Annual Writers Festival 2020


Unfortunately, due to the current climate, the University has reluctantly reached the view that the Writers' Festival taking place on Tuesday 17 March 2020 should be postponed.  The University is very sorry to find itself in this position but hope you understand the decision we have had to take.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus when organisers have been able to re-schedule a new date.


Join us on Tuesday 17 March for the Leeds Trinity University annual Writers' Festival, where you'll have the opportunity to work with professional writers, attend writing workshops and hear readings from our featured writers.

What's happening?

Now in its 16th year, the Leeds Trinity Writers' Festival welcomes members of the local writing community, emerging and established writers, staff, students and alumni, for an inspirational day of writing.

There will be workshops led by professional writers as well as readings and networking. You'll have the opportunity to work with published authors, poets and creative writing staff.


10.00am Registration and networking

10.30am Welcome talk

11.00am – 1.00pm Morning workshop – full list below

1.00 – 2.00pm Lunch (available to purchase from Starbucks in the Atrium or our Dining Room, or delegates may bring their own)

1.15 – 1.45pm Crime novelist Liz Mistry in conversation with Martyn Bedford

2.00 – 4.00pm Afternoon workshop – full list below

4.00 – 5.00pm Readings by visiting writers

5.00pm Festival close

At 5.30pm, guests of the Writers' Festival are invited to join us at the book launch and celebrations for An Insubstantial Universe, an anthology of poetry in celebration of George Eliot's bicentenary.


This event has been postponed due to the current climate.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

10.00am – 5.00pm


Leeds Trinity University, Brownberrie Lane, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5HD


Leeds Trinity University Writers' Festival costs £15 per person (free for staff, students and alumni). To purchase your ticket(s) please click here for the Online Store.

Who should attend?

Staff, students, alumni, members of the local community, and emerging and established writers

Further Information

When registering, please indicate your first choice of workshop and every effort will be made to accommodate this. However, please also indicate a second and third choice for each of the morning and afternoon workshops, in case this isn't possible.

Parking is provided, Download your Writers Festival Parking Permit 2020

If you have any queries, please contact


Please choose two of the following workshops – one in the morning and one in the afternoon (all sessions will run twice). Every effort will be made to accommodate this. However, please also indicate a second and third choice for each of the morning and afternoon workshops, in case this isn't possible.

Jane Browne – Climate Fiction: Surviving the Future

Through the lens of the current climate emergency, we will explore how to spark ideas and begin the process of world building. Using the science, research and current affairs to lead us into all areas of the climate emergency, the workshop will provide you with a practical exploration to begin creating the macro and micro details of a future imagined world and the consequences for your characters facing a new world order.

John Irving Clarke – Into the Midnight Moment's Forest

In this workshop we will be taking another look at how we operate as writers, how we reach decisions on word choice and developing imagery. Most importantly, we'll be plotting a route through the imaginative forest by way of poetry and prose exemplar texts, following those signposts marked "show don't tell" and "make it new." We will be looking to arrive at our own "sudden, sharp hot stink of fox." There will be an opportunity to kickstart some new pieces of writing and to share work in progress with fellow writers. Suitable for poets and writers of prose alike, whether you are relatively new to writing or more established, look to extend your work in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Jo Clement – Placing the Voice

"The features of the landscape are a mode of communication with a something other than themselves, a something to which we ourselves still feel we might belong" – Seamus Heaney.

Writers of both poetry and prose are invited to join in this practical session to reinvigorate their imagination and develop fresh work. Together we'll explore places of personal significance waiting to be unearthed from memory. With time and space to write, we'll bring these places back to life through language, putting the power of voice into practice. All are welcome.

Writing the Voice – Mark Connors

Hearing voices can pay dividends for a writer. Whether we are writing prose or poetry, getting 'the voice' right can often make all the difference to our narratives. If you want your work to ring true, then authenticity is key. Of course, what we write doesn't have to be true but should we require readers to take a leap of faith in us or even suspend their disbelief, then making our work sound true may convince readers that they are in good hands. In this workshop, we will look at how to approach writing character and voice in both fiction and poetry. We will look at some examples where character and voice bring fiction and poetry to life. Then, we will create a little magic of our own.

Gill Lambert - Ready, Steady, Write!

What can you write when you are given your raw ingredients? Do you chop them up, as a few spicy words of your own or chuck everything in and see what happens? This workshop will give you a series of timed exercises in which you will work with what you have been given or what you pick out at random. Sentences, words, even the odd conjunction. Suitable for writers of prose and poetry.

Char March – "Here's Looking At You": Using Mirrors to Explore Character

A fast-paced workshop to help you look at different ways of creating believable characters. Char March will be take you through a series of quick-fire exercises using mirrors, reflective surfaces, and other people. You'll discover new ways of looking at, and thinking about, characters and how we can get inside them as writers. Come with an open mind, enthusiasm, and prepared to have fun!

Tim Murgatroyd - Between Heaven and Hell: Constructing Dystopia

This workshop, designed for both experienced and beginner writers, will explore essential skills to conceive and write convincing dystopian fiction. Sessions on believable world-building, dystopian characters, how 'big ideas' can meet dynamic plots to keep the reader hooked, the language of dystopia and how other literary genres fruitfully connect with dystopian fiction, will equip you to create your very own Heaven or Hell . . . or perhaps somewhere in between. Come prepared with notebook and pen to imagine the unimaginable!

Hannah Stone – Make Some Noise for the Oxymoron: Writing Prose Poetry from Prompts

Last year, Leeds Trinity University hosted the UK's first colloquium on Prose Poetry, to accompany the launch of the Valley Press Prose Poetry Anthology. Today's workshop will present prompts from published prose poems and other contemporary sources to encourage participants to try their hand at this increasingly prevalent and exceptionally flexible form of writing. We will discover the rich possibilities of this apparently contradictory form, and share our writing. All are welcome, whether complete beginners or experienced writers or prose or poetry.

When registering, please indicate your first choice of workshop and every effort will be made to accommodate this. However, please also indicate a second and third choice for each of the morning and afternoon workshops, in case this isn't possible. Thank you.