Exciting line-up revealed for return of the Saddleworth Literary Festival

STAR names as well as local writers will take centre stage at the second Saddleworth Literary Festival at Saddleworth School on March 24-25.

Preparations are well underway for the event, in association with Oldham Libraries, following the successful inaugural event in October 2016.

The patron of the Festival is, once again, popular film and TV actor, John Henshaw, who is best known for his roles in ‘Early Doors’, ‘Born and Bred’ and ‘The Cops’.

And the line-up contains a range of established writers, actors and performers who live and work locally as well as further afield.

Returning to the Festival is BBC Radio Manchester presenter Mike Sweeney, who lives in Dobcross, who will be giving a lively talk.

There will also be local writers Jan Needle, best known for his books relating to BBC’s ‘Grange Hill’ and ‘Tucker’s Luck’, and Phaedra Patrick, author of ‘The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper’.

London literary agent Christine Green will return to her Saddleworth roots to talk about her life in the literary world while author and poet Bill Broady is inviting aspiring writers to submit pieces of work for him to provide constructive encouragement.

Also see ex-Scot’s Guard turned poet, Spike the Poet, author of five volumes of poetry, and ‘Funky Fitness’ performing an episode from Barbara Hegab’s ‘Policeman Pete’ stories.

New to the Festival are ‘Buzz’ Hawkins of ‘The Bradshaws’ providing his unique style of music and wit, and Cathy Crabb, award-winning playwright, who will recite extracts from her collection of adult-themed poems.

And London based YA author, Catherine Barter, will be discussing her new book ‘Troublemakers’.

There will also be involvement from Saddleworth School and local primary schools, with prize-giving for the pupils’ Writing Competition, poetry performances and musical renditions.

Jenny Dayton will also be on hand both days to highlight ‘The Fairy Sanctuary’ and there will be face painting.

Cllr Pam Byrne, one of the Festival organisers, said: “We wanted schools to be more involved this time hence why we chose Saddleworth School for the venue.

“It not only provides a showcase to highlight pupils’ talents but we hope it will be a catalyst for the community to become more involved.

“As last year, we really intend this festival and future festivals to be community focussed.”

Entry to the Festival is just £5 for both days. To buy tickets, or find out more, visit their website: www.SaddleworthLitFest.co.uk or find them on Facebook.


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