Volunteering at the Huddersfield Literature Festival.

Over the last 10 days I have been volunteering at a few events at the Huddersfield Literature Festival.
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I've had a fabulous time, made new friends, met some wonderful people and listened to inspiring speakers.
The festival kicked off with an excellent interview with Anne Cleeves and Cath Staincliffe, who could fail to be inspired by these amazing authors.

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Johnny Ball spoke about the magic of numbers at the Huddersfield Library. He has an amazing talent to make this sound so easy and such fun. He spoke to a packed audience. The queue for his book signing was the longest I've ever seen.

Among other speakers I heard was the brilliant Stephen Wade, speaking about the history of crime and being a cold case detective.

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Joanne Harris came to speak about her new novel 'The Strawberry Thief''. What an amazing author. She is involved in so many things including writing libretto for opera.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standingThis year I really got involved in a variety of  events from speakers through to meeting Elmer the Patchwork Elephant who visited Read Bookshop in Holmfirth. The shop was mobbed! The children loved him.

There were some fabulous costumes at the Cosplay Ball.

Image may contain: one or more peopleI really was working during this time. We could be involved in setting up the furniture, selling books, helping people, serving teas and coffees.  There is a great crowd of volunteers each year. In fact they are so good we won an award!

So what is involved in volunteering I hear you ask.  It all starts around October when meetings are held to discuss the next festival. All contributions and ideas are talked about and Michelle Hodgson, the festival director, takes it all on board. We've had many excellent speakers, workshops, panels, poetry slams and much much more, all down to Michelle's creative  and far-ranging ideas.

After Christmas we have training workshops. These vary from customer service through to helping people with mixed abilities. I especially enjoyed the workshop on learning sign language. It was fascinating and very enjoyable. We work under the directions of  hard working Festival Manager Julia Lilof.

Here is a link to last year's Literary Afternoon Tea, where a number of us spoke about what it meant to volunteer. I wonder if you spot me?   Here

There is a huge amount that happens in the festival, which I haven't really mentioned- the poetry slams, writing and well being workshops, children's events, films and history talks. Next year I may broaden my horizon and volunteer for some of these.

If you're interested in volunteering at your local festival, go for it! If you'd like to join us at Huddersfield, visit the website.  https://www.huddlitfest.org.uk/  You won't regret it!

All photos courtesy of HLF.


  1. How fabulous, it sounds like you have had fun. A great experience.


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