Fun with words on the cards at festival

Michelle Hetherington and Richard Marr of Scarborough try out The Fabulous Lexitron
Michelle Hetherington and Richard Marr of Scarborough try out The Fabulous Lexitron

Scarborough is set to play host to the “World’s Smallest Literature Festival” later this month.

The event will take place on Friday November 22 and Saturday November 23 and centres around the Market Hall, from 10.30am each day.

Organiser Colin Challen, vice chairman of Castle Community Network, said that the event will not be a literature festival in the traditional sense, but a chance for people to be creative with words and get their ideas flowing.

He explained: “It’s all about getting involved and being creative. There are a number of challenges people can part in and everyone is welcome to join in.”

The challenges include writing a poem using only words found on your supermarket till receipt or writing a play in just 10 words.

People over 50 are also being asked to write about the moment they heard of Kennedy’s assassination.

Colin added: “We’re starting the world’s first People’s Dictionary, which will contain made-up words and made-up definitions.

“Already people are thinking of words by trying out the unique Lexitron in Scarborough Market.”

The Lexitron is a device which randomly selects letters is ultimately designed to see whether it is possible to write the complete works of Shakespeare at random.

Colin said: “It’s going down really well so far. It’s about encouraging people to think differently about words and literature. People who may have just come into the market for their meat and veg end up really engaged by it.”

The event is happening the same weekend as the Art Party Conference at the Spa Complex, so it is hoped that art and literature fans, both local and from away, will attend both events.

If you would like to take part in any of the fun literary challenges on the run-up to the festival, entry forms are available at The Stephen Joseph Theatre, The Base in Market Way, Scarborough Library and Scarborough Market Hall.

Completed entries can be dropped off at the same venues or sent to TWSLF, The Base, 7 Market Way, Scarborough, YO11 1HR. More information can be found at

The festival is open to all, free of charge, and is being made possible by a grant from the Arts Council. The grant will also allow a book about the event to be printed up.