Young Adult Short Story Competition Winners Announced

Morley Literature Festival 2014 is pleased to announce the winners of its Young Adult short story competition.

1st place – Paul Ray
2nd place – Marisa Orton
3rd place – Whitney Griffin
Highly commended – Elizabeth Sladen

Entries were received from across the UK and as far afield as France. The shortlisting panel included Alison Brumwell (Artistic Director), Sarah Nuttall (Waterstones Leeds) and Imogen Bowen (Peer judge, Shelley Academy Trust). The Chair of the judging panel, acclaimed novelist Martyn Bedford, had this to say:

I greatly enjoyed reading, and re-reading, the four shortlisted entries and I would like to begin by congratulating all four writers for producing such thoughtful, engaging and well-crafted pieces of fiction. When it came to awarding the prizes, I found it tough to choose between them – not just because they were all written to such a good standard (which they were) but because they were so different in style and subject matter. It’s that old cliché about comparing apples with oranges. In the end, I based my decision on the extent to which the stories exhibited that extra spark of originality – of concept, subject or approach – which made me feel as though I was reading something unlike anything I’d read before. I was also looking to see which stories were the most successful in bringing their characters to life on the page, allowing me to enter their minds and see their world through their eyes.

Congratulations to our finalists and to all entrants in this year’s competition! To read their work click on the YA short story competition link.

Welcome to Morley Literature Festival 2014!

The 2014 Morley Literaure Festival Programme
Our ninth festival launches with a programme of exciting events that will appeal to all ages. In addition to our adult, family and schools programme, 2014 introduces events specially aimed at budding young writers and artists (11 years+). If Manga or poetry are your thing, then Morley Library is the place to be:

Saturday 4 October, 1:00pm – 3:30 pm

Manga workshop with Tasneem Kausar

Saturday 11 October, 1:00 pm – 3:00pm

Poetry workshop with Cara Brennan

Sunday 12 October, 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Manga ‘Surgery’ with Tasneem Kausar

For more information about these events, and for booking details, view our full 2014 Morley Literature Festival programme.

The festival committee would like to thank the Friends of Morley Literature Festival for its ongoing support. They steward events, prepare and serve refreshments, organize book sales and raffles and also organize our annual short story competition. If you are interested in becoming a Friend, details can be found on the Friends section of this website.

Morley Literature Festival is made possible through the generous support of our partners and sponsors. 2014 welcomes our newest corporate sponsor, Onwards and Upwards (

We are also pleased to be associated this year with two charity partners: Reading Matters ( and Beanstalk (

Chur Art 2014

Churwell Woods

Churwell Woods, courtesy of Churwell Environmental Volunteers

When: Saturday 4th October 2014, 2pm onwards
Where: Churwell Woods
Price: Free, no ticket required

Morley Literature Festival is proud to support Chur Art 2014. The event showcases photos taken from around the area by people who walk through the woods and is organized by Churwell Environmental Volunteers. The photographs are judged and the 12 which receive the most votes from the general public feature in the Chur Art calendar, which is sold to raise money for the group’s conservation work.

The afternoon involves judging the photos, having a go on the woodland railway, pond dipping and browsing the stalls of local crafts. Refreshments will also be available. Poet Adam Strickson will be on hand to share some of his work. Adam’s evocative poetry draws upon the beauty of the natural world and the importance of preserving our woodlands.

This free event takes place in Churwell Woods on Saturday 4th October, 2 pm onwards. No tickets are required.

To find out more take a look at the Churwell Environmental Volunteers Facebook page.

Morley Homemade Fair

When: Saturday 11th October 2014, 9.00am – 2.00pm
Where: Morley Town Hall
Price: Free

Morley Chamber of Trade and Commerce CIC are proud to host a ‘Homemade Fair’ as part of this year’s Morley Literature Festival.

This one-day event will take place in the Alexandra Hall of the iconic building, Morley Town Hall.

Come along and browse the various stalls selling local and homemade produce and capture the on-stage entertainment brought to you by local talent.

Or why not grab a coffee, a slice of ‘homemade cake’ and chat with friends in our pop-up café? We look forward to seeing you there!

