Todmorden Book Festival 2020 goes digital

Amanda Owen (left), Jonathon Porritt (top right) and Andrew McMillan (bottom left - picture by Adrian Pope)Amanda Owen (left), Jonathon Porritt (top right) and Andrew McMillan (bottom left - picture by Adrian Pope)
Amanda Owen (left), Jonathon Porritt (top right) and Andrew McMillan (bottom left - picture by Adