First ever North Notts Lit Fest was a great success

Winner of the Short Story competition
Winner of the Short Story competition

Retford was the host for the first ever North Notts Lit Fest which was filled with events and performances.

Hundreds of literary fans flocked to more than 30 events and performances from the likes of Retford’s own Stephen Booth and poet Paul Cookson, as well as BAFTA winner Henry Normal, historian Emily Brand and the exuberant Talegate Theatre.

The final day also saw the winners of the Short Story, Poetry and Children’s Competitions announced in front of a packed audience at Retford Town Hall.

Liz Carney-Marsh, North Notts Lit Fest Ambassador, said: “It was a fantastic first North Notts Lit Fest with some truly incredible events. Literary talent is alive and well in our wonderful area and North Notts Lit Fest hopes to continue to celebrate and champion this for years to come.

“The festival wouldn't have been possible without our sponsors North Notts BID and Bassetlaw District Council and our festival partners The Barrister's Book Chamber. Huge thanks also go to all the other amazing businesses and local community groups who came together to celebrate all that is great about North Notts.”

As well as the Lit Fest, the North Notts Short Story Competition winners were announced and Lucy Grace’s tale, 'Shrimp, The Canal and Me' won over the judges with her story about a boyish prank gone wrong, based on this year’s theme of the Chesterfield Canal and North Notts Industrial Heritage.

Lucy said: “I’m thrilled to have won the short story competition and it’s great that an event such as this exists to support and promote local writers.

"I am local to North Notts and Derbyshire and some of the ideas and details came when I asked my dad about his own childhood.

“It was also lovely to hear all the writers' work read out on Sunday afternoon and particularly exciting for the young authors in the children's competition.

"Thank you to the organisers for a super job, I'm already looking forward to next year.”

This year's North Notts Writing Competition also saw the addition of two new categories, Poetry and Children's, with the shortlisted poetry entries performed by Paul Cookson and the Children’s stories read out by James Worthington and Steve Boyce from Talegate Theatre.

Margaret Edge took home the inaugural Poetry competition prize with ‘The Canal Masters’, while Isabella McCorkell was awarded the Children’s prize thanks to her entry ‘Wings of a Fatal Life’.

All of the shortlisted Short Stories, Poems and Children’s stories will be available to read on www.nnlf.org.uk very soon, along with details of next year’s competitions.