Express & Star

Wolverhampton Literature Festival: Check out the latest names added to city event line-up

The full line-up for Wolverhampton's second literary festival has been revealed by organisers.

Actor John Challis

It boasts famous names including Slade drummer Don Powell, Magnum keyboardist Mark Stanway, Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis and author Lynsey Hanley.

In all the three-day festival will feature more than 80 events at venues across the city including Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Newhampton Arts Centre, The Slade Rooms, Bantock House and The Grand Theatre.

There is set to be workshops, theatrical performances, debates and events for children – and there will be the chance to have a go at writing yourself with a short-story writing competition.

Mark Stanway (left) with fellow Magnum members Bob Catley, Harry James and Al Barrow

It was previously revealed Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2018 would be headlined by award-winning writer and journalist Will Self and feature a discussion panel debating the 50th anniversary of the controversial Rivers of Blood speech by former Wolverhampton MP Enoch Powell.

The first Wolverhampton Literature Festival was held earlier this year and was headlined by author and journalist, Sathnam Sanghera.

The festival is being held from Friday, January 26 until Sunday, January 28, and will get underway with a 'Spoken Word' event at the Lych Gate Tavern.

The opening event is set to feature poetry, stories, comedy and music from local performers.

Don Powell

On the Saturday, Don Powell with reveal the inside story of Slade and discuss the crash which took the life of his girlfriend when he appears at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Also reminiscing will be Mark Stanway with the event at Newhampton Arts Centre to include questions and answers, a keyboard demonstration and instant memorabilia raffles.

John Challis, famous for playing Boycie in Only Fools', will be talking about his career, his autobiography and his first novels that inspired the TV Series, The Green Green Grass. He is at Bantock House Tractor Shed on the Friday.

Lynsey Hanley

And Birmingham-born author Lynsey Hanley, who penned the book Estates: An Intimate History and is a Guardian contributor, is at the Art Gallery on the Saturday of the festival.

As part of the event, the Express & Star has launched a short-story-writing competition. Entrants can submit a story on any subject or theme of around 1,200 words. It must be an original piece of fiction.

A panel of judges will decide the winner, who will have their story printed in the Express & Star. And they will also have their story read out at the literature festival by award-winning local author, Paul Dowswell.

To enter email your stories to or post them to Editor’s Secretary Karen Baker, Express & Star, Queen Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1ES. The deadline is January 6.

Visit for more information on events and tickets.