The festival’s line-up includes author talks, performances, live poetry, workshops and even a pub crawl.
Aspiring writers can benefit from a range of workshops and sessions during the fortnight-long festival, including a writers’ masterclass led by The Guardian’s Tim Lott, the chance to get advice from publishing industry experts and the opportunity to write new work for a region-wide project.
Saturday, October 24 sees award winning novelist and leader of a Guardian novel writing masterclass Tim Lott arriving at the festival. He will host a focussed session on the three fundamentals of story writing: plot, character and dialogue.
The rare opportunity to have a personal discussion with a top literary agent about work in progress or perhaps a completed novel comes on the weekend of Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25.
Carrie Kania works for the country’s leading literary agent, Conville Walsh, and local writers can grab the chance to find out her expert opinion on their work on a one-to-one basis.
As someone who receives thousands of submissions a year, Kania knows what makes would-be writers stand out in the crowded publishing market place and she will also host a session on how to write the perfect cover letter to send to agents and publishers.
Carrie Kania’s involvement at the festival kicks off with a two mile walk around the city’s walls during which participants - from would-be writers to people who would like to know how to break into publishing - can have an informal discussion with Carrie or her fellow industry professional Rachael Kerr, the editor-in-chief at Unbound Publishing.
Carrie said: “As well as their questions and ideas, people can bring their dogs with them too, as Foxy, my friendly fox-terrier, will be taking part; while he might not have the publishing experience of Rachael or myself, he makes up for it in enthusiasm!”
Rachael Kerr will also be chairing an event on Friday, October 23 at which she will discuss Unbound Publishing, her revolutionary crowd-sourcing publishing company.
Talking about their books and their experience of getting published by Unbound’s unique method of public pledges will be Francis Pryor, author of detective novels, and Josh Spero who has published a book about his fascination with second hand books.
Chester Performs are looking for poets to take part in the opening event of the festival on Saturday, October 10 at libraries around the county.
New Poems for Old Memories is a one-off event supporting the ongoing borough-wide Cheshire Memories project, led by local charity Snow Angels.
As part of the Chester Literature Festival, poets will be stationed around the county’s libraries – in Chester, Northwich, Frodsham, Neston, Ellesmere Port and Winsford – and the public will be encouraged to share local memories with them.
The memories and the poems will be preserved in a series of themed Memory Boxes along with photos and objects of interest and the boxes will then be held by the Cheshire Library service as a community resource for local groups to delve into over the coming years.
In Chester Library the poets will be festival favourite and stand-up poet Tim Clare as well as the 2014 Costa Poetry Prize winner Jonathan Edwards.
Any local poets who would like to volunteer to be involved should contact email@example.com.
Artistic director for Chester Performs, Alex Clifton, said: “With a preparatory workshop the previous evening with Jonathan Edwards – a nationally recognised poet - this is a chance for local poets to learn from the best as well as to connect with the local community and get the poetic juices flowing.”
To find out more and book visit www.chesterperforms.com/literature.