Rochester LitFest 2016: Written Worlds, Inspiring Voices 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 age. 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, bring to life a Golem or make a Swamp Dragon, 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.

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.

Creatives call out – The Turtle Moves Family Arts Trail

The Turtle Moves

As part of our 2016 festival, Written Worlds, Inspiring Places, we’re running a Discworld inspired Family Arts Trail called The Turtle Moves.

We have a number of venues along Rochester High Street and are looking for volunteers who can run an activity that ties into the theme – you’ll need to be a Discworld fan! We’d especially like someone who owns an orangutan costume …

The Turtle Moves takes place on Saturday, October 8 between 10-4. To give you an example of what’s taking place, the Battle of Koom Valley is being re-enacted in Rochester Games and Models, and the Adult Learning Service is hosting a pottery workshop to make Golems. The Dark Morris will be making an appearance, and you may well find a very reasonably priced hard boiled egg at Cafe@172!

There is a small budget for materials and expenses, and further funding is being sought to pay more if possible. As you know, we’re an unfunded voluntary group who aim to make art and literature accessible to the wider community. 

The budget we have available is due to grants from the City of Rochester Society and local councillors, Rupert Turpin, Teresa Murray, Helen McCullough, Nick Bowler, Sylvia Griffin and Trevor Clark, and we extend our thanks to them for their contributions.

If you’d be interested in taking part, please send an outline of your creative idea and budget to Jaye at

WRITERS: Cafe@172 will be hosting readings of Discworld inspired writing by local writers – if you’d like to be involved, email Jaye at the address above.

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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Meet our Patron – Lisa Cutts, crime author

Lisa Cutts, Patron, Rochester Literature Festival

A fortuitous meeting in support of a book shop in Maidstone, and a conversation with a mutual friend in Medway Libraries, saw destiny strike while searching for a suitable Patron for our festival.

Lisa Cutts is a new star of the crime writing genre, with her third novel, Mercy Killing – featuring the East Rise Incident Room -due for release by Simon and Schuster on October 20, coinciding nicely with our fourth festival, Written Worlds, Inspiring Places (1-9 October).

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