Burnley Literary Festival

burnleyLiterary Festival


A weekend of exciting events, performances and
workshops for all ages happening across the town centre. 


[Warning: May Contain Books]

Welcome to this year’s Burnley Literary Festival.
This year’s programme is as big and exciting as before.
We have scheduled central hubs of activities so that you can see as many events as possible in one weekend!

Festival highlights

Jackie in the Library

Our poet and comic in residence, Jackie Hagan, will be chatting and writing in Burnley Library all day Friday 4th  and Saturday 5th. Why not go and meet her between workshops and shows?”

Jonny Fluffypunk

We’re kicking off the festival with Jonny Fluffypunk’s chaotic and hilarious one-man live show “How I Came To Be Where I Never Was” on Friday 4th, 7.30pm The Shift Cafe.  

Flash in the Van

In a hurry but want to see something? Look out for Blythe the Caravan in the town centre, the home of our Flash Fiction authors!

Writing Squad

The writing squad will be capturing the people and stories of Burnley Market all day on Saturday 5th. Pop in to find out more or tell your own tale.

Scallywags

The Scallywags will be taking over Burnley town centre with a storytelling adventure for young and old alike! Check the website to find out where to start your adventure!

Poemomatic

A feat of engineering, creativity and a little bit of magic. Head to Burnley Market to have a go on the one and only ‘Poemomatic!’

Gallery 0282

Don’t know where “That 0282 place” is? Head upstairs at the library and turn right for workshops and events such as:

  • Little Stars Children’s Workshop
  • FanZine Workshop
  • Graphics Novel and Comic Writing Workshop
  • Text Based Video Games
  • How to Write a Book in 90 minutes Workshop
  • Local Writers Afternoon

This year the majority of our events are ‘Pay What You Decide’. We want our activities to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, so we’re trying out something different. Instead of paying for tickets, we will ask you to pay at the end of the show/event as you leave. That way you can decide what you think the event was worth and it keeps the festival affordable to everybody. 

Programme of Events

As with all festivals, some events are subject to change and we will continue to add more exciting performances, workshops and happenings right up to the festival.

This year the majority of our events are ‘Pay What You Decide.’ This means entry to these events is free, but we will ask you at the end of the event to make a cash contribution of what you think your ticket was worth. For many of these events, you can still reserve your place in advance through the Eventbrite links included below any remaining spaces will be given on a first come first served basis on the day.

Contact us

If you have any questions about any of the events below you can contact Culturapedia (the organisers of this year’s festival) on 01254 674 777 and one of the team will be happy to help. Or email stephie@culturapedia.co (just .co!)

All Weekend

Girl Fans Exhibition


Venue: Burnley Mechanics Exhibition

3rd October- 3rd November

Mon- Fri 11am – 4pm. Sat 11am – 2pm

Free entry

Jacqui McAssey is working at the forefront of a new wave of feminist publications and initiatives championing underrepresented female football fans, who now make up a quarter of all match going supporters in the English Premier League. Her photo-zine ‘GIRLFANS’ brings new perspectives to female fandom furthering gender equality and inclusivity in football culture.

Presented as part of the British Textile Biennial which runs from 3rd October – 3rd November in locations across East Lancashire

Over Coffee Writers Exhibition

Venue: Rhode Island Coffee

All Weekend – free

Pop in to Rhode Island Coffee at any point over the festival to take a look, or should we say read, of some fantastic work from local writers. Short stories, poetry and musings all around the theme of ‘Conversations Over Coffee.’

Friday 4th October

Jackie Hagan in Residence at the Library

Venue: Burnley Central Library

Times: Drop-In anytime between 11am and 4pm (Friday or Saturday)

Drop In – Free

Drop into Burnley Library any time on Friday or Saturday for a chat with stand up comic, and spoken word artist, Jackie Hagan.

Jackie Hagan is a dyslexic, working-class amputee with a ‘cob on’, she drinks cut-price lager from her false leg and tours internationally. She is a stand-up comedian, playwright and poet. She’s also dead nice and loves talking to real, proper, people about their lives and experiences.

“A TV show in waiting.” The Herald

“Fabulous subtlety and wit” – Emma Thompson, actor.

“Hilarious” – The Skinny

“Psychologically astute” – Sabotage reviews

Book on Facebook

Parenting Books – Essential or Ridiculous?

Venue: Snowdrop Doula Hub, 47 Parker Lane

Time: 12:30pm, Friday 4th Oct

Books & Writing – Pay What You Decide

An informal discussion looking at different types of books for pregnancy and parenting. Discussing whether they are useful, patronising, nonsense, contradictory or all of this.

