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YHA Ilkley Literature Festival celebrates its 40th year in style
    10/10/2013 10:23

Ilkley Literature Festival celebrates its 40th year in style

Aspiring writers, seasoned professionals and avid bookworms are descending on Yorkshire this month, as the Ilkley Literature Festival gets into full swing.

The event runs from October 4th to the 20th, bringing writers from all corners of the literary world together for a series of talks, events, workshops and exhibitions. Special talks from the likes of Peter Snow and Germaine Greer helped to kick things off, while the second week will see Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talking fruit with the foodie writers and Melvyn Bragg, acclaimed presenter of The South Bank Show and Radio 4's In Our Time, talking us through his latest novel, Grace and Mary. Jeremy Paxman will be talking to guests about Britain's wartime history, while things get spooky as Jeremy Dyson, one the award-winning co-creators of The League of Gentlemen, talks about ghost stories - some of which were inspired by - or based in, depending on how much you believe - the surrounding Ilkley landscape.

It's not just contemporary writers under the spotlight, either; the Brontë Parsonage Museum will be giving visitors a chance to get a private look at some original manuscripts, drawings and personal effects from the famous family up close. This presents a rare opportunity to learn more about the Brontës' history from hidden treasures and expert insight. Meanwhile, author-historians Roy and Lesley Adkins will be offering a fresh take on the work of Jane Austen, by providing insight into the lives of the lower classes in late-Georgian England.

Poetry readings will be taking place throughout the festival, with The Beehive poets performing at the Ilkely Playhouse, while there will also be a chance for keen amateur wordsmiths to test their poems in front of an audience at the Poetry Alive! Open mic event, being held at the Ilkley Moor Vaults on the afternoon of October 10th. As well as hearing readings, the event is designed to help aspiring and hobbyist poets meet like-minded individuals to provide support and inspiration. As for those who would love to write poems but just don't know where to start, Daljit Nagra is among those conducting masterclasses throughout the fortnight.

This is an extra-special event for Ilkely, as it's is the 40th Literature Festival put on by the town. To commemorate this milestone, there will be an exhibition at the Manor House Museum featuring the story of the festival, including photographs and personal recollections of some of the memorable appearances taking place over the years.

The YHA has a range of great-value hostels in Yorkshire, so if you want to take in the Ilkley Literature Festival, why not make a proper break of it and explore what Yorkshire has to offer? With both the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors National Parks to walk or cycle in, as well as cities such as Leeds - offering great shopping - and York, with its cobbled streets and historic monuments, Yorkshire has something for everyone.

By Harry Hosteller

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