About the Festival
Established in 2006, the Huddersfield Literature Festival (HLF) takes place annually in March in venues across the town.
In 2017, HLF won the Examiner Community Award for Arts; we have also been finalists in the prestigious Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards three times (2016, 2017 & 2020).
Facts and figures
The Festival welcomes around 150 performers and audiences of 4,000+ each year. We host approximately 50 events every year, in around 20 venues across the town. Our approval rating ranges from 98% – 100% every year (where audiences surveyed rate the events they attended as Excellent or Good). The Festival operates as a not-for-profit limited company, supported by grants, ticket sales and sponsorship.
Alongside major names, HLF offers a diverse range of innovative and creative events, including workshops and performance opportunities for emerging talent and the wider public. Annual events include:
- In Conversations with bestselling authors
- Talks and panel discussions
- Free Family Day and other children’s events
- Creative writing workshops
- Open Mic Night, Poetry Slam, performance poetry
- Comedy performances and multi-arts events
- Library and community partnership events/projects
Aims & Objectives
- To celebrate the written word by bringing big name authors to Huddersfield and supporting local talent.
- To promote Huddersfield as a cultural centre to rival others, not only in West Yorkshire but UK-wide.
- To bring people and revenue into the town centre for multi-venue events and encourage spending in the town centre (shops, bars, restaurants).
- To provide access to events for those who might not normally attend because of financial or social issues or for reasons such as disability.
Inclusivity & Accessibility
Inclusivity and accessibility is at the heart of everything we do. Several events are free or low cost and we actively reach out to and welcome approaches from local communities and organisations.
The Festival provides AccessAble Access Guides to key venues and includes events with live subtitling to make them accessible to audiences who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.
HLF was the first festival north of Watford to host the award-winning Polari LGBT literary salon and we are committed to proactively showcasing BAME and LGBT performers as well as those with disabilities and those from a range of social backgrounds.
The Festival fully and unequivocally supports the Black Lives Matter movement. We also support calls by the Black Writers’ Guild to address deep-seated inequalities in the publishing and wider book world, as reported in The Guardian in June 2020.
Previous performers have included:
Kate Adie Simon Armitage Kate Atkinson
Paul Burston Kit De Waal Jeremy Dyson
Susie Dent Tim Dowling Bernardine Evaristo
Janet Ellis Mike Gayle Joanne Harris
Sairish Hussain Vaseem Khan Alan Johnson
Helen Lederer VG Lee Lucy Mangan
Fiona Mozley Jenni Murray Ben Miller
Henry Normal Jodi Picoult Ian Rankin
Michèle Roberts Lemn Sissay Sir Patrick Stewart
Jeremy Vine Irvine Welsh Jah Wobble