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Events

Book Launch: In the Foothills of the Himalayas

Join Huddersfield author Dr Sarah Hussain for the launch of her new novel, an eco-thriller set against the majestic backdrop of the Himalayas. Sarah will be interviewed by the writer Michael Stewart.

Born in the Raj era under British rule, Vidhya grows up observing her father fight for a free India. She witnesses catastrophic flooding as a result of deforestation by order of a powerful English company, and begins to understand the importance of preserving the forest. When Vidhya uncovers a conspiracy that puts her in great jeopardy, she courageously leads a group of women on a non-violent protest and they embrace the trees. But at what cost? 

Dr Sarah Hussain is a Huddersfield author and educator. Her novella Escape from Syria was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize Award. In 2018 she won the Ms Shakespeare competition in Yorkshire and was commissioned to write a monologue, which was performed at the Huddersfield Literature Festival on International Women’s Day. She was shortlisted in a competition run by the University of Huddersfield and her short story “You will be free one day, my dearest India” is included in the anthology Trouble, published by Grist. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Literature in 2008, a Master of Arts in Creative Writing in 2018, and has recently completed a PhD. 

Michael Stewart is a multi-award-winning writer of novels, including King Crow and Ill Will: The Untold Story of Heathcliff, short stories and non-fiction including the memoir Walking the Invisible. A playwright and poet, who has also written for TV and radio, he is Head of English at the University of Huddersfield, where he is editor-in-chief of Grist Books.

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request. 

 

Date: Saturday 20 April 

Time: 2pm-3pm 

Venue: Heritage Quay, Schwann Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH 

Tickets: Free (donations welcomed, booking recommended) 

Age guidance: 12+ (U16s should be accompanied by an adult) 

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/heritage-quay  

 

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Mark Billingham & Abir Mukherjee – HYBRID EVENT 

A chance to hear from two crime writers at the top of their game. Author of 21 Sunday Times bestsellers Mark Billingham introduces his first new series for 20 years with The Last Dance. The award-winning author of the bestselling Sam Wyndham crime novels set in 1920s India, Abir Mukherjee introduces his new and exciting contemporary thriller Hunted. 

The Last Dance: meet Declan Miller: unique, unconventional and criminally underestimated. He’s a detective and a dancer with no respect for authority – and he’s the best hope Blackpool has for keeping criminals off the streets. The Last Dance is Mark Billingham’s first new series for 20 years. 

Hunted: After a bomb goes off in an LA shopping mall, Sajid and Carrie are thrown together in a race against time to find his son and her daughter, prove their innocence and stop a catastrophe. Abir Mukhajee’s blockbuster contemporary thriller is “a masterclass in intelligent suspense fiction” (Mick Herron).  

Mark Billingham started his career, 22 years ago, bringing a fresh, edgy and terrifying twist to the genre, and his lead character, Tom Thorne, was every bit as quirky and different as his creator. Since then, his novels have sold over six million copies and he has had 21 Sunday Times bestsellers. Two TV series have been made of Mark’s books – Thorne by Sky starring David Morrissey, and In the Dark by the BBC. A third is currently in development. Rabbit Hole, his 2020 novel, was named as Crime Book of the Year by The Times. 

Abir Mukherjee is the Times bestselling author of the Sam Wyndham series of crime novels set in Raj era India. His debut, A Rising Man, won the CWA Endeavour Dagger for best historical crime novel of 2017 and was shortlisted for the MWA Edgar for best novel. His second novel, A Necessary Evil, won the Wilbur Smith Award for Adventure Writing and was a Zoe Ball Book Club pick. His third novel, Smoke and Ashes, was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 Best Crime & Thriller Novels since 1945. Abir grew up in Scotland and now lives in London with his wife and two sons.

HYBRID EVENT – this is a Hybrid event, which can be attended in person at the venue or accessed online. Simply select the Live or Online ticket link for your preferred event viewing. For online access a link will be sent to you the day before the event takes place. 

ACCESSIBILITY – This event will have live subtitling by Stagetext to make it more accessible to those who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. If you are attending with a carer, please book an additional free ticket for them.  

Date: Sunday 28 April 

Time: 5pm-6pm 

Venue: Cellar, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP 

Tickets: £8 (£5 conc), online tickets £3, free for University of Huddersfield staff and students & essential carers 

Age guidance: 16+ 

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/syngenta-cellar 

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

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Charlotte Furness & Rebecca Ryan

Come and support two local authors as they discuss their work and find out about their route into being published. Charlotte Furness writes engaging non-fiction books about women’s history and country houses in the UK, while Rebecca Ryan is the author of entertaining contemporary fiction about life and love. 

 

Charlotte Furness has written two narrative non-fiction books, Lady of the House (2018) and Unmarried Women of the Country Estate (2020), both published by Pen & Sword. She is currently working on her first novel and third non-fiction book. 

 

Rebecca Ryan had a kernel of an idea for a book since she was 12 and finally sat down to write My (extra) Ordinary Life during the first Covid lockdown, while pregnant with her third baby. Her second novel, The Philosophy of Love  was published in February 2024. 

 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.  

