Indian Tales of Love and Wisdom

The magical Annapurna Indian dancers will be at the Syngenta Cellar at Lawrence Batley Theatre on 31 March 2022 at 7.30pm.

The company’s one hour show brings alive not only the ancient stories from India but also a taste of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry and his message.

The show has been beautifully curated with a lovely blend of two different South Asian classical dance styles -Kuchipudi dance by Sarvani Yadavalli, Kathak dance by Indrani Datta with a young musician Praneetha Bharath sharing her music on the string instrument “Veena”.

This is the company’s third appearance at the festival. The wonderful rusticity and authenticity of their traditional dance work has always been a rare treat for the audience. A show not to be missed!

Please book tickets with Lawrence Batley Theatre:
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Location Lawrence Batley Theatre

Age guidance: 12+ (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)

Access Guide:

Sponsorship from Music in Kirklees

Open Mic hosted by Talking Zebras

Join local writing group Talking Zebras for a welcoming Open Mic session in our Festival Hub.

Bring your poems and other short works to read out in front of a receptive audience or simply come along to listen and enjoy.

Thursday 31 March


Free (booking recommended due to venue restrictions)
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Age guidance: 16+

Location: Festival Hub



If you long to write a novel but are struggling to get ideas on the page this workshop is for you.

Join Writing Coach Cat Lumb, The Write Catalyst, for an online workshop, in which she will introduce you to her five-step plan to outline your novel, from identifying your idea to creating your easy-to-follow roadmap to write it.

If you long to write a novel but can’t find the right idea, or you have your story but aren’t sure how to take it from in your head onto the page, this is the workshop for you.

By the end of the workshop you’ll have a clear idea of your story, who your main characters are, why they’re crucial to your novel, and an understanding of how time and place play an important role in your book.

Not only this but you’ll end up with an outline to follow and a selection of key scenes that you can build on so that you can start writing with confidence right until you get to ‘The End’.

About Cat Lumb: With‌ 10 ‌years‌ ‌of‌ ‌writing‌ ‌under‌ her ‌belt,‌ ‌Cat has ‌faced‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌struggles‌ ‌that‌ ‌come‌ ‌with‌ ‌writing‌ ‌novels‌ ‌and‌ ‌short‌ ‌stories.‌ ‌From‌ ‌writer’s‌ ‌block‌ ‌to‌ ‌overwhelm,‌ ‌and‌ ‌uncertainty‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌fear‌ ‌of‌ ‌not‌ ‌being‌ ‌good‌ ‌enough, she ‌spent‌ ‌years‌ ‌believing‌ ‌that‌ ‌she ‌would‌ ‌never‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌writer‌ she ‌dreamed‌ ‌of‌ ‌being,‌ ‌and‌ ‌labelling‌ herself ‌a‌ ‌failure‌ ‌when‌ ‌–‌ ‌in‌ ‌reality‌ ‌–‌ ‌she ‌was‌ ‌learning‌ her ‌craft,‌ ‌developing‌ her ‌skills,‌ ‌and‌ ‌improving‌ her ‌writing‌ ‌with‌ ‌every‌ ‌word‌ ‌written.‌ ‌

She left her cultural education job in a museum she loved in the midst of the pandemic to live her dream‌ ‌life; ‌writing novels in her ‘Plotting Shed’ and supporting other writers in finding ways to live their own writing dreams. Her debut Novel – In Lies We Trust – reached #16 in the Kindle Spy Thriller Bestseller charts in its release week, and she’s been published in Writing Magazine, Women’s Weekly, and by Mslexia and Comma Press.

‌You can find out more about her via her website:


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Please Note: This workshop has limited places and advanced booking is recommended.

ONLINE EVENT: A zoom link will be sent to you the day before the event.

Age guidance: 16+

Writing Real Lives in Historical Fiction

Stephen May, author of Sell Us the Rope featuring a young Joseph Stalin, discusses the pleasures and challenges of writing historical fiction about real people with Devika Ponnambalam, author of I Am Not Your Eve, which tells the story of Teha’amana, the 13-year-old girl sold to the artist Paul Gaugin in Tahiti.

Sell Us the Rope: May 1907. Young Stalin – poet, bank- robber, spy – is in London for the 5th Congress of the Russian Communist Party. As he builds his powerbase in the party, Stalin manipulates alliances with Lenin, Trotsky, and Rosa Luxemburg under the eyes of the Czar’s secret police. Meanwhile he is drawn to the fiery Finnish activist Elli Vuokko and risks everything in a relationship as complicated as it is dangerous. ‘Original, adept and confident… What can I say except I wish I had written it myself?’ Hilary Mantel

Stephen May is the author of five novels including Life! Death! Prizes! which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and The Guardian Not The Booker Prize. He has also been shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year and is a winner of the Media Wales Reader’s Prize. He has also written plays, as well as for television and film. He lives in West Yorkshire.

I Am Not Your Eve tells the story of Teha’amana, the 13-year-old girl who was sold to artist Paul Gaugin during his first stay on Tahiti in 1891. Teha’amana can be seen in some of Gaugin’s most famous works, such as The Spriit of the Dead Keeps Watch, and is written about in Gaugin’s journals. The story explores the themes of power, abuse and colonialism, and incorporates the origin myths that underpinned Tahitian society before French colonists arrived on the island, as well as diary entries from Gaugin’s daughter, Aline.

Devika Ponnambalam is a writer and film-maker based in Edinburgh. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Film & Video from West Surrey College of Art & Design in 1991, and from 1995 to 1998 specialised in Fiction Directing at the National Film and Television School, before moving into mainstream television, directing over 25 episodes of Hollyoaks and a number of shorts. In 2003, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. I Am Not Your Eve is her first novel.

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Location: Festival Hub


HLF 2022 Launch

Join us at our Festival Hub for an informal Festival launch and find out more about our forthcoming programme of events. Light refreshments served. All welcome.

View our One World/Our Story exhibition of photographs featuring members of a local group of refugees who have settled in Huddersfield.

Following our launch, Kirklees Council will be lighting up landmark buildings in Huddersfield to commemorate the second anniversary of Lockdown.

Free (no booking required) However, you can make a donation to the festival if you wish

Make a Donation

Age guidance: 16+

Location: Festival Hub


Exhibition: One World, My Story

Sharing Our Stories is a Women’s Refugee Writing Group, that meet to share experiences of coming to the UK and their hopes for the future.

Commissioned by the Festival, this exhibition of photographs and accompanying stories will introduce some of the refugees who have sought sanctuary in Huddersfield, and show how they are rebuilding their lives with courage, dignity, resilience and kindness.

Free (no booking required)
To make a donation to the festival please visit: Make a Donation

Location: Festival Hub

Saturday 5 March – Sunday 3 April open during Hub opening hours only

All ages (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult)