venues in north Leeds.

Tickets can be bought from the Heart Centre or from

For the full programme of events, visit

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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