There will be lunch provided from 12:30pm for a 1pm start.

Ideal for parents and parents to be, babies welcome.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash donation after the talk of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

Arts Council Session

Venue: Burnley Mechanics, The Loft

Time: 2pm, Friday 4th Oct

Industry Session – Free – sign up in advance

A session aimed at artists, companies and projects wanting to find out more about Arts Council Funding.

Join us and the Arts Council for a short talk giving top tips such as thinking about digital (and other media besides print), innovation, R&D, showcasing and engaging with the public. Followed by some dedicated sessions for more detailed advice. A great chance to network. One to one sessions are available but need to be booked in advance in addition to reserving your place at the talk. All booking details via Eventbrite.

Book via Eventbrite

Jonny Fluffypunk ‘How I Came To Be Where I Never Was’

Venue: The Shift Cafe

Time: 7:30pm, Friday 4th Oct

Comedy/Show – Pay What You Decide on the night, secure your place by booking online

Jonny Fluffypunk grew up in suburban nowhere. This is a story about trying to find yourself when you find yourself somewhere you don’t belong. It’s about unrequited love, John Peel and the importance of a good record shop. If that’s not enough then there’s also stuff about trains and memory and letting go. This is a new show for anyone who has ever loved, owned a vinyl record or just been alive.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash donation after the show of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth. You can reserve a place in advance online for this show through Eventbrite.

This show has been supported by INN CROWD. INN CROWD supports pubs to host exciting and inspiring spoken word, poetry and storytelling performances, helping to reinforce pubs as central to vibrant, community life.

ACCESS: Please note this venue is only accessible via a flight of stairs.

Book via Eventbrite

Looking for something to inspire the whole family? Across the weekend we have plenty of exciting storytelling shows, writing workshops, and even a Moon Landing exhibition that will keep old and young alike entertained, and prepare their imagination for blast off! Check the website to find out more about how to join the Scallywags on a storytelling adventure, information on our workshops, and age range suitability for all of our events.

Saturday 5th October

Football hour with Barry Kilby and the authors of ‘Bob Lord of Burnley…’

Venue: Burnley Mechanics, The Loft

Saturday 5th October

Time: 11am – 12.30pm

Age suitability: Teens and adults

Tickets – Pre booking recommended – Pay What You Decide

For football fans we have brought together three local authors for a great hour of readings and conversation about all things Clarets. We have even timed it so you can head off to see the match afterwards!

Hear readings from As Good As Some, and Bob Lord of Burnley: The Biography of Football’s Most Controversial Chairman with a Q&A session with the authors including current Vice Chair of Burnley FC, Barry Kilby.



As Good As Some by Barry Kilby, Vice Chair of Burnley FC

Mark looked around the empty stadium and shivered as he waited for the whistle to start. God, how he hated these meaningless reserve games with nothing to play for in front of a few hundred nutcases prepared to come and watch…Follow Mark on his journey as a rising star in the top league of English football. This intriguing short story was written by Barry Kilby, Vice Chair of Burnley Football Club.




Bob Lord of Burnley: The Biography of Footballs Most Controversial Chairmanby Dave Thomas and Mike Smith

Burnley chairman Bob Lord, the self-made butcher ruled the club from 1955 to 1981. A blunt, opinionated leader, he was one of the first to run a club on businesslike lines. From barrow boy to chairman of his beloved local club, the self-styled ‘Lord of Burnley’ built three fine teams during his tenure. Dave Thomas and Mike Smith are dedicated Burnley season ticket holders and authors specialising in their club

You will have a chance to meet the authors and buy signed copies of the books.

This Event is Pay What You Decide.You pay for your ticket after the talk based on what you thought it was worth, or what you can afford. What you pay will help more people to enjoy future Literary festival events.

Note: these books contain some adult and serious content.

Book via Eventbrite to guarantee a seat.

Little Star Children’s Workshop

Age: Under 8s

Venue: 0282 – Upstairs at the Library

Time: 11am – 11.45am, Saturday 5th Oct

Family/Workshop – Pay What You Decide

‘Little Star – A story about a newborn star trying to find her place in the world.’

Join us for a reading of the story and activity session. Let’s celebrate what makes us all special.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the show of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

Book Market

Venue: Market Hall

Time: 10am – 5pm, Saturday 5th Oct

Drop In / Books & Writing

We’ve invited independent Northern publishers and local writers to set up stalls in Burnley market for the day. Pop by to browse their collections and pick up a new book, or three, to add to your ‘to be read’ pile.

