Litfest’s New Writing Northwest has given emerging talent the opportunity to work with established writers over the spring and summer.
There were four strands including Poetry, Fiction and Translation. The final one, Nature & Environment Writing, comes to a conclusion with a free reading this Wednesday featuring two authors with a Blackpool connection.
Michelle Allwood was born in the resort, before moving to London. After working for the BBC, she is now at the BFI. She is dyslexic and neuro-diverse, and holds a BA and MA in Literature & Creative Writing. She is currently planning a PhD, focussing on tree intelligence. The piece she will be reading from the Litfest Anthology reflects this research interest and is about her experience of a six hundred year old oak tree.
Stephen Dunstan lives in Blackpool, and has been contributing articles to Blackpool Social Club and its predecessors for several years. Recently he has specialised in nature and environment writing for BSC under a Lockdown Nature umbrella, and more recently New Normal Nature, and it was these pieces which he submitted in his application to the programme. He will be reading a piece on nature photography and experiencing the moment.
There will also be opportunity to hear from four other writers with connections to the north of England, and Karen Lloyd who was the facilitator for the nature strand of New Writing Northwest. Karen is an award-winning writer and environmental activist based in Cumbria. Her first book, The Gathering Tide: A Journey around the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay (2016) contains writing on land, landscape and memory. The Blackbird Diaries (2017), winner of The Lakeland Arts and Literature Award 2018, is an intimate account of the wildlife in Lloyd’s edge-of-town garden, the South Lakes landscape, the Solway coast and the Hebridean islands of Mull and Staffa.
Her latest book, Abundance: Nature in Recovery will be published next month.
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