Fun literary festival now underway in the Wakefield neighborhood
WordFest, hosted by Wakefield Council, kicked off on Friday October 1, hence the highly successful Earth Festival paved the way.
The carnival of speech and writing on the theme of ecology offers events for all tastes in the 12 libraries in the region as well as in community partner venues.
WordFest runs alongside the very popular LitFest, a sister festival created by young people aged 14 to 25.
The two continue until the end of October at places such as WX (the old covered market) on Union Street in Wakefield.
The WordFest festival has been planned with support from the Arts Council England and organizations such as the Creative Arts Institute and Backstage Academy Live Events based in South Kirby.
Libraries host free in-person and online events for all ages, such as author talks, storytelling hours, crafts, music, and even movie screenings.
There will be a large free exhibit featuring a number of art installations and activities for all ages at WX during the mid-term school holidays October 23-30 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily).
A 50th anniversary celebration of the popular classic children’s picture book “The Tiger Who Came to Take Tea” is at the Pontefract Library.
The Certainty of Chance Theater Company will explore Wakefield Way’s 70-mile circular walking route through creative writing.
And visitors can learn more about historic Wakefield author, Eliza Gleadall, through an interactive craft and poetry workshop at Normanton and Sandal Libraries on October 18-19.
There are also all kinds of art installations, readings, open mic events, and craft activities throughout WordFest.
Councilor Michael Graham, Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Sport, said: “Everyone knows the Wakefield neighborhood is associated with sculpture.
“But it also has strong associations with the literary world, such as where ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding and ‘Chocolate’ author Joanne Harris went to school.
“We’re also the district that produced writers David Peace and Stan Barstow as well as playwright John Godber, so words are in our genes.”
Both festivals are themed on the environment and climate change, as the Council aims to be a carbon neutral organization by 2030.
As with the Fête de la Terre, the goal is to get citizens to think about the steps they could take in their lives to help the municipality achieve its goal.
Councilor Jack Hemingway, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment, said: “Both festivals are great and fun events, but they have a serious message.
“Everyone has an important role to play in the fight against climate change and we encourage residents to take whatever steps they can, no matter how small, to help us reach our goal.
“This will put the district at the forefront of responding to one of the greatest challenges our world faces today with words, but most importantly with actions.”
WordFest is on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok under the handle @WFLibraries and is also on Facebook @WakefieldLibraries.
LitFest is also on Instagram @WakefieldLitFest, Twitter @WakeyLitfest and Facebook @WakeyLitFest.
Visitors can share their experience on social media using the hashtags #WordFest and #MakeWordsCount.