Amy Lee Tempest ‘A Poem for Pendleside’

Age range: 14+

Venue: Pendleside Hospice Shop

Drop In During Opening Times on Saturday 5th Oct

Burnley Literary Festival have commissioned local writer Amy Lee Tempest to write a poem for Pendleside. As part of the project Amy has spent several days at the hospice and will be displaying her poem so far in the hospice shop. Drop in anytime to speak to Amy and read her work.

Authors’ Stage

Venue: Market Hall

Time: Various, Sat 5th Oct

Books & Writing: Pay What You Decide

We’ve invited published authors from across the North (and even beyond) to our Authors stage in the market. From poems about Pendle to Burnley legends immortalised in print, come along to hear these authors talk about their books, what inspires them, and the process of being published.

We have individual author events in the listings below. All events will be limited seating so you may wish to reserve your spot in advance to any of the events through Eventbrite (individual booking links below or take a chance on the day.

These events will be ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the talk of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

Winston Plowes ‘Poemomatic’

Venue: Market Hall

Time: 10.30am – 11.15am, 12.30pm – 1.15pm, 3pm – 3.45pm, Sat 5th Oct

Family/Books & Writing: Pay What You Decide

The Poem-O-Matic is an interactive art installation and poem generator which produces text from pure electricity with a little help from its operator and inventor, Winston H. Plowes. Following a test of hand-eye coordination and nerve, participants young and old will stare in wonder as words flow from their fingers and poems grow before their very eyes.

Burnley Look For A Book

We’ve hidden books throughout the town centre for children to find on Saturday 5th October. Look For A Book aims to encourage children to enjoy reading as many books as they can by turning it into a treasure hunt. Children are encouraged to find books, read them, and then reside them to share the joy with other families. Why not bring your own old books to hide around town? We’ll also be running a competition with some fantastic prizes. More information coming soon.

Photo credit: John Darch

Panocticon

Venue: Authors’ Stage Market Hall

Time: 10.15am – 10.45am, Sat 5th Oct

Books & Writing: Pay What You Decide

Local writers from Panocticon present a tantalising set of short stories that celebrate and build upon the famous traditions of the Red Rose County: its friendly folk and their ingenuity, fortitude, and downright quirkiness.  And more sinister aspects, too. What did become of the Pendle witches? Why does the area enjoy so many visits from UFOs? Are there really invaders from outer space or solitary geniuses working at the leading edge of technology in our rural backwaters?  If it can happen anywhere, could it be happening here?

We are five in number, meet weekly and write short stories. Between us we have self-published three collections on Lulu.com and all are available on Kindle. 

We will have some books for sale afterwards.

Reserve your spot in advance through Eventbrite.

Pip The Poet

Venue: Authors’ Stage Market Hall

Time: 11am – 11.30am, Sat 5th Oct

Age suitability- Children and families

Join Philip Burton, aka Pip The Poet, for a half-hour of poetry for children and families

Philip’s poems are for the sheer fun of saying aloud, imagining, dancing-to, clapping-to, drawing pictures about or even sitting down for a quiet read before bedtime.

Philip Burton has been a Primary school head-teacher in Lancashire. Twelve of his poems for children have been published in major anthologies in the last few years. 

Philip has visited over one hundred schools and libraries in the last few years, as a writer in education, providing poetry days for children 4–14, and has built a reputation for providing enjoyable and educational performances and workshops.. He has published a poetry collection for children in which the poems are arranged by age so that a child can read a poem each month whilst growing up! The collection is titled The Treasure Shop and will be available to buy on the day.

This event will be Pay What You Decide but you can reserve a place in advance through Eventbrite.

Pennine Ink

Venue: Authors’ Stage Burnley Market

Time: 11.45am – 12.15pm, Sat 5th Oct

Age Suitability: Teens and Adults (14+)

Pay What You Decide

Join Pennine Ink, a dynamic group of writers based in Burnley for an enjoyable thirty minutes of poems and short stories performed by various members of the group.

As you will tell from our performance, we enjoy writing. Our meetings are friendly and fun, with a varied and interesting programme, but we do have an underlying professional attitude. We are constantly developing our writing skills, we give feedback and suggestions and we seek publication. For us, writing isn’t just a hobby – it’s a way of life.

We are not just a social group, we are friends. We meet at the Woodman Inn, Todmorden Road, Burnley, BB11 3EX every Monday evening from 8-10 pm. You are welcome to come along and find out more.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the talk of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

You can reserve your place in advance via Eventbrite.

Scallywags ‘The Search for the Missing Pages’

Age range: Suitable for all, but particularly good for those under 10 and their grown-ups.