 

Date: Thursday 25 April 

Time: 6pm-7pm 

Venue: Tipi, Courtyard, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP 

Tickets: Free (booking recommended) 

Age guidance: All ages (U16 should be accompanied by an adult) 

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/lawrence-batley-theatre 

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

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In partnership with:

Huddersfield Live

Glitter Boy – Cancelled.

We are sorry to announce that this event has been cancelled.

Polari-Prize-winning author Ian Eagleton talks about his heart-warming and inclusive story about a boy who struggles to assert his identity and sexuality in the face of opposition from school bullies and his own father. 

 James loves dancing, poetry, and Mariah Carey (not in that order, though, because Mariah would obviously be first!). His teacher, Mr Hamilton, is getting married to his boyfriend and it seems that James will be part of a surprise choir performance at the wedding. But James’s father seems uncomfortable about the plan, and a lot of other things – like any mention of Mr Hamilton, and James’s dancing, and how James talks about his new friend Joel.  

 Meanwhile, a different boy has been harassing James at school and calling him gay, and it’s getting worse every day. James can find relief with his beloved Nan, she’s been having worrying falls, and James can’t tell anyone, or she might be sent to a faraway care home. The secrets are building up, and James is starting to lose his characteristic spark. Can he find the strength to let the truth out? 

Poignant, defiantly fabulous story” The Guardian 

Ian Eagleton is the author of the acclaimed picture book Nen and the Lonely Fisherman, which was shortlisted for The Bookseller’s Book of the Year – Discovery Category 2022. 

Ian will be in conversation with Paul Burston, bestselling writer and host of the award-winning Polari LGBTQ+ literary salon and Polari prizes.

 

We are sorry to announce that this event has been cancelled.

 

 

Book Launch: Grist  

Join us for the launch of this year’s Grist anthology, Apocalypse Now: Stories for the End of the World.  

The short story is an art form that focuses on the end of things and is thus perfectly attuned to explore catastrophes, apocalypses, and all forms of Armageddon. 

Generation after generation convince themselves their times are apocalyptic, yet the world keeps on spinning. But what if this is now really the end of the world as we know it? The symptoms of the end surround us, on both a global and individual scale. The world is finite, resources are limited. Surely one day it will all run out?  

With the threat of a Third World War imminent, global warming, overpopulation, the end of antibiotics, the terrifying developments of Artificial Intelligence, the sixth mass extinction and the end of nature, is life on Earth over? 

But what even is the apocalypse today? Does the world have to end for our times to be apocalyptic? Is the end of one thing really just the beginning of something else?  

 Apocalypse Now? is a collection of innovative short stories that explore, imagine and dramatise the end of things. 

 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.  

 

Date: Thursday 25 April 

Time: 7.15pm-8.30pm 

Venue: Small Seeds, Castlegate (New Street junction), HD1 2UD 

Tickets: Free (booking recommended) 

Age Guidance: 16+ 

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/small-seeds  

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

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Sairish Hussain & Lucy Sheerman

The critically acclaimed author of The Family Tree Sairish Hussain talks about her new novel Hidden Fires, set at the time of the Grenfell Fire. She is joined by poet Lucy Sheerman, the author of an experimental memoir Pine Island. 

Hidden Fires by Sairish Hussain explores grief and loss, the power of family ties, and the long arm of history. Ramadan, 2017. Yusuf wakes up in the middle of the night to pray. Miles away, Rubi is also awake. On the television, she watches reports of a devastating fire in London. She is already anxious when her parents send her to stay with her Grandpa Yusuf, whose conservative house rules are almost as unbearable as the loneliness she feels at home. When she finds him scared and confused one night, it becomes clear that there’s more to her grandfather than Rubi ever considered. 

Pine Island by Lucy Sheerman is an experimental memoir written in the form of a series of letters to an unknown recipient. The book chronicles a year in the life of the author as she navigates family illness, bereavement and motherhood while honouring and cultivating the poetic life she has created. Pine Island documents a life unfolding and accounted for, with all its little victories and failures laid bare. Weaving family interactions and personal reflections with observations of the natural world and accounts of the weather, the book creates an intimate space in which the reader becomes a participant in an evolving present. 

 

Sairish Hussain is a Bradford-based author and lecturer in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Family Tree, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, the Portico Prize and the Diverse Book Awards. It was also longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and winner of Calibre Audio’s ‘Hidden Gem’ Prize. Sairish was selected by Kei Miller as one of 10 ‘unmissable writers working in the UK’ for the International Literature Showcase 2021. She was one of the finalists in the Women’s Prize & Good Housekeeping Futures Award, an initiative which celebrates the most promising emerging female authors today. Hidden Fires is her second novel. 

Lucy Sheerman is a poet and writer who has worked in the School of Arts and Humanities at University of Cambridge since 2022. Prior to this she ran the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education. Lucy has experience in the arts sector, fundraising and government relations. She is also a writer, publishing both creative and critical work. Her first degree is in English and she also has a PhD in English. 

 

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.  

