Chester Literature Festival returns to Storyhouse in November with a loaded programme of thought-provoking events. Benjamin Zephaniah, Abi Daré, Ama Josephine Budge and many more critically acclaimed authors are on the bill for three weeks of events.

National treasure Zephaniah is this year’s poet-in-residence meaning his words will animate the central Chester venue for the next 12 months.

Proceedings open on 6th November with Ama Josephine Budge hosting a workshop on Science Fiction As Activism. Exploring world-building and the sci-fi genre, the session will consider how politics and potentials can play out in speculative universes of the author’s making.

The founder of illustration studio Nubiart, Jael Umerah-Makelemi facilitates a workshop on literary representation and drawing on 7th November. The session is for prospective or established illustrators wanting to achieve good representation and learn how to advocate for it.

Jendella Benson is head of editorial at website Black Ballad. She presents a discussion on Healing In The Community And The Future Of Activism on 9th November. Benson is joined by authors, activists and academics including Derek Owusu and Jade Bentil to talk about the importance of community in the fight for racial justice.

Author of the New York Times bestseller The Girl with the Louding Voice, Abi DarĂ©, is in conversation with AFREADA founding editor Nancy Adimora on 19th November. The pair will discuss literature from Nigeria and it’s diaspora.

From Liverpool, Mersey Sound progenitor Roger McGough will be appearing promoting his new poetry collection Safety In Numbers (16th November) and community organisation Comics Youth are hosting an illustration workshop for 14-25 year olds (16th November).

Other highlights from the programme include Dr John Cooper Clarke stopping by on his The I Wanna Be Yours Tour, improv troupe Austentatious returning to Chester for some literary japes and Black Joy, an evening celebrating a new anthology of 28 authors’ exploration of joy, hosted by Gift Ajimokun.

Full programme at


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