Venue: Meet outside the vintage caravan (outside McDonald’s)

Time: 11.30 am and 2 pm, Sat 5th Oct

Pay What You Decide – Advance booking recommended

Ralph Dool, celebrated author and creative muse, has written a real stinker of a book. His latest novel has gone down about as well as a concrete parachute with the public and critics alike… Even JK Rowling has taken to Twitter to say how terrible it is!

With his reputation in tatters, Ralph’s only option is to track down three missing pages that somehow got lost when the book was sent to be printed… Perhaps the words they hold will make everyone see Ralph’s ‘masterpiece’ in a whole new light and save his writing career!

Join Scallywags Theatre on a fun, interactive, and slightly bonkers Burnley town centre adventure as we wander through the shops and streets in ‘The Hunt for the Missing Pages’. Full of live music,
crazy characters, and creative games, the show is fun for the whole family but particularly those
under the age of 10.

Ralph will never succeed without your help so sign up now and meet us outside The Vintage Caravan
(Near McDonald’s) at 11.30 or 2.00 on Saturday 5th October… We look forward to seeing you then!

The storytelling trail will involve short walks in between stops. These will be guided and we will take it at a pace suitable for the whole group. Wherever the route requires you to go upstairs there will also be an accessible lift.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the show of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

You can reserve your place in advance via Eventbrite.

Shed of Stories

Venue: Outside McDonald’s

Time: 11:45 / 12:15 / 1:00 / 1:45 / 2:30 / 3:45

Age Suitability: Families

Pay What You Decide

Overnight a small mysterious shed appears.  The doors are opened, words and stories tumble out, music and laughter begins to fill the air and then, as if by magic – children start to arrive.

Each session is 15 minutes, so pop by in between visiting one of our other great family events!

Storytelling & Crafts Mushroom

Age range: Under 10’s

Venue: Market Square

Time: 10am – 4pm

Pay What You Decide

A shed has appeared outside McDonald’s and a giant Mushroom in Charter Walk! Pop by the storytelling Mushroom between 10 am and 4 pm for some gentle storytelling and crafts with Mary & Illaria.

Portraits of Burnley Market with the Writing Squad

Venue: Burnley Market

Time: 10.30am – 5pm, Sat 5th Oct

Drop In /Books & Writing – Free

The Writing Squad will be working with four young writers from Burnley to capture the stories and the people of Burnley market. Drop by during the day to share your tale, and see the digital archive as it is built.

The Writing Squad provides workshops, 1-1 support and investment for young writers from the North.

Find out more about The Writing Squad here: http://www.writingsquad.com

Interested in being one of our four Burnley writers then contact Stephie stephie@culturapedia.co for more information.

Fanzine Workshop

Venue: 0282 – upstairs at the Library

Time: 12.30pm – 2.00pm, Sat 5th Oct

Workshop: Pay What You Decide

The first in a series of sessions about how to create your own Fanzine.

A fanzine is a magazine you have created yourself around a specific theme or subject, for example, a particular pop group or football team. Fanzines are written by people who are fans themselves, rather than by professional journalists and can be about anything you want.

In these sessions, you’ll learn how to put your stuff together, create the layout, then get your fanzine out for others to read.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the workshop of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

Creative Families Workshop with Burnley Youth Theatre

Venue: Pop Up Festival Shop, Market Square, Charter Walk

>Drop in any time 12pm – 3pm, Saturday 5th Oct

Join Burnley Youth Theatre in their exciting ‘Creative Families Workshop’, suitable for children aged 2 to 11 years and their families. Create stories, make characters and explore your imagination through books, drama, crafts and music. A space where all the family can take part and enjoy a magical, creative adventure

Jackie Hagan Writers Workshop

Venue: Burnley Central Library

Time: 12.30pm – 2pm, Sat 5th Oct

Age range: 14+

Pay What You Decide

Join award-winning writer and comic, Jackie Hagan for an afternoon writers workshop where Jackie will encourage you to find your voice and tell your story. Absolutely, without a doubt suitable for all big kids and grown-ups even if you don’t know which end of a pen to use (the pointy end). Come, drink tea, don’t worry about spelling, and Jackie will help you to express yourself with simple, fun writing exercises because you definitely have things to say – you have lived a life and you are important. It won’t be like school.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the talk of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

Book via Eventbrite

RB Jones

Venue: Authors’ Stage in the Market Hall

Time: 12.30 pm – 1pm

Age range: 14+

Pay What You Decide

R. B. Jones (Richard) is a Burnley-based poet and storyteller. He specialises in sweaty hands, Vimto, bacon, misguided hope and its resultant failure. His first publication “Test Textures” is available to purchase.