Date: Thursday 18 April 

Time: 5.30pm-6.30pm 

Venue: Heritage Quay, Schwann Building, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH 

Tickets: Free (booking recommended) 

Age guidance: 16+  

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/heritage-quay  

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

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ONLINE – Learned By Heart

The heartbreaking story of the love of two women – Anne Lister, the real-life inspiration behind Gentleman Jack, and her first love, Eliza Raine. 

Full of passion and heartbreak, Learned By Heart is the beautiful and evocative historical novel from Emma Donoghue, the bestselling author of Room and The Wonder. Shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Prize. 

In 1805, at a boarding school in York, two 14-year-old girls first meet. Eliza Raine, the orphan daughter of an Indian mother, keeps herself apart from the other girls, tired of being picked out for being different. Anne Lister, a gifted troublemaker, is determined to conquer the world, refusing to bow to society’s expectations of what a woman can do. As they fall in love, the connection they forge will remain with them for the rest of their lives. 

Born in Dublin in 1969, and now living in Canada, Emma Donoghue writes fiction (novels and short stories, contemporary and historical including The Pull of the Stars), as well as drama for screen and stage. Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes, selling between two and three million copies in 40 languages. Donoghue was nominated for an Academy Award for her 2015 adaptation starring Brie Larson. She also co-wrote the screenplay for the Netflix film of her novel The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh.
 

Note: this event will take place online as a Zoom webinar. A link to access the event will be sent to you the day before the webinar takes place.

 

Date: Tuesday 23 April  

Time: 7pm-8pm 

Online 

Tickets: Free, donations welcomed 

Age guidance: 16+ 

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

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ONLINE: Black Britain: Writing Back

Your chance to hear from three authors featured in Penguin’s Black Britain: Writing Back series – Judith Bryan, Charlotte Williams OBE and Nicola Williams – in an online event presented by the editor of the series Ruby Fatimilehin. 

Selected by and with introductions from Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this important collection rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books. Featuring works about Black Britain and the diaspora written over the past 100 years, the series aims to present a “body of work that illustrates a variety of preoccupations and genres that offer important and diverse Black British perspectives”. 

 Note: this event will take place online as a Zoom webinar. A link to access the event will be sent to you the day before the webinar takes place. 

Judith Bryan is a writer, playwright and academic. Her novel Bernard and the Cloth Monkeywon the 1997 Saga Prize. Her short fiction and non-fiction have been published in various anthologies and her play, Keeping Mum, was produced at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, London, 2011. Judith is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Hawthornden Fellow. 

Charlotte Williams OBE is a Welsh-Guyanese author, academic and cultural critic. She is the author of the memoir Sugar and Slateand her writings span academic publications, memoir, short fiction, reviews, essays and commentaries. She is Emerita Professor at Bangor University and a member of the Learned Society of Wales.  

Nicola Williams started her career as a barrister in private practice, specialising in Criminal Law. She was a member of the first Independent Advisory Group to the Metropolitan Police Service (following recommendations arising from the Stephen Lawrence Report [1999]). She has been a part-time Crown Court Judge since 2010. She is the author of the novel Without Prejudice which is included in the series, and a second novel, Until Proven Innocent.  

Ruby Fatimilehin is an editor at Penguin Random House UK where she acts as the in-house editor for the Black Britain: Writing Back series, focused on celebrating and rediscovering seminal backlist writing by Black British authors.

Date: Wednesday 24 April 

Time: 7pm-8pm 

Online 

Tickets: Free (booking required) 

Age guidance: 16+ 

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

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Gaia Holmes: He Used to Do Dangerous Things – Preview

Hear from award-winning local writer Gaia Holmes at thepreview of her debut short story collection: He Used to Do Dangerous Things 

This collection deals with themes of environmental campaigning, homelessness and the cost-of-living crisis, told through brittle and precarious relationships and threaded together with magic realism and the haunting power of landscapes.  

 The event will be chaired by editor and publisher Ra Page, and it will begin with a reading followed by a discussion and Q&A with the author. 

 Gaia Holmes is an award-winning freelance writer and creative writing tutor who works with schools, universities, libraries and other community groups throughout the West Yorkshire region. She runs ‘Igniting The Spark’, a weekly writing workshop at Dean Clough, Halifax, and is the co-host of ‘MUSE-LI’, an online writing group. She has had three full length poetry collections published by Comma Press: Dr James Graham’s Celestial Bed (2006), Lifting the Piano with One Hand (2013) and Where The Road Runs Out (2018), along with Tales from the Tachograph, a collaborative work with Winston Plowes (Calder Valley Poetry, 2017). In February 2023, she was awarded the Arts Foundation Futures Award for Place Writing.  

Access and Covid safety measures: if you have specific access needs or queries and/or prefer to be seated away from other audience members as a Covid safety measure, please contact our Admin at: [email protected] with your request.  

Date: Friday 26 April  

Time: 5.30pm-6.30pm 

Location: Attic, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP 

Tickets: £5, free for University of Huddersfield staff and students & essential carers  

Age guidance: 16+ 

Access Guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/huddersfield-literature-festival/access-guides/lawrence-batley-theatre  

Please note: When purchasing tickets please download the Eventbrite ‘app’ or ‘create an Eventbrite account’. This will facilitate quicker access to your tickets.

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