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Great range of events and talks as Crawley WORDfest goes live

Great range of events and talks as Crawley WORDfest goes live
Family day at Crawley library

Running from March 3-31, it boasts around 22 events aiming to involve all the community and please all tastes in a celebration of words and writing.

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Among the guests will be Sussex Newspapers’ group arts editor Phil Hewitt (March 22) who will be talking about his book Outrunning The Demons, his tale of coping with trauma after he was stabbed, punched, kicked and left for dead in a brutal Cape Town mugging.

Karen Edwards, one of the festival’s small group of organisers, said they were delighted to be back to the kind of festival they used to give. In 2020 the lockdown cut the festival in half and in 2021 the festival moved successfully online.

In fact, so successfully that this year’s will be a hybrid festival with a number of events taking place on Zoom in addition to the live events.

“Last year online went very, very well,” Karen said. “One of the most popular things we had on Zoom was Doodling Is Good For You.

“There was a workshop last year which had a massive crowd and that is coming back again on Zoom this year which is great.

“So this year is more or less back to normal.

“We have had to find another venue for some events but part of our brief was trying to get to other venues as well just to spread to other parts of the town. And as I say, we’re very much a hybrid festival this year.

“In all there will be about 22 events. Some of them are workshops.

“We’ve got a songwriting and performers workshop and we’ll have two of those and we have got a poetry and prose workshop as well.”

For some of the live events they have had to reduce capacity.

“But we are hoping now things are relaxing a bit more the council will allow us to increase the numbers a bit more again.

“There’s a group of about five or six of us that put this on and our aim is to engage the people of Crawley with a variety of literary and wordy events.

“We’re trying to get something for all the age groups and for all interests, for people that enjoy reading and for people that enjoy writing and for people that enjoy watching performances.

“We’ve got a comedy night at the end. We have got a quiz night as well. We’ve got a local theatre company doing Victorian ghost tales and we’ve also got author panels. We’ve got a crime panel and we’ve got a romantic novelist panel.

“And we’re also trying to get other groups in Crawley involved as well in the programme just so that we can bring all those groups together.”

Thursday, March 3: John Wright, Zoom, free, 7pm. A Spotter’s Guide to Countryside Mysteries.

Friday, March 4: The Platform workshop, Hawth Loft, 7.30pm, free songwriter/performer workshop.

Saturday, March 5: Family Day, The Charis Centre, 1-4pm, free. Join children’s authors and illustrators Simon James Green, Krina Patel-Sage & Vashti Hardy – live; Sally Nicholls, Christina Dendy & Katie Rewse – Zoom.

Tuesday, March 8: Giving out commissioned poem and a rose, County Mall, 10am-3pm, free. DiverseCrawley celebrate International Women’s Day with a commissioned poem.

Thursday, March 10: Kim McCabe – From Daughter to Woman, Zoom, 7.30pm, free. Kim will be discussing practical ways to support the journey through adolescence.

Friday, March 11: Book Club Special – Love and Danger, The Charis Centre, 7.30pm, free. Romantic novelists Julia Wilde, Norma Curtis with Derek Farrell host discussing WW2 as the setting.

Friday, March 11: The Platform workshop, Hawth Loft, 7.30pm. Songwriter/performer workshop.

Saturday, March 12: Doodle For wellbeing, Zoom, 2pm, free. Jo Harrison – artist and illustrator.

Wednesday, March 16: Writer’s Circle workshop open workshop, Crawley Museum, 10am.Museum – Crawley in Lockdown.

Thursday, March 17: Crime panel – Lying for a Living, Crawley Library, 7pm, £5. Crime authors MK Hill, Neil Broadfoot and Susi Holliday with Derek Farrell host

Tuesday, March 22: Phil Hewitt, Crawley Library, 7pm, £3, Outrunning the Demons – how we can overcome trauma. Phil survived a knife attack in 2016.

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