Writing is a pain in the backside. Sure, you pick up aspirational pamphlets, suggesting that you become a writer. “It’ll be great,” they suggest, glossily, “you’ll be living the dream, sitting by your window and doing things on your own terms. People will aspire to be precisely you!”

I’m looking through that window right now, and such chat couldn’t be further from the truth…

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the show of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

You can reserve your spot in advance via Eventbrite.

Flash in the Van

Venue: Blythe the Vintage Caravan, Town Centre (in the square, outside McDonalds)

Time: 1pm – 4pm, Saturday 5th Oct

Show: Pay What You Decide

Head to our vintage caravan and take ten minutes out of your day to enjoy some flash fiction. Short stories are written and performed by six different authors. Perfect if you’ve only got ten minutes to spare in whilst ticking off your to-do list or stay for longer and enjoy a more leisurely Saturday. Simply queue outside the caravan for your ten-minute fix of fiction, and if you like it, you can go round again with a different writer.

In Flash In The Van, a small audience of six people at a time will experience ten minutes of live ultra-compact, hyper-condensed storytelling in the flash fiction mode delivered by six experts in the field. Join Fat Roland, Michael Conley, Tania Hershman, Kate Feld, David Gaffney and Sarah-Clare Conlon for this unique live experience, in the intimate and homely setting of a tiny vintage caravan.

There is no advanced booking available for this event. Places will be given on a first-come-first-served basis. Find the caravan on James Street on the day to wait your turn, or put your name down for a specific time. This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the show of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

Authors include:

some of our authors

David Gaffney is the author of the novels Never Never (2008) and All The Places I’ve Ever Lived  (2017) plus short story collections Sawn-Off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), The Half-Life of Songs (2010) and More Sawn-Off Tales(2013).  David’s graphic novel with Dan Berry, The Three Rooms In Valerie’s Head was published in 2018 with Top Shelf and his next graphic novel, Rivers, will be out in 2020. See www.davidgaffney.org

Tania Hershman’s third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, was published by Unthank Books in May 2017, and her debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, by Nine Arches Press in July. Her poetry pamphlet, How High Did She Fly, is one of the winners of Live Canon’s 2019 Poetry Pamphlet Competition. She has a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. Find out more here: www.taniahershman.com

Kate Feld writes short fiction, essays, poetry and work that sits between forms. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including The Letters Page, The Stinging Fly, The Lonely Crowd, Train and Hotel. She lectures in journalism at The University of Salford, hosts Manchester literary events and leads workshops on creative writing. Find out more at katefeld.com

some more of our authors

Fat Roland is a story-mangling comic and champion of Literary Death Match Manchester, and he co-runs Bad Language, voted the UK’s best spoken word night two years in a row. His third solo show, Seven Inch, was commissioned by The Lowry and was adapted for the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

Sarah-Clare Conlon is Literature Editor of Creative Tourist and Writer-in-Residence at Manchester’s Victoria Baths. Her creative writing has been published by Centre for New Writing, Comma, Dostoyevsky Wannabe, Flash, Reflex Fiction, Salt, Spelk, Stand and The Other Room, and in new Arachne anthology Story Cities.

Mike Conley is a writer based in Manchester. His poetry has been published by Flarestack and has been Highly Commended in the Forward Prize. His latest work is a collection of short stories and flash fiction, Flare and Falter, which was published by Splice and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. He runs the literary night “The Other” with Eli Regan.

Jenny Palmer

Venue: Authors’ Stage in the Market Hall

Time: 1.45pm – 2pm, Saturday 5th Oct

Show: Pay What You Decide

The story of the so-called Pendle witches, who were hanged at Lancaster in 1612, has formed the basis of many a novel and academic thesis over the years and given the Pendle Hill area the reputation of something of ‘a dark corner.’

For Jenny Palmer Pendle was home. Her house at Hill Foot Farm had been in the family for hundreds of years, ever since the time of the early Quakers, from whom we were descended on her mother’s side. Jenny’s childhood memories formed the basis of her memoir ‘Nowhere better than home,’ 2012 and the house inspired her family history book ‘Whipps, Watsons and Bulcocks: a Pendle family history, 1560-1960,’ 2016.

Pendle was the place Jenny always returned to after hitch-hiking around Europe, teaching English in Libya, Spain, Mexico and finally London or travelling in North Africa, the Middle East and South America. Eventually it drew her back for good. Today when Jenny drives over the tops from Barley, down past Annel Cross and the Quaker Cemetery and down into Twiston, the view still takes her breath away. It has inspired many of the poems in this collection.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the workshop of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth. You can reserve your space in advance via Eventbrite.

