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Arvon North's First Festival of Writing

Comes to Hebden Bridge as part of Calderdale's Year of Culture celebrations!

Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Arvon North's Festival of Writing is a celebration of creative writing, imagination, and the power of storytelling.

From Thursday 30 May to Sunday 2 June 2024, the town of Hebden Bridge will be the backdrop for Arvon North's first creative writing weekend, featuring a free family fun day, practical workshops for writers and Arvon's very own exhibition.

Arvon aims to make creative writing accessible and inclusive to all. From children to adults, families seeking weekend activities, and writers eager to develop their craft - the Festival of Writing is a unique opportunity for everyone to explore the world of writing.

A History of Lumb Bank

Opening the weekend of the festival, is Arvon's exhibition displaying four decades of Yorkshire history within the walls of Lumb Bank.

Photographer Claire McNamee has visited Lumb Bank for the past 40 years to capture all the iconic writers who have stepped through its doors to help shape the art of storytelling. Audiences can see the enduring legacy of Arvon through photographs like the one of poets Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon, who have been photographed together at Lumb Bank 40 years apart - see below.

Reflecting on her work, Claire McNamee said, "Lumb Bank covers a wide variety of backgrounds. It is a large house within a dramatic landscape. It's my studio – I can recognise where the spotlights are, where the shadows are deep. On every visit, I am met with a group of people intent on their creativity. The atmosphere is alive."

The exhibition will be run Thursday 30 May to Sunday 2 June at Northlight Art Studios. Find out more about the Writers Under The Lens exhibition.

The Festival of Writing Day

On Saturday 1 June, the magic that happens inside the walls of Lumb Bank will extend to a wider audience in Hebden Bridge. The Festival of Writing Day is perfect for anyone looking to develop their craft, get practical advice and engage with established Arvon tutors.

Day tickets include high-quality workshops in poetry, fiction and non-fiction, industry talks and networking opportunities, with the opportunity to add a speed pitching session with an agent or publisher. Poetry workshops will be led by Raymond Antrobus and Kim Moore, Stacey Halls and Cynan Jones join us for the fiction workshops while Rhik Samadder and Cathy Rentzenbrink lead the non-fiction workshops. Find out more about the Festival of Writing Day.

Lemn Sissay Returns to Hebden Bridge

Arvon is hosting two ticketed events featuring poet Lemn Sissay and writer Henry Normal.

Lemn Sissay's connection with Arvon goes back to his teenage years when he came to Lumb Bank to do a writing course which had a profound effect on his creativity. Now, he returns as a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning international writer to discuss his new collection, Let the light pour in. For the past decade, Lemn has started each day by writing a short poem. The best of these are in one inspiring volume - Let the light pour in. Lemn will be at Hebden Bridge Town Hall on Friday 31 May.
Writer, poet, and TV producer Henry Normal will be in Hebden Bridge on Saturday 1 June at the Trades Club for his brand-new show. Henry will be concentrating on simply everything, from jokes, poems, and stories, he will be digging deep into the subject of every single thing in the universe and beyond.

Free Family Fun Day

Arvon is turning Calder Holmes Park into a free family fun day on Sunday 2 June 2024. The day will bring the art of creative writing to families in the local community through writing workshops, games, and music for all the family. There will be free drop-in workshops on the hour in a fairy-lit tent as well as outdoor activities. For the adults, there will be intimate readings aboard our Festival narrowboat 'Utopia' from a host of local writers. Find out more about the Free Family Fun Day.

The full programme and tickets can be found on the festival website.

About Arvon:

For over 50 years, Arvon's residential creative writing courses have been linking successful authors with aspiring writers, and they are a significant and celebrated part of the British literary landscape. About a third of the residential weeks are with schools, young people, and community groups.

The charity runs writing houses in Shropshire, Devon, and Yorkshire, as well as an online programme, Arvon at Home.

About CultureDale and Calderdale's Year of Culture 2024:

CultureDale is a yearlong celebration of creativity in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. Commemorating its 50th anniversary as a Metropolitan Borough Council, Calderdale has commissioned and supported hundreds of creative projects across the borough which will be shared in towns and villages across the year. It is a testament to the creativity, resilience, and passion that resides within Calderdale's people.

Its mission is to create and promote a wide array of cultural events, exhibitions, performances, and initiatives that reflect the remarkable stories, talents, and traditions of Calderdale.

More info

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