On Wednesday 22nd November at Huddersfield Library while a cold wind blew and rain pattered at the windows, a parade of Cosplayers led the way from the University of Huddersfield to the Library. Here, the Huddersfield Literature Festival revealed some of the line-up for their 2018 events to a dedicated crowd of book-lovers and Harry Pottery fans hosted by Shuddersfield trail creator Rebecca Winwood.
Guests got a chance to see the Library’s current Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition alongside taking part in activities such as trying on a Harry Potter-style Sorting Hat which matched them to their Hogwarts’ house, and have their picture taken as a wizard or witch in our photo booth. We had soft drink ‘Potions’ made from Dragon’s Tears, Truth Serum and – if you were brave – Unicorn’s Blood, and Festival Partners, Magic Rock Brewing, provided free beer and wine.
‘Time’ is this year’s Festival theme, and in honour of Harry Potter finding out he was a wizard on his 11th birthday, guests were asked to share their best piece of advice for their 11-year-old self if they had the chance to go back and time. Some of their advice was practical, others inspiring and one or two were rather reassuring:
“Don’t trust a witch”
“Flying cars still don’t exist, so don’t worry about your driving licence”
Ted Hughes’ Iron Man drawing competition winner revealed
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ted Hughes’ Iron Man the Festival ran a competition to find a drawing to help illustrate a children’s workshop for 2018. Out of a selection of shortlisted entries the winners were:
3rd Place – Dylan Milburn
2nd Place – Thomas Saxon
1st Place – Muhammad Amar
Muhammad’s fantastic drawing will appear in 25,000 copies of our HLF2018 Festival brochure to illustrate a free, children’s Iron Man Sculpture Workshop.
HLF2018 Events Announced
The Preview gave our guests a sneak peek into the events planned for next year’s Festival, happening 8 – 18 March 2018. These include three that will take place at the Magic Rock Tap: Garden Gate Arts presents Ms Shakespeare Through Time: Extraordinary Tales from Yorkshire’s Women, as part of International Women’s Day; rapper Jehst and innovative electronic music producer Bambooman; and the poet Simon Armitage, who will be launching his book at Vinyl Tap then offering up a DJ set alongside special guest Stuart Maconie at the Magic Rock Taproom for the Festival’s closing party.
The Festival will welcome women’s rights campaigner Helen Pankhurst, great-grandaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who will be talking to Joanne Harris about her new book Deeds Not Words. Joanne Harris will herself be in conversation with David Barnett to talk about her latest fairytale: A Pocketful of Crows, and her forthcoming fantasy novel The Testament of Loki, inspired by her love of Norse mythology.
The Festival’s popular regular events will include the Literary Afternoon Tea, Stafflex Free Family Day and the LGBT event Polari Up North, which will include singer David McAlmont among its featured performers. The winner of next year’s HLF Poetry Slam will win a place at the Manchester Word Wars, whose winner will in turn go on to national finals.
New events for 2018 include a Fables & Fiction Cosplay Ball and a Poetry Cabaret, hosted by Rose Condo and featuring all-northern poets. The Festival will also host the launch of Ill Will, a new novel from award-winning author Michael Stewart, imagining Heathcliffe’s journey during his three years away from Wuthering Heights. And there will be events around Autism, including a sensory exhibition at Huddersfield Library and an In Conversation event sponsored by One17 Charitable Trust, with the author of A Pony in My Bedroom, Susan Dunne, who has Asperger’s.
Finally, Festival Director Michelle Hodgson announced that a major name had been booked as a mystery guest for the Town Hall, with details to be announced as the brochure goes to print in mid-January 2018.
To find out more and book tickets for HLF2018 sign up for the Festival Enewsletter for advance information.