TICKETS have gone on sale for the inaugural Dalton Litfest, which takes over the Furness town in early November.

On Saturday 4, Dalton, home to the world’s oldest book club, is continuing its literary traditions by hosting its first-ever literature festival.

The town will welcome a multitude of writers in fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as presenting a range of free 'Fringe' activities around the town and working in local schools.

Highlights of the weekend include events on crime, travel, memoirs, writing for children and an open mic night.

Crime novels are a perennial favourite and in the Crime Writing Forum, two successful writers will talk about their different approaches: Martin Edwards is chair of the National Crime Writers’ Association and the author of 18 novels, including the Lake District Mysteries; and Ruth Sutton, who wrote her first novel after she was 60 and has since successfully self-published five novels.

The “Writing About Place” event brings together two award-winning writers: Karen Lloyd, whose first book, The Gathering Tide: A Journey Around the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay, won Eric Robson’s Striding Edge Productions Prize for Place; and Zoe Dawes, who encourages people to look at the world with new eyes through her blog The Quirky Traveller.

Author Kerry Darbishire and Liz Nuttall of Handstand Press will take their audience through the process of writing a memoir and getting it into print. The book, Kay's Ark, tells the remarkable tale of Kerry's mother, who was a relative of the great composer, Delius, a girlfriend of a Doctor Who and a West End star.

To round off the day, two of Cumbria’s most popular poets, Kim Moore and Geraldine Green, will lead an open mic night, where they will invite members of the audience to join them and read their poems.

Litfest director Ron Creer says: "There are three strands to the festival - as well as the day of workshops and talks, we’re working with local schools and there’ll be lots of free activities around the town as part of our Fringe.

"Local residents are already working on a poem with writer Sarah Miller about Dalton, which will appear in shop windows for the festival weekend. Writers and performers will be popping up in unexpected places.

"Who knows what you’ll encounter while you’re shopping in the Co-Op or having your morning coffee?

“We’re working with all five schools in Dalton with a competition, and workshops on journalism and The Secret Garden. Our Linkage project links teenagers and senior citizens from Staveley House care home. The young people have interviewed residents about their memories of teenage life and are writing these up along with accounts of their own lives.

"These will be put together in an anthology, copies of which will be presented to the residents of Staveley House."

Ron, a former English teacher and director of the Cumbria Youth Literature course, became involved in Dalton Litfest after meeting former councillor Margaret Martindale, who was a pupil in one of his creative writing classes.

“Margaret had the dream of Litfest and she needed someone to make that dream reality,” explains Ron.

“I moved to Dalton in 2003 and have become very fond of the town. I really feel for it being between Barrow and Ulverston and believe the community needs something happening in the town itself.

"I love literature and have a lot of experience organising events for and with writers. Bringing those two loves together seemed the obvious thing to do.

“I’m delighted that the different aspects of Litfest complement each other so well. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to attract such high profile writers to our first festival but Litfest will also involve people of all ages from the local community – from five-year-olds at the local school through to people in their 90s at Staveley House.

"We’ve formed some significant partnerships – Theatre by the Lake are delivering workshops in schools and Dalton Creatives are organising the Fringe –and we’re very grateful for the support from funders, including Cumbria Community Foundation and the Hadfield Trust. I find it hard to pick one thing that’s making me most excited. I can’t wait to be there on that day with the buzz around me from people enjoying themselves."

The festival HQ and information centre is Dalton Community Centre (known locally as The Drill Hall), where visitors can relax over a drink and cakes. There will also be children’s storytelling, a selection of writing games, and a book stall selling books from all the festival artists. Elsewhere in the town, guests can join in with a collaborative story about chocolate in The Chocolate Room, or help Kate Davis write a poem over a pizza at Hartleys.

Dalton Litfest takes place on Saturday November 4. A full programme and tickets are available via