Graphic Novel Workshop

Venue: 0282 – upstairs at the Library

Time: 2.15pm – 3.45pm, Sat 5th Oct

Workshop: Pay What You Decide

Learn how to create and even self publish your own graphic novel or comic. It’s easier than you think!

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the workshop of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

Ralph Dartford

Venue: Authors’ Stage in the Market Hall

Time: 2.30pm – 3.15pm, Sat 5th Oct

Age Suitability: 14+ (contains hard-hitting themes)

Pay What You Decide

Recovery Songs is a cycle of narrative poems that focuses on the fall and rise of the human condition. These are stories of love, abandonment, abuse, addiction, loss, and by the end, a redemption earned. Unflinching and funny at times, this collection takes its reader through a life lived in the margins, and asks: how do we recover when everything appears lost?

This event is Pay What You Decide. Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the reading of what you thought your ticket was worth. You can reserve your spot in advance via Eventbrite.

Ethel & Emily

Venue: Authors’ Stage in the Market Hall

Time: 3.30pm – 4.45pm, Sat 5th Oct

Age Suitability: 14+

Pay What You Decide – reserve your spot in advance via Eventbrite

Two northern women writers grew up thirty miles apart and saw the effects of the Industrial revolution from either side of the hills and from different social situations. One would have seen the emerging change to an industrial world, the other how that industry directly affected the people around her. Both were published authors but one became more well known. How could that be? 

Emily Bronte (Haworth) and Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (Oswaldtwistle) both wrote about their worlds, wanted change but kept themselves in the background. In this session they are given some well earned attention by contemporary writers Claire O’ Callaghan and Nicola Wilson.

This intriguing session looking at these northern women, their lives and writing will be of interest to book lovers, Bronte fans, and anyone interested in women’s social history and the industrial revolution in Lancashire.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the workshop of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth. You can reserve your place for this event in advance via Eventbrite.

Text-Based Video Games Session

Venue: 0282 – upstairs at the Library

Time: 4pm – 5.30pm, Sat 5th Oct

Workshop: Pay What You Decide

Open the door to a new way of gaming in this drop in text-based video games session.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the workshop of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.

This is not a safe space

Jackie Hagan ‘This is Not A Safe Space’

Age range: 14+

Venue: Burnley Library

Time: 7.00pm, Sat 5th Oct

Show: Pay What You Decide

Jackie Hagan was dead annoyed about how the working classes and disabled were being portrayed in daft programmes like Benefits Street, so she went around and interviewed 80 people on disability benefits and uses the audio in this award-winning show, interwoven with her own experiences.

This show will be BSL interpreted.

“Very funny” – The Guardian

“Politically urgent” – The Stage

“Fiercely loving” – London Theatre 1

“A perfect antidote to programmes like Benefits Street” – Disability Arts Online

“Passionate, provocative and affecting” – Disability Today

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the show of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth or how much you can afford. Cash contributions will be anonymous.

Book via Eventbrite

Love hearing from authors? Looking to add more books to your ‘To Be Read’ pile? Head to Burnley Market on Saturday 5th October where there’s the central authors stage and book market. You can hear a whole range of writers talk about their work and read from their books, and if you like what you hear, you’ll be able to pick up a copy for yourself from our book market! A whole programme of who will be talking and when, will be available online in the run up to the festival.

Sunday 6th October

Blast Off To The Moon

The perfect event for budding astronauts and space enthusiasts of all ages.

Venue: Burnley Library

Time: 11am – 1pm or 2pm – 4pm on Sun 6th Oct – reserve your spot in advance through Eventbrite link below.

The perfect event for any budding astronaut or space enthusiast of any age.

How did we get to the moon in the past? How will we get there in the future? What was in Neil Armstrongs original space manual and how do you put on a spacesuit?

After finding a forgotten NASA archive in their basement the British Interplanetary Society and the UCLAN publishing team now know the answers to all these out of this world questions and more!

Join us for an interactive space talk and activity session where you can have all your moon landing questions answered by an expert and build your own astronaut!

This session is based on the book ‘Blast Off To The Moon’ which will be available to buy during the session and is the ideal space manual for astronauts aged 7 – 12 years old (and their grown-ups!).

We recommend booking advance via Eventbrite for these sessions.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the show of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth or how much you can afford. Cash contributions will be anonymous.

