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Writers, performers and storytellers invited to be part of city literature festival

A call has been made for performers, speakers, storytellers and book lovers to take part in an annual literary and cultural celebration.

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The organising committee for the Wolverhampton Literature Festival has put out an open call for proposals for the 2025 festival, which will take place between Friday, January 31 and Sunday, February 2.

Since the first festival in 2017, the city has become a hub for literary enthusiasts, renowned speakers, and emerging talent from across the country, with each year bringing big names to the city to talk about their work at venues such as the Newhampton Centre and the Art Gallery.

It has seen appearances by music legends such as Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford and the Selecter singer Pauline Black, authors such as Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh and Empireland author Sathnam Sanghera and comedians such as Richard Herring, Josie Long and Robin Ince.

Comedian Robin Ince has been part of the festival for years

Now, ahead of the ninth year of the festival, the organising committee is inviting local and national speakers and performers to submit their proposals for author talks, panel discussions, workshops, poetry performances, and interactive performances to be delivered at the festival.

A spokesman for Wolverhampton Literature Festival said: "At Wolverhampton Literature Festival, we are always looking to champion the creative voices of Wolverhampton and the West Midlands, providing a platform to showcase the talents of our creative community.

"While we are a Literature Festival, we are open to a range of art forms for the 2025 festival. If you have an idea or would like to showcase your talents on our stages, please do get in touch.

Emma Kennedy is one of the big names who has appeared at the festival

"We encourage submissions from those who are underrepresented in our programming, including but not limited to disabled artists and people from Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse backgrounds."

Wolverhampton Council Director of Vibrant City, Ian Fegan, said: “The festival has become a huge success in the city and draws on all aspects of creativity.

“Whether it is spoken word, poetry, a reading, all are welcome to the festival to share their stories and their talents.”

Proposals should be submitted online at or by sending a five to 10 minute audio or video entry by email to by August 18.

Wolverhampton native Sathnam Sanghera has been a regular at the festival

Any application should outline the proposed session title, the biography and contact information of the speaker, a proposed outline of the event, a budget breakdown of the event, including artist and commissioning fees and any special requirements or technical needs.

The organising committee said proposals will be evaluated based on creativity, relevance, and potential to engage the audience, with successful applicants being notified by mid-September.

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