Leeds Lit Fest is back with Costa Book Award winner Monique Roffey, LBC presenter Iain Dale and journalist Gary Younge

Book fans are guaranteed a front row seat as Leeds Lit Fest's programme of award-winning authors, new local talent and family adventures continues over the coming days.

By Georgina Morris
Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:54 am

Tuning in from the comfort of their sofas, parents can keep the kids entertained with Harry Heape and a big wiggly book gobbling adventure on Saturday from 11am.

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Children will also have their change to explore their creativity as they are invited to draw along with children’s book illustrator Liz Million and bring their own wacky characters to life on Saturday from 2pm.

Little ones can unleash their own creativity during an online draw along session with children’s book illustrator Liz Million.

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    If you've been missing the cinema experience, then you can get in the popcorn and tune in for a rare silent film screening of the Hound of the Baskervilles with live piano accompaniment from Jonny Best on Saturday at 7.30pm.

    And for those longing for live theatre, there's the chance to join the king of the detectives as Don’t Go Into The Cellar brings to life three spine-tingling Conan Doyle tales with its Strictly Sherlock show on Sunday at 7.30pm.

    Other festival programme highlights include Monique Roffey on Saturday at noon, fresh from her 2020 Costa Book Award win for The Mermaid of Black Conch.

    Journalist and broadcaster Gary Younge celebrates the life of Andrea Levy tonight at 6.30pm, while LBC radio presenter Iain Dale examines why we’ve all become so disrespectful and intolerant in public discourse in Why Can’t We All Just Get Along tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm.

    They follow hot on the heels of bestselling crime fiction writer Peter James who joined the festival yesterday to talk about his hugely popular Roy Grace series as it prepares to make the transition into an ITV drama this spring.

    Carl Hutton, who chairs Leeds Lit Fest, said: "Committed as we are to ensuring that Leeds Lit Fest is as accessible as possible, we have made the majority of the festival programme free to watch. Audiences are asked to help support the festival through donations if they are able.

    "Writers of the calibre of Monique Roffey, Peter James, Gary Younge and Iain Dale feature in the programme, further extending the list of leading authors who have appeared at the festival over the last three years."

    The festival is supported by 10 Leeds-based creative arts and literature organisations - The Leeds Library, The Leeds Big Bookend and Northern Short Story Festival, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds Libraries, Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds Church Institute, Strix, MILIM, Chapel FM and Headingley LitFest.

    Mr Hutton said: "Each of the festival partners has contributed events, resources, creativity and time to ensure this year's programme reflects their different and unique qualities and interests that when brought together presents a perfect online festival to enjoy front row, for free and from your own home.”

    Visit www.leedslitfest.co.uk to find out more and register for tickets for your chosen events.


    Thursday March 4

    6.30pm: Journalist and broadcaster Gary Younge is joined by Andrea Levy’s family and friends for an evening celebrating her life and work.

    7.30pm: Sport broadcaster Gary Bloom talks about his new book, Keeping Your Head in the Game.

    Friday March 5

    1pm: Poet-theologian Hannah Stone talks about her new book, Reflections, which is the cumulation of her uplifting and empathetic weekly blog for Leeds Church Institute.

    7pm: LBC radio presenter Iain Dale examines why we’ve all become so disrespectful and intolerant in Why Can’t We All Just Get Along.

    8pm: A joint poetry reading between Leeds Irish Health and Homes and the David Oluwale Memorial Association features readers including Malika Booker, Kayo Chingonyi, and Ian Duhig.

    Saturday March 6

    10am-2pm: Join The Poetry Business - Ann and Peter Sansom - for an online poetry writing session, featuring brilliant writing exercises, supportive feedback, and excellent company.

    11am: The big wiggly book gobbling adventure with Harry Heape.

    Noon: Costa Book Award winner Monique Roffey talks about her distinguished career to-date with Dr Emily Zobel-Marshall.

    2pm: Draw along with children’s book illustrator Liz Million.

    4pm: Weighted Words from the members of Peepal Tree Press’ Inscribe Readers and Writers Group.

    7.30pm: Silent film screening with live piano accompaniment from Jonny Best.

    Sunday March 7

    Midnight-6am: Becky Cherriman leads the innovative Adventures of the Night workshop.

    Noon: Leeds Lit Fest Salon hosts award-winning journalist Saima Mir as she talks about her critically acclaimed, debut crime thriller The Khan

    2pm: Debut novelists Stephanie Scott and Catherine Menon read from their novels and talk about creating female-led narratives set in Asia and inspired by true events in a panel discussion chaired by arts journalist Yvette Huddleston.

    3pm: Join the UK’s leading spoken word record label Nymphs & Thugs for an afternoon of electric spoken word poetry featuring Reece Lyons and Erin Bolens.

    7.30pm: Don’t Go Down to the Cellar theatre company performing Strictly Sherlock.

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