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ArtfulScribe are back with this year’s LIT FEST. Full of workshops, showcases and free community events. Scroll to find out more about what’s on offer this year!


Student Discount 50% off all events with valid student ID

Festival Bundle 20% off when purchasing 3 or more Lit Fest events in one transaction, Free events and workshops not applicable on this offer


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International Women’s Day Showcase

Hosted and curated by Joelle Taylor

Fri 8 March 2024, 8.00PM | Studio 2 | £8.00

Join Joelle Taylor on International Women’s Day for an evening showcasing poetry from some of the UK’s best female writers. Hosted and headlined by Joelle, the evening features performances from Edinburgh Makar, Hannah Lavery; Forward Prize-nominated poet Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa; and TS Eliot Prize nominee Fran Lock.

Small Press Showcase

VERVE Poetry Press and Seren (Wales’ Leading Independent Publisher)

Sat 9 March 2024, 4.00PM | Studio 3 | £8.00

ArtfulScribe invites two of the UK’s most exciting small presses to present award-winning writers and performers from their roster at MAST Mayflower Studios, for a stacked bill of live-literary goodness.

Featuring Rachael Clyne, Vanessa Lampert, Taz Rahman and Elizabeth Parker from Seren. Featuring Jemima Hughes, Tim Tim Cheng, Erica Gillingham and Ellora Sutton from VERVE Poetry Press.

All performers will be reading from recent publications – this is THE event to catch a fantastic range of voices representing poetry from the UK, supported by presses who are breaking the boundaries of literature and spoken word.

Modern Poetry in Translation Showcase

Sun 10 March 2024, 1.00PM | Studio 3 | Free Event

Modern Poetry in Translation brings together the best new poetry, essays and reviews from around the world. Aiming to give voice to the silenced, exiled and excluded, MPT represents a diverse and creative community of translators, poets and readers.

Harriet Truscott is a poet, translator and arts creator. She translates the work of Spanish-Mexican poet Concha Mendez, a friend of Lorca and Buñuel, whose transgressive life and moving poetry has been recently ‘rediscovered’ by readers.

Adham Smart is a writer and translator, whose writing credits include the Rialto, And Other Poems, the Missing Slate, ISIS, and Poetry London. Adham’s writing has also featured in The Cadaverine Anthology and The Salt Book of Younger Poets.


Writing the Female Experience

Poetry workshop with Joelle Taylor

Sat 9 March 2024, 9.30AM | Studio 3 | £10.00

Join multi award winning poet Joelle Taylor on a journey through her TS Eliot Prize-winning collection C+NTO & Othered Poems, exploring the techniques and ideas she used to create it. From praise poetry to inventing new forms, this masterclass is for women who want to write themselves.



Write Your River

Workshop with Elizabeth Parker

Sat 9 March 2024, 11.30AM | Studio 3 | £10.00

We have rivers within us all as well as outside us. Our rivers are personal, cultural, mythological. Present river and rivers we remember. Through poems inspired by rivers, along with short and longer writing exercises, we will explore thoughts and feelings about rivers, experimenting with poetic forms and techniques.



Tips and Tricks for Getting Published

Workshop with Stuart Bartholomew

Sat 9 March 2024, 1.30PM | Studio 3 | £10.00

This session with publisher and festival programmer Stuart Bartholomew will help you understand the publishing landscape and the actions you can take (and avoid) to give you the best chance of getting your poetry published. You will be provided with everything you need to know to have the best chance of letting your poetry do the talking when you submit your work. We will also discuss how to deal with rejection and what a ‘no’ from a publisher really means (as well as what it doesn’t).



Translationplay to free your creativity

Workshop with Harriet Truscott

Sun 10 March 2024, 9.30AM | Barova Room | Free event

Is your writing stuck in a rut? Are you going through a creative lull? Discover how creative approaches to translation, “translationsplay”, can allow us to speak in new voices and liberate our own poetry. We’ll look at translating from English into English, translating from other languages into English, and using translated works as a starting point for our own poetry. Simon Armitage has often talked about how important translation is to his writing practice – now come and experience it for yourself. No translation experience or language expertise is required.



Free events

Keynote: International Women’s Day

Fri 8 March 2024, 6.30PM | Cafe/Bar | Free Event

A variety of talks presented by University of Southampton’s English Department in response to this year’s festival focus: International Women.

Talks include:

‘Love is Blind’ – Kevin Brazil

‘Men Writing Women’ – Toby Litt

‘Feeling Documentary’ – Dr Emily-Rose Baker 

Write a Note and Winchester Muse Open Mic

Sat 9 March 2024, 7.30PM | Studio 3 | Free Event

Local open mic nights, Write a Note and Winchester Muse, present a showcase of writers specially selected for LIT FEST 24.

This free curated event welcomes local writers to the stage to share poetry and spoken word from around the Solent. LIT FEST 2024’s ‘Open Mic’ is free to attend but the event is ticketed and must be booked in advance. All artists have been invited to represent their local open mic nights.

Community Showcase

Sun 10 March 2024, 3.30PM | Studio 2 | Free Event

The Community Showcase brings together writers from across Southampton, as well as online, for an inter-generational celebration of work produced as part of ArtfulScribe’s regular offer taking place throughout the year.

ArtfulScribe’s Community Showcase features writing groups SO: Write Women, Writing for Well-being, Mayflower Junior and Young Writers, Mayflower Creative Writers, and Writing for Page and Stage. Join us for this special gathering of community writers to mark the end of LIT FEST 2024 and to celebrate these writers and their achievements.

This event takes place at

MAST Mayflower Studios

Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DU 

 Street level access to our foyer & Box Office is through the main entrance on Above Bar Street. 

The MAST Mayflower Studios building

Join the Artist Network

If you are an artist 18 or over and creating performance-based work, you can sign up to become a MAST Artist Network member.

Signing up is free and members get a variety of benefits.

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