Litfest 2021


Lancaster’s 42nd Annual Literature Festival returns on the 12th – 21st March 2021 with a bit of a twist! Having had to cancel the 2020 festival due to Covid, Litfest has bounced back with an innovative and totally online programme, full of events, activities and ideas, that will be accessible to more people than ever before. And this year, in recognition of the tough time everyone has been having, Litfest will not be charging for tickets but actively seeking donations.

Litfest 2021 offers four new and ambitious projects, supported by public funding from Arts Council England, that will engage audiences all over the region:

  • The Litfest Big Read (2 reading challenges)
  • How We Live Now (6 documentary films of local lives)
  • How We Live Next (4 talks and a panel discussion with live Q&A on life after Covid)
  • New Writing Northwest (4 workshops in 4 different genres for emerging writers)

We launch with The Litfest Big Read. Everyone from age 11 to 111 is invited to join The Big Read Challenge, by registering online at

Boy, Everywhere by A.M. Dassu (suitable for ages 11-14) follows the journey of Sami, driven by war from his comfortable life in Damascus, across the sea to Europe, and eventually to a struggle for survival in Manchester. It is a story that reminds that our fortunes, too, could change from one minute to the next. 

Best-selling author Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library is for all readers from 15 up. This funny, moving story of a young woman who gets the chance to live as she might have done had she made different choices and so settle her regrets, sparks real imagination and hope.

The two writers championing the campaign, which is supported by Lancashire Libraries, will talk about their work on Friday 12th March at 6.00pm (A.M. Dassu) and 7.30pm (Matt Haig).

Each event will be followed by a live online Q&A.
A.M. Dassu writes,

it is truly wonderful that, despite the challenges we’ve all faced, Litfest has found a way to bring us all together online to share a magical reading experience.’

Everyone who registers to take up the Litfest Big Read challenge will automatically be entered into a prize draw for which there will be three prizes in each age category: three paperback books (up to a total value of £30) and three free passes to Litfest events in 2022.

For more information about how to get involved with The Litfest Big Read Challenge or to book a place at one of the online events, please visit

You can read the full programme below…

In addition to all these new ideas, the very popular Poetry Day, Fiction conversations, Nature talks, and Illustration and Storytelling events, feature as strongly as ever.

Litfest 2021
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