Let’s Get Arty Farty – Storytelling and Crafts session

Venue: Burnley Central Library

Time: 11am – 4pm, Sun 6th Oct

Age: Fun for all ages, but best for under 10’s

Tickets : Pay What You Decide

Type: Family, Drop In

Join Mary and Ilaria in Burnley Library and help them build a sky full of stars and listen to stories that will get your imagination ready for blast off. Mary and Ilaria will be in the library all day so you can pop by anytime and stay for as long as you like.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the workshop of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth.


Songwriting Workshop

Venue: The Shift Cafe

Time: 2pm – 4pm, Sun 6th Oct

Tickets: Pay What You Decide

Type: Music, Workshops

Join us at The Shift Cafe above the Swan Inn, for a friendly workshop based on writing your own songs – whether you have one in your head you can’t quite finish or you want to learn the basics, all are welcome.

ACCESS: Please note this venue is only accessible via a flight of stairs

How To Write a Book in 90 Minutes with Winston Plowes

Venue: 0282 – Upstairs at the Library

Time: 11 am – 12.30pm, Sun 6th Oct

Age: All ages – a great activity for the family to do together

Tickets: Pay What You Decide – Prebook a place online

Type: Family, Books & Writing

In a world of screens and Google, Winston Powles sometimes worries we could become disconnected from the physical book and he doesn’t want that to happen. Winston invites you to celebrate ‘The Book’ in all its glory, get stuck in and achieve the seemingly impossible!

All materials supplied; just bring yourself, a smile and a willingness to take part.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the workshop of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth. You can reserve your space for this workshop in advance through Eventbrite.

Local Writers Afternoon – Meet Up, Workshops and Q&A session with publishers

Venue:Gallery 0282- upstairs at Burnley Library

Time:1pm – 4pm Sun 6th Oct

Whether you’re a local writer looking to take your next step to becoming a published author, run a writers group and are looking for new workshop ideas or thinking of picking up the pen (or iPad/typewriter/quill) again for the first time in years, then this afternoon is for you.

There will be writing workshops, refreshements available and a chance to have your questions answered by a publisher.

Hit The North – Short Film Installation

Burnley Library

Drop in anytime between 11am – 4pm

Hit the North is a short film celebrating the diversity of language in Lancashire.

Hit the North was commissioned by Spot On Lancashire and a group of young librarians from across the county. It is the first of what is planned to be a series of digital commissions over the next few years.

No need to book in advance.

Pendle Social Cinema Screening of 120 BPM (Beats per Minute)

Venue: Cafe One Sixty

Time: 12.30pm doors open, film starts at 1pm, Sun 6th Oct

Age: Certificate 15

Tickets: Pay What You Decide

Type: Film

The early 1990s. With AIDS having already claimed countless lives for nearly ten years, Act up-Paris activists multiply actions to fight general indifference. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant, who throws his last bits of strength into the struggle.

French film with subtitles.

This event is ‘Pay What You Decide.’ Entrance to this event is free but we will be asking you to make a cash contribution after the film of how much you think your ticket to this event was worth. Space at this event is very limited so we recommend booking your place in advance.

Book on Eventbrite

Pendle Social Cinema is a volunteer-led group. Initially supported by In-Situ & Cinema for All, the group started in 2016 creating pop up film screenings across Pendle in local venues including Libraries, Jim’s Cafe and Northlight (Brierfield) Mill. Pendle Social Cinema  are now based in The Garage, Northlight (next to the Leisure Box) which is part of the old Smith & Nephew development in Brierfield, Lancashire.

Jeff Nuttall – Lancashire’s Leonardo of the Counterculture 

Venue: Cafe One Sixty

Time: 5pm – 6.45pm, Sun 6th Oct

Please note this event starts later than advertised in the brochure.

Tickets: Free

Age: 16+

Type: Books & Writing

Clitheroe-born Nuttall was a polymath extraordinaire. Anarchist artist, poet, critic, musician, actor, teacher and provocateur, he was the axis around which British counterculture turned. He documented all this in the explosive Bomb Culture, published in 1968 and now re-issued in a new edition. During the 60s he also co-curated Better Books happenings, co-founded avant-garde theatre group The People Show and edited My Own Mag, with regular contributors including the great William Burroughs. Too long overlooked, his influence was profound and far-reaching. Researcher Bruce Wilkinson and Douglas Field, editor of the recent edition, discuss his work and impact, bringing the life of this Bond villain and Poetry Society chair to a new audience.

A Pendle Radicals event organised by Mid Pennine Arts.

Open to all and no prior knowledge necessary. Space limited so booking essential!160 is

licensed and drinks will be available, but not the regular food menu.

NB. Much of Nuttall’s material was rude and sexually explicit. Please avoid if this is likely to offend.

