Landscape and Setting with Joanne Harris & Rupert Thomson

Celebrated authors Joanne Harris and Rupert Thomson discuss ideas around place, landscape and belonging in their work.

From the rural north of England and traditional French village life to 17th-century Florence, 19th-century Mexico, and Barcelona on the eve of the 2008 financial crash.

Joanne Harris MBE is the author of the Chocolat series set in rural France and the St Oswald’s series set in a northern grammar school – the most recent being A Narrow Door. She has also set novels, novellas and short stories in worlds of myth and magic, and her non-fiction includes Ten Things About Writing. Joanne has won a number of British and International awards and has seen her books published in more than 50 countries. She lives in Yorkshire.

Rupert Thomson is the author of 13 critically acclaimed novels, set across a wide range of locations and eras, and a memoir This Party’s Got to Stop. His latest work, Barcelona Dreaming, is a series of interconnected novellas set at the time of the 2008 global financial crash and exploring themes of addiction, racism, celebrity, immigration and self-delusion. He currently lives in London but has travelled widely and lived in Barcelona for six years.

Book tickets

Location: University of Huddersfield

This event will have LIVE subtitling to promote Access for All

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

Access Guide:


Cultural Connections Conference

An opportunity for festival and cultural event organisers to network, share best practice and hear from industry experts following a challenging period for event managers. Join us in person or online.

12pm-12.45pm Networking session

Complimentary coffee/tea & biscuits will be served (sandwiches etc available to buy on campus). Informal introductions for online delegates.

12.45pm-12.50pm Introduction

12.50pm-1.55pm The 3 As of Digital Events: Accessibility, Audiences, Accounts

Speakers: Julie Farrell & Ever Dundas, creators of the Inklusion Guide: and Lee Randall, author of Exploring the Post-Pandemic Landscape of Scottish Literary Festivals: Where Do We Go from Here? Chaired by HLF Festival Director Michelle Hodgson.

1.55-2.05 Comfort break

2.05pm-3.15pm The Climate Crisis: From Programming to Practical Processes

Speakers: Peter Watkins and James Dove, environmentalists and Carbon Literacy Trainers. Chaired by Michelle Brown, Climate Emergency Co-ordinator Holme Valley Parish Council.

3.15pm-3.30pm Coffee/tea break

3.30pm-4.30pm Meet the Northern Fiction Alliance Independent publishers often lead the way with award-winning, ground-breaking publications that can bring fresh and diverse voices to festivals and venues. Find out more from Zoe Turner from Comma Press, Sara Hunt from Saraband and Adam Lowe from Peepal Tree Press.

Those joining us via Zoom will be sent a link to access the conference the day before the event.

Our Speakers

Ever Dundas is a queer crip author represented by Jenny Brown Associates. Her debut novel Goblin won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award 2017, and Ever’s second novel, HellSans, will be published early 2023. Passionate about good access, Ever set up Inklusion with Julie. Twitter & Instagram: @everdundas

Julie Farrell is a queer, disabled, neurodivergent author, award-winning poet, and accessibility consultant. This year she won the Aurora Prize for Writing, and her young-adult novel was longlisted for the Undiscovered Voices Award 2022, and was shortlisted for Write Mentor Children’s Novel Award 2021 and Owned Voices Novel Award 2021. She set up Inklusion with Ever to make the industry more inclusive. Twitter: @Julie_Farrell_

Lee Randall is a freelance writer, interviewer, and festival programmer based in Edinburgh. She is the author of Exploring the Post-Pandemic Landscape of Scottish Literary Festivals: Where Do We Go From Here?, commissioned by Creative Scotland.

Peter Watkins is a Zero Carbon Consultant at Treligan, a commercially focused Environmental, Sustainability and Circular Economy consultancy, providing advice and support, and helping organisations work towards global standards for sustainability.

James Dove is a grass roots musician/producer and environmentalist who has written the first accredited Carbon Literacy course for the music industry to bridge the gap between climate awareness and climate action. He is also an A Greener Festival Assessor, as certified by A Greener Festival and Falmouth University.

Michelle Brown is the Climate Emergency Co-ordinator, Holme Valley Parish Council and Digital Manager of the Huddersfield Literature Festival.

Comma Press is a not-for-profit publisher specialising in the short story and fiction in translation. They publish collections by new and established authors, interdisciplinary collaborations between authors and experts, and translation commissions devised to identify cutting-edge (often marginalised) voices from across the world.

Peepal Tree Press is an independent publisher founded in 1985 to bring the very best of international writing from the Caribbean, its diasporas and the UK. Based in Leeds, their list features new writers alongside established voices, with the goal of publishing books that make a difference.

Saraband is an award-winning independent publisher of outstanding fiction, absorbing nature writing, pressing environmental issues and compelling memoir. Based in Salford, their aim is to publish books that inspire, inform and entertain – and that make the world a better place.

Age guidance: 18+

Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, HD1 3DH

Click here for our Access Guide to the venue