AN exciting new festival set to spotlight the literary talent in Cumbria is soon to launch.

A new literary festival is being held across libraries throughout the county between January and March,

Tom Ashton, Cumbria County Council library outreach project officer in the Barrow area, has announced the launch of ‘A Write Natter’ – a festival stretching across Cumbria, in collaboration with Barra Culture and Cumbria County Council.

The aim of the festival is to increase interest in literacy, to help budding authors reach their potential, and to offer the people of Cumbria healthier and happier lives through a creative outlet.

Cumbria Library Service is divided into six areas: Barrow, South Lakeland, Whitehaven, Workington, Penrith, and Carlisle, and in each of those areas Tom will conduct a 45-60 minute public interview with an author, with time for questions and book signings at the end. On the final day, there will be a public panel discussion involving all the authors at Barrow Library.

Mr Ashton said: “I’ve always loved interviewing authors, finding out about their processes and careers, but Cumbria is so vast that wherever you conduct the interview, you tend to exclude half of the county, so I wanted to conduct interviews across all the different areas within a short space of time.”

All of the interviews will be streamed from the Barrow Library Facebook page, so as not to exclude people with disabilities or those self-isolating.

Mr Ashton said: “The roster really is just a list of local authors with sterling reputations and more than a few awards between them.

“I can’t wait to showcase all the literary talent we have here in Cumbria! Come and check it out, it’s something a bit different to do of an evening.”

The authors are:

Helen Phifer (Horror/Crime) – Barrow Library – 6pm, Friday, January 21

Steven Wharton (Storytelling) – Workington Library – 6pm, Friday, January 28

Alan Cleaver (Local History) – Whitehaven Library – 6pm, Friday, February 4

Amelia Loulli (Poetry) – Penrith Library – 6pm, Wednesday, February 9

M.W Craven (Crime) – Carlisle Library – 6pm, Friday, February 18

Zosia Wand (Scriptwriting) – Ulverston Library – 6pm, Friday, February 25

The Panel – Barrow Library – 6pm, Friday 4 March 4.

Tickets are £2 per person on the door.

To book a ticket, email or, or contact your local library branch.