No LitFest this year - but it could return

Reporter:

Emily Davies

A popular literary festival will not take place in 2017.

The Oswestry LitFest has previously guaranteed a fortnight of visits in March from authors, poets, singers and celebrities to the town, and proved a big attraction.

For the past two years, Carrie Morris of Booka Bookshop, has been director of the festival, with last year’s calendar being condensed to a busy long weekend.

But the man who founded the festival, John Waine, today confirmed the 2017 festival will not take place.

He said: “We are taking a break this year. Booka is doing so much stuff this year there’s no time to host it.”

But he did say the break may only be temporary, adding: “You never know – we aren’t saying it will never return.

“Next year could be a big one as it’s the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s death and the end of the First World War, so we will have to see.”

The centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014 led to the launch of the Wilfred Owen Lecture series, with war reporter Martin Bell OBE delivering the address.

Despite the main event not going ahead, the Painting with Words exhibition at The Willow Gallery is still going ahead until April 15.

Other big names who have come to Oswestry through the LitFest since it launched in 2010 include TV’s husband-and-wife due Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, political spin doctor Alastair Campbell, Jon Ronson and Oswestry comedy writer Jesse Armstrong of the Peep Show.

Last year the launch event attracted comedienne Ruby Wax, although she cancelled following the death of close friend and actor Alan Rickman. She fulfilled her commitment 12 months later.

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