#RLF2016: The Turtle Moves

The Turtle Moves

Fun and activities for all ages inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

Community Hub and High Street, Saturday, October 8. 10am-4pm

We were too far down the line to organise a tribute to STP last year, but were keen to keep his name and work alive. ‘The Turtle Moves’ is the call of Discworld fans across the Roundworld!

Our main base of operations will be the Rochester Community Hub, where the Medway Adult and Community Learning Service is partnering us with 3 themed workshops. We’ll also have our own crafty drop in session, plus other activities available in the high street. Make it a mini comic con too, and come along dressed as your favourite Discworldian – we promise you won’t be alone!

Juvenile Crafters’ Guild – Community Hub 

Free – all children to be accompanied by an adult. Booking required where stated.

Room 19: 10am-12noon Feet of Clay – Make your own Golem (pottery workshop, max 12) Book direct with MACLS on 01634 338400. Ages 8 upwards.

Cafe: 12-2pm Magrat’s Magical Herbs – Botanical illustration.

Room 1: 2-4pm The Octavo – Create your own powerfully magic spell book. (Max 16) Book direct with MACLS on 01634 338400. Ages 8 upwards.

Room 11: 12-4pm Interesting Times: Design your own … Luggage, Maskerade Mask or Quantum Weather Butterfly. Discover your Discworld name and/or write something for the Patrician’s Poetrees. With artist Jan St.John-Knight.

In the High Street:

L-Space (Baggins) – come and meet the Librarian (we’ll tweet when he’s there); watch out for him around town too!

Alternate Shadows Theatre Company and Wide Eyed Theatre Company will be bringing to life some of our favourite Discworld characters.


Rochester Games and Models is hosting a re-enactment of the Battle of Koom Valley! Take part or just spectate.

Cafe @172 will be serving Discworld Delicacies from Nanny Ogg and CMOT Dibbler, while Discworld Musings will occur between 1-3pm with local writers SA Jenkin, Sam Rapp and Barry Fentiman-Hall.

The Dark Morris – (Wolf’s Head and Vixen) As alluded to in Wintersmith! Border Morris is the most primitive and arguably the most exhilarating of the Morris dancing styles.  Wolf’s Head (the men) and Vixen (the women) dance to a variety of traditional and original tunes, with a Gothic feel and a mesmerising drumbeat.


– Great KentSpectations Steampunks

– Playopolis: Robot Turtles! Discworld Games!

– Get Ready Retro: Comic Artist & Illustrator Phil Buckenham

This will be a terrific fun day for family and friends and an ideal way to introduce people to the delights of both Sir Terry’s Discworld and our City of Rochester – doubling as Ankh Morpork for one day only!

#RLF2016: Author Talks

In partnership with Medway Libraries …

Tuesday, October 4: Crime Writers and Coppers – Simon Booker and RLF Patron Lisa Cutts at Strood Library. 7pm.

crime writers

Go behind the scenes of a real-life murder investigation AND get the inside track on writing crime drama for TV. Meet Lisa Cutts, award-winning author of the Nina Foster crime novels and police officer with the Serious Crime Directorate, and Simon Booker, author of the Morgan Vine crime novels and screenwriter for BBC and ITV (Inspector Lynley Mysteries and more.)

Thursday, October 6: Angus Donald at Rochester Library. 7pm


Come and meet the bestselling author of The Outlaw Chronicles, a series of books about the legendary hero Robin Hood. The seventh and final book, The Death of Robin Hood was released on August 4.

To book your place for either of these events at the libraries, visit a Medway library or call 01634 337799.

Saturday, October 1: 10am-2pm Local Author Day in Rochester Library

Meet some of Medway’s most prolific and talented authors and discuss their work – or pick their brains!

libraries for life logo flat

#RLF2016 Cafe Crawl

Cafe Crawl (1)

Our popular Cafe Crawl takes place on Sunday, October 2 from 12-3pm. It’s a great excuse to indulge in hot milky drinks and cake, while our writers and performers entertain you with their wonderful stories.


Bruno’s Bakes 12 noon / The Quills 1pm / Cafe@172 2pm.

Canterbury Yarners are delighted to be appearing at Rochester LitFest on Sunday 2nd October and will be reading their poems, short stories and sketches, most of which have been specially commissioned for the festival.  You’ll see them in Bruno’s Bakes at noon, The Quills at 1pm and Cafe @172 at 2pm, with a different programme to entertain you at each venue.

THE WRITERS (from bottom left, clockwise)

YarnersWhitLit16mono4 Joaway

John O’Connor lives in the heart of rural Kent with his wife, teenage daughter and numerous animals, including a Border Collie called Whisper.  He likes to write short stories and sketches with a humorous slant and also tries his hand at crime fiction.  Last year, John was shortlisted in a national crime flash fiction competition, and is published in the CCCU anthologies.

Carole Lynch taught Psychology and worked in the NHS before writing full time. Her work has been highly commended and her short stories can be found in numerous publications. She regularly reads her work at literary festivals and has read on local radio. Carole is currently finishing a short story collection and writing a novel.

Erika Issitt grew up and was educated in Cambridge.  She moved to London and studied at St Martin’s School of Art, then later worked in advertising as a TV commercials producer. She now lives in the lovely city of Canterbury and continues to enjoy her writing as part of the Yarners.

Caroline Cannons has gained recognition in several competitions and is published online and in over a dozen anthologies, including Joe Stepped Off the Train (1889books), and most recently The Wisdom of Canute (CCCU publications).   She is a regional judge for the BBC 500 words competition and writes a monthly blog as her deluded alter-ego, Sylvia (Penscratch8309.wordpress.com).  