Book on Eventbrite

The Great Cabaret Safari

Venue: The Burnley Mechanics

Time: 7 pm, Sun 6th Oct

Age: 14+

Tickets: £12

Type: Show, Comedy

Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your top hats, the “effortlessly funny” ShooShooBaby are coming to Burnley!

Expect water-tight harmonising on a wonderful array of original cabaret songs with music from composers including Verdi, Ed Sheeran, The Proclaimers and Ennio Morricone. The musical saw, the zither, the Indian harmonium and the kazoo are just a few of the instruments that feature in this eclectic and witty show. ShooShooBaby have earned a reputation for their excellent singing and musicianship and their show been appreciated all over the world.

 “What sets ShooShooBaby apart is their musical wit and superb harmony… A sheer delight. tight, clever and totally enjoyable”. The Scotsman

Book via Burnley Mechanics

WORD SPLASH and JAZZ BASH

Venue: Illuminati, 18 Hammerton St, Burnley BB11 1NA

Time: 7pm, Sun 6th Oct

Age: Suitable for 18 + (the venue is licenced) 

Tickets: free

Type: Spoken word, Poetry

A Poetry and Spoken Word open-mic event hosted by award-winning Ribble Valley Stanza group.

The evening will begin with their cabaret of the spoken word about poetry in jazz, water and local watering holes. 

Later the floor will be open for performers from the audience to take the stage. A chance for seasoned and new talent to share their poetry in a relaxed atmosphere. Just turn up on the evening to enjoy some amazing readings or share your own work. Poets and audience alike will have an enjoyable and entertaining evening of poetry and spoken word.

Are you an avid writer? We have a range of activities to help you perfect your craft. Looking to find out more about applying for Arts Council funding? Come along to our Industry Session on Friday 4th October. Want to meet with other writers, find out about self publishing, learn how to create your own Fanzine? That 0282 Place (upstairs at the Library) is where you’ll want to be! From poetry workshops, how to get published guides and peer to peer support groups, check burnleyliteraryfestival.co.uk for more details.

Extra Fest

You can start the festival early in Padiham or keep the bookish enthusiasm going with Gawthorpe Hall. Here’s a small selection of ‘extra fest’ events for you real enthusiasts!

Open Mic Spoken Word Night

Venue: The Shift Cafe above The Swan

Date: Wednesday 2nd October

Time: 7pm

Type: Show, Books & Writing

Join the Shift Cafe for the launch of their new WEEKLY Spoken Word Open Mic Night. A chance to express yourself; share your music, your moments or your stories!  

Regular Jam Night

Venue: The Shift Cafe

Date: Thursday 3rd October

Time: 7pm

Type: Music

The Shift Cafe host their regular jam night. Join local musicians playing original music. Bring your instrument and join in or come along and watch.

Comedy Night Part 4 – Funny Words

Venue: The Lawrence Hotel, Padiham

Date: Thursday 3rd October

Time: 7pm

Type: Show, Comedy

The Lawrence Hotel in Padiham hosts their regular Comedy Night on Thursday 3rd October.

Book tickets

Spoken Word Event

Venue: The Lawrence Hotel, Padiham

Date: Friday 4th October

Time: 7pm

Type: Show, Books & Writing

A night of literature and spoken word where authors and poets will read from their work and do Q and As.

Book tickets

The Familiars at Gawthorpe Hall

Venue: Gawthorpe Hall

Date: Sunday 13th October

Time: 12- 4.30pm

Age: all

Type: Books and Writing

This event is a must for every fan of the bestselling novel The Familiars, set at Gawthorpe Hall in the early 17thcentury.  Discover the real 17th-century Gawthorpe brought to life by costumed reenactors showing what everyday life was like for women and men of the period. Plus during the afternoon Stacey Halls, author of The Familiars, will be talking about her inspiration for the novel and its characters, how important Lancashire is as the setting for the story and what she is writing next.  Stacey will also be available for book signings – bring your own or you can buy the newly published paperback version in the shop.

Tickets: Included in normal admission (£6 adults, £4 concessions, children free).

Keep your eyes peeled

We’ll be organising an extra special event after the festival to celebrate all the local talent who enter our Writers Competition. More details about the event and the competition released soon.


Opportunities for Writers

We are looking for four writers under 25 to take art in our project with The Writing Squad on Saturday 5th October. To Find out more about the project email Stephie@culturapedia.co (just .co)


Call Out for work from Local Writers

We are also looking for work from local writers for our ‘Conversations over Coffee’ exhibition at Rhode Island Coffee. For a full brief email stephie@culturapedia.co (just.co)

Festival Hubs





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