(7-12 October 2021)

Litfest announces its first Autumn Weekend which will celebrate the launch of four new books by local authors; feature the ‘Litfest Poetry Mosaic’ to mark National Poetry Day, and include two special international fiction events. And just as for Litfest 2021 in March, all events will be online and all will be free to access.

Polly Atkin and |Kim Moore portrait photos Portrait of Sarah Hall by Richard Thwaites

Starting with a big online reading of a selection of the poems submitted by the Northwest’s poets to the Litfest ‘Poetry Mosaic’, curated and hosted by local poet Hannah Hodgson, on National Poetry Day itself, Litfest’s first ‘Autumn Weekend’ will feature:

7 October           The Litfest ‘Poetry Mosaic’ to mark National Poetry Day

8 October           Sarah Hall in conversation about her ‘lockdown’ novel Burntcoat

9 October           Polly Atkin and Kim Moore reading from their new poetry collections, Much With Body and All the Men I Never Married

10 October        Karen Lloyd talking about her new book of environment writing, Abundance

The aim of the Litfest Poetry Mosaic is to mark National Poetry Day by inviting everyone in the Northwest, regardless of age, to submit up to 3 poems on this year’s theme of ‘Choice’ by registering online at Once completed, the Mosaic will offer a showcase of the Northwest’s feelings, wit, talent and concerns in the form of a searchable digital ‘word cloud’. The website will be open for submissions from 1 September to 3 October.

Julie Bell, Chair of Litfest, said: ‘After taking Litfest 2021 online in March, we found that a number of local Northwest writers who had contributed to our previous festivals – Polly Atkin, Sarah Hall, Kim Moore and Karen Lloyd – all had books coming out in September and October. So we were delighted when they accepted our invitation to launch them at our first Litfest Autumn Weekend. Supported by LCC and our partners, this minifestival marks another step forward in Litfest’s energetic progress.’

In addition to these book launches, Litfest will run a special edition of its online International Fiction Book Club, with leading Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez and his acclaimed translator Anne McLean. Together they will discuss his new story collection, Songs for the Flames with an audience from all over the world. All of Vásquez’s highly praised fiction is available in English and his last novel, The Shape of the Ruins, was shortlisted for the 2019 Book International Prize.

Finally, on 12 October, Juan Gabriel Vásquez will give the inaugural ‘Lancaster International Fiction Lecture’, a new initiative in conjunction with Lancaster University’s Departments of European Languages & Cultures and English Literature & Creative Writing.

Litfest’s Autumn Weekend is funded by Lancaster City Council’s annual grant and the generosity of donations from Litfest supporters following March’s successful online festival.

Details of all the events and the donation campaign are now available at

All Litfest events will be available on YouTube for 30 days after the festival ends.

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