Morley Literature Festival lineup announced

Here at South Leeds Life we don’t usually cover things outside of inner south Leeds – ie Beeston, Belle isle, Middleton, Hunslet, Holbeck and Cottingley – but we thought we’d make the exception today as the line-up for this year’s annual Morley Literature Festival has been announced. And it’s only up the road, after all!

Morley Literature Festival returns this autumn from 6-14 October with an extended 10-day programme packed full of talks, music, art and family events from a host of authors including Polly Toynbee, A.L. Kennedy, Val McDermid, Peter Hook and Stuart Maconie.

Now in its seventh year the festival, which takes place in the small market town justoutside Leeds, prides itself on having a specially curated array of events including talks over dinner or afternoon tea, to createa charming festival experience in which audiences and authors can converse in a host of intimate settings.

Events taking place this year in Morley include:

  • After the success of this year’s summer blockbusters ‘The Dark Knigh tRises’ and ‘The Amazing Spiderman’, comic writer David Hine will be joined by science fiction writers Adam Christopher, Samit Basu and Justina Robson to discuss the cross-over between science fiction and superhero fiction on Saturday 6 October, 2pm, MorleyTown Hall, £4
  • Acclaimed Scottish writer AL Kennedy will explore the link between creativity and madness questioning the sometimesclichéd link between the two. Saturday 6 October, 7pm, Waterstones, £3 and will include a glass ofwine
  • ITV’s royal correspondent Tim Ewart hosts a three course lunch to discuss the Queen’s reign during her Jubilee year. Monday 8 October, midday, The Village Hotel, £25*
  • Join Victorian historian Helen Rappaport for afternoon tea to consider the tragic death of Prince Albert and the effect it had on Queen Victoria – a subject which features in her new work, ‘Magnificent Obsession’. Saturday 13 October, 3pm, Morley Town Hall, £7 including Afternoon Tea
  • Closing the festival will be International best-selling, award-winning crime writer Val McDermid who will be discussing herwork with former chair of the Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, N.J. Cooper. Sunday 14 October, 7.30pm, MorleyTown Hall, £6

This year Morley is joined by two of the country’s most eminent politicalcommentators.

  • One of The Guardian’s most prolific writers Polly Toynbee will be voicing her opinion of the state of the nation. Friday 12 October, 7.30pm, MorleyTown Hall, £8
  • Newsnight’s Gavin Esler will be reflecting on his 30 years’ of experience in frontline politics to bring us a portrait of the world’s most famous leaders. Sunday 14 October, 2.30pm, City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds, £8

Members of two of Manchester’s most iconic bands will be speaking about their respective memoirs at thisyear’s festival.

  • Joy Division bassist Peter Hook will discuss the band’s rise and fall with journalist Dave Simpson in ‘Unknown Pleasures’. Saturday 6 October, 7.30pm, MorleyTown Hall, £6
  • Tom Hingley will discuss life as the frontman in Inspiral Carpets in ‘Carpet Burns’ and perform songs from his back catalogue of pop hits. Sunday 7 October, 2.30pm, St Peter’s Church, £4.

The festival will celebrate the wealth of literary talent in Yorkshire and discuss how Northern identities have served as inspiration for youngauthors.

  • Yorkshire author Jack Sheffield recounts his adventures in a small Northern village in the1980s in ‘Educating Jack’. Wednesday 10 October, 7.30pm, Tingley Methodist Church, £4
  • Novelists Ross Raisin, MY Alam and Wes Brown team up to discuss how their hometowns of Keighley, Bradford and Leeds have shaped their work. All three have novels which are set in Yorkshire and shape their characters with Northern vernacular. Thursday 11 October, 7.45pm, Morley Library, £4
  • Guardian journalist Dave Simpson will bespeaking about his latest book ‘The Last Champions’ which charts the crowning of Leeds United in the 1992 title race. Saturday 13 October, 1.30pm, MorleyTown Hall, £4
  • Following the success of the best-selling ‘Pies and Prejudice’radio and TV personality Stuart Maconie will be discussing his new book ‘Hope and Glory’ which explores theplaces, people and events that have helped shaped the UK. Saturday 13 October, 7.30pm, MorleyTown Hall, £8

Morley Literature Festival also holds free events for little bookworms who aren’tquite old enough for the more adult debates and discussions going on.

  • Poet Conrad Burdekin will be reading from hislatest book ‘Teachers Pick their Noses’ and inspiring children towrite their own funny, and sometimes downright silly, poems. Saturday 6 October, 10.30am, Morley Library, Free
  • ‘You Can’t Scare a Princess’ author Gillian Rogerson will be reading from her latest splendidly silly book about Princess Spaghetti. Saturday 13 October, 10.30am, Morley Library, Free

For this year’s festival previous Northern Art Prize 2008 winner Paul Rooney will create a new video piece to be screened from an empty shop window, blurring elements of fact and fictionrelating to the history of Morley.

Jenny Harris,Director of Morley Literature Festival said:

“Larger festivals can sometimes feel overwhelming but Morley aims to take that relaxed experience of chatting about your favourite book or the memories of your best-loved band over a cuppa with your mates and bring you face-to-face with the authors themselves.

“We feel that because Morley is such a warm and friendly community it makesaudiences feel comfortable, engaged and, most of all, inspired by the writers,artists and musicians who come and enjoy the town.”

To see the full Morley Literature Festival programme and booktickets visit,or call 0844 848 2706, follow the festival on twitter @morleylitfest or findthe festival on Facebook