Beryl Burton Celebrated

The life and achievements of Beryl Burton were celebrated on 4 June 2014 when more than 100 local theatre and cycling lovers attended a Morley Literature Festival/West Yorkshire Playhouse event. Rebecca Gatward, the Director of Maxine Peake’s play ‘Beryl’, guided the complete cast through two rehearsed scenes, followed by a Q and A session with the audience.

A wonderful evening of theatre brought Le Tour de France directly into the heart of Morley and recognised the legacy of a remarkable sportswoman.

Image courtesy of Maria Spadafora

St Paul’s Autumn Craft Fair

When Saturday 11th October 2014, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Where St Paul’s
Price Free

The St Paul’s Autumn Craft Fair is taking place during the Morley Literature Festival. If you’re planning to be in town why not drop in?

Festival Food

Some of you will be visiting Morley for the first time during the Festival so we asked people on twitter who know the area well to recommend places they like to stop for a bite to eat, or for a cup of great coffee.

Here are their tips.

Cucina, 106a Queen Street, Morley (pictured – with Word on the Street word art installation)

A cafe, bar and restaurant. Lovely people, good food – which is why we’ve invited the Penny University here on Sunday.

Baan Thai, 51D Commercial Street, Morley.

A family-run restaurant who source ingredients from local butchers and grocers. Their ice-cream is from a dairy farm in the nearby Tong Village.

The Oxford Coffee Club, 28 Queen Street, Morley.

It’s namesake opened in 1655 in Oxford, and drew in some of the best scientific minds of that era, who’s regular coffeeshop meetings to share ideas gave birth to the Royal Society we know today. This Oxford Coffee Club, in Morley, is a really popular, friendly and welcoming place to have a cup of tea, a great cup of coffee, a hot chocolate, or a slice of cake and a sandwich. It’s exactly the sort of convivial environment you might stumble into a brilliant conversation.

Cafe Indalo, 27 High Street, Morley

Recommended on our facebook page by a regular customer, for their cakes and lunches.



Morley Literature Festival 2014 is proud to preview A West Yorkshire Playhouse Production

Beryl Burton of Morley

By Maxine Peake

Wednesday 4 June 2014
7:30 pm
Alexandra Hall, Morley Town Hall

Written by celebrated actress Maxine Peake Beryl celebrates the extraordinary sporting achievements of Morley cyclist Beryl Burton.

To celebrate Yorkshire’s role in this year’s Tour de France, this is a specially commissioned adaptation from Maxine Peake’s acclaimed 2012 Radio 4 play and marks her stage writing debut.

Join us for a unique opportunity to view a live rehearsal and to participate in a question and answer session with the cast and director. What better way to be involved in Le Grand Depart?

Please note: this is not a ticketed event. A minimum £1 donation on the door would be welcome

In Bloom

A special thanks to this year’s artists in residence, poet Becky Cherriman and artist Bryony Pritchard who created the beautiful Word on the Street poetry trail using felted shoddy and poetic extracts from poets Julia Deakin, Ian Duhig, Pat Borthwick, Ian Parks, Matthew Hedley Stoppard, Steve Nash, Peter R White, Linda Marshall, Greg White, Oz Hardwick and Michelle Scally Clarke.

Becky’s commissioned poem for the 2013 festival In Bloom, inspired by Morley and created using a selection of crowd sourced words from local people, is printed in full here. Read Becky’s blog for some fascinating detail on the process behind the creation of the poem and how she approached the commission.

Book Lovers Unite!

And that’s exactly what you did! This year the Festival clocked up 26 events with 2,800 people of all ages attending 10 days packed full of activities and talks. Take a look at some of the Festival photos, as we enjoyed talks by Kate Adie, Andy Kershaw, Ned Boulting and others, made bike-powered smoothies, walked Morley through the eyes of artists, poets and historians, and enjoyed cakes based on original Victorian recipes.

Thank you to everyone who came along, to our sponsors and supporters, to the amazing volunteers and Friends of Morley Literature Festival – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, and do get in touch if you have any feedback, or ideas for next year’s Festival.