Emma Collins is a London girl at heart but for the last ten years she has run a pub in wonderful Whitstable.  As a flash fiction writer she has made the short list of several national competitions.  Her master plan is to give this all up when her blockbuster novel (as yet unwritten) is made into a blockbuster film.

MYTH AND MEMORY – Nancy Charley and Fiona Sinclair

The Quills, 12pm /  Cafe @172 1pm / Bruno’s Bakes 2pm 


Fiona Sinclair (right) is the editor of the online poetry magazine Message in a Bottle. Her work has been widely published. Her sixth collection, How to milk a snake, will be published this June by Lapwing Press.

Her poems deal with childhood memories, inextricably linked to specific places. As an adult, such childhood memories take on mythical status both good and bad. The poems deal with these events with frankness laced with black humour.

Nancy Charley (left) works as an archivist at the Royal Asiatic Society, London, which gives her plenty of source material. Her pamphlet, This Woman, was published in 2011 by Conversation Paperpress.

Nancy’s poems stem from her time as writer-in-residence in the Little Blue Hut, a beach hut on Tankerton Slopes. We discover the shore’s mysteries through the eyes of the Water-Watcher, a sentinel for that stretch of coast.

More recently Fiona and Nancy performed their two woman show,  Love Beyond Barriers, at the Wise Words Festival, Canterbury.


Cafe @172 12pm / Bruno’s Bakes 1pm / The Quills 2pm

Johanna Coulson has been writing original songs for a decade and has performed at various venues across London and Kent. She is currently recording a collection of songs to be released later in the year under the name Origami Grey. A library assistant in a former life, both modern and classic literature have a huge influence on her songwriting.

Dr Maggie Butt is an ex-journalist and BBC television producer, turned poet and novelist. Her publications include five poetry collections and one novel, House of Dreams (published under the name Maggie Brookes).  A strong interest in history and war runs through her writing, with themes of human rights and the resilience of women, relieved by a healthy smattering of humour. House of Dreams (Endeavour Press 2015) is a magic-realist, time-shift romance set in 1945 and 1998.

The three groups will rotate around the cafes on the hour from 12noon, 1pm and 2pm, with Canterbury Yarners starting in Bruno’s Bakes, Myth and Memory in The Quills and Johanna and Maggie at Cafe@172.

#RLF2016: Creative Writing Workshops and Writers’ Retreat

Saturday, October 1

We have three very different workshops for you this year: Try your hand at screenwriting, be brave and learn about self publishing, or figure out where your story will take place with our world building session.

9.30 – 11.15am: An introduction to Screenwriting, with Ben Slythe.  If you want to write for the screen or if you’re interested in the way stories are constructed for the cinema, this introduction will get you started.

11.45 – 1.30pm: Self-publishing: The Answer to a Prayer? Got something different to say? Frustrated by agents? Let down by traditional publishers? Then self-publishing could be the answer. Find out how to get your book into print with author Truda Thurai and Hot Monkey publishing consultant Rohan Thuraisingham.

2 – 3.45pm Building Your Make Believe World with Graham Guy. Where will your story take you? Graham will guide you in how to construct the setting of your story.

Places can be booked here.

Writers’ Retreat at the Guildhall Museum (Members Room).

Sunday , October 9 from 10am – 4pm.

Come along and join us for inspiration and collaboration with writing games and exercises, or find a quiet corner and get on with your blockbuster. Stay an hour or all day, no need to book. The retreat is free although a donation jar will be available if you’d like to pay what you think it’s worth to help us cover our expenses.

Rochester LitFest 2016: Written Worlds, Inspiring Places 1-9 October


Amidst the usual creative writing workshops, Cafe Crawl and author talks this year, the RLF has a wonderful day of craft activities planned for all ages.

The Turtle Moves, inspired by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, sees a Juvenile Crafters’ Guild appear, as if by magic, in Rochester’s Community Hub, where you can design your own Luggage or bring to life a Golem among other activities. Out and about in the high street you’ll bump into numerous characters – and even see a re-enactment of the Battle of Koom Valley! And shhhhh – it’s rumoured that the Librarian will be appearing in L-Space (Baggins!)

RLF Patron Lisa Cutts is appearing at Strood Library on Oct 4, alongside fellow crime author Simon Booker, while author of The Outlaw Chronicles, Angus Donald, is at Rochester Library on Oct 6. There is also a Local Author Day at Rochester Library between 10am-2pm on Oct 1.

The popular Cafe Crawl takes place on Sunday, Oct 2 and features the Canterbury Yarners, Fiona Sinclair, Nancy Charley, Johanna Coulson and Maggie Butt alternating at Bruno’s Bakes, The Quills and Cafe @172 between 12-3pm.

The festival opens with three creative writing workshops on Saturday, Oct 1: An Introduction to Screenwriting, A Guide to Self Publishing, and Building Your Make Believe World. It ends with a Writers’ Retreat on Sunday, Oct 9.

All the events apart from the workshops are free, and tickets for the workshops can be booked here.

Adrift – Refugee Week

Adrift poster

To mark Refugee Week, we’re hosting an event in partnership with the Huguenot Museum on Saturday, June 25 from 11am-2pm.

Britain has a history of offering shelter to displaced peoples, whether due to war or religious persecution, be they Huguenots, Vietnamese boat people, Jewish children escaping the Nazis or Syrians fleeing their war ravaged country.

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