#RLF2016: Written Worlds, Inspiring Places

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For some strange reason 5 years ago, I decided to start a literature festival. Possibly I had too much time on my hands (I didn’t) possibly I just felt we were lacking a festival in Medway dedicated to writing, and somebody had to do it. I must’ve been mad, and I’m also stubborn, so here we are: the fourth Rochester Literature Festival 2016 kicks off this weekend.

Amidst the usual creative writing workshops, Cafe Crawl and author talks this year, the RLF has a wonderful day of craft activities planned for all ages.

The Turtle Moves, inspired by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, sees a Juvenile Crafters’ Guild appear, as if by magic, in Rochester’s Community Hub, where you can design your own Luggage or bring to life a Golem, among other activities. Out and about in the high street you’ll bump into numerous characters – and even see a re-enactment of the Battle of Koom Valley! And shhhhh – it’s rumoured that the Librarian will be appearing in L-Space (Baggins!)

RLF Patron Lisa Cutts is appearing at Strood Library on Oct 4, alongside fellow crime author Simon Booker, while author of The Outlaw Chronicles, Angus Donald, is at Rochester Library on Oct 6. There is also a Local Author Day at Rochester Library between 10am-2pm on Oct 1.

The popular Cafe Crawl takes place on Sunday, Oct 2 and features the Canterbury Yarners, Fiona Sinclair, Nancy Charley, Johanna Coulson and Maggie Butt alternating at Bruno’s Bakes, The Quills and Cafe @172 between 12-3pm.

The festival opens with three creative writing workshops on Saturday, Oct 1: An Introduction to Screenwriting, A Guide to Self Publishing, and Building Your Make Believe World. It ends with a Writers’ Retreat on Sunday, Oct 9.

All the events apart from the workshops are free, and more detail and tickets for the workshops can be booked here.

If you pop down, be sure to say ‘hi’ 🙂

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International dancers to take global stage with first ever live streaming

Silver Medallist Chelsea Andrejic_Genee 2008_Photo Christopher Wahl

Silver Medallist Chelsea Andrejic_Genee 2008_Photo Christopher Wahl

For the first time in its 84-year history, the Genée International Ballet Competition Final will be live streamed online, allowing the dancers of tomorrow to take their debut steps on an international stage with an enlarged global audience of dance lovers and professionals in virtual attendance. Past Genée medallists, such as Leanne Benjamin or Xander Parish, have gone on to work for some of the best ballet companies around the world.

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Dance lovers – get moving!

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The People’s Strictly Blub-Fest

The People’s Strictly kicked off last night – and shares in Kleenex must have soared!

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With an audience potentially split between this, The Brits and Wolf Hall, it quickly became clear that for depth of character, drama, passion and all round life affirming goodness, BBC1 was the place to be.

This wasn’t just any emotional rollercoaster. This was us being more emotionally rollercoastered than ever before, as we met three of the deserving Strictly Come Dancing fans being given their chance to shine in the Strictly ballroom.

Michael, Cassidy and Heather are three of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet. Their selflessness in the face of shattering adversity in their own lives just serves to remind us how powerful the human spirit really is. Read all about them below, along with Trishna, Anna and Phil, who we’ll be introduced to next week and whose stories are just as incredible.

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From left to right of the above image (top row and then bottom):

The couples will compete for the People’s Glitter Ball in a live show on March 11, hosted by Tess and Claudia. We’ll vote for our winner, who’ll be crowned The People’s Strictly champion during Comic Relief on March 13.

The Twitter timeline was awash with virtual tears and tributes to these amazing people. Here’s a selection (to prove it wasn’t only me sobbing my heart out!)

The Three Heroes (click to read the quotes) 

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The Heartbreaking One

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The Men Sobbing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Competitive Edge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Unashamed Tributes (a fraction)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Official images courtesy BBC

Sunday Slackers

The internet of interesting things to enjoy on the Sunday slow-way … help yourself to a biscuit.

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Culture: Douglas Adams on what it is to be English

Art: Even if you don’t believe in all that astrology stuff, you’ll want to check yours out!

Life: An incredibly inspiring story 

Death: All men (and women) must die. But what about after? I want to be a tree …

Writing: How to write a screenplay that sells itself

Music: Brilliant one-man cover version of Uptown Funk

Dance: I didn’t watch Britain’s Got Talent last year – I came across Yanis Marshall by accident this week and I LOVE this. Much better in a studio than on the BGT stage.

Photography: Fascinating old photos, some odd, some poignant

Travel: You can tell me how safe it is till the sun rises in the west – I still won’t like it. And I’m not sure the title of this app won’t be hijacked by a p0rn director.

Skill: Awesome arrows – do not try at home!

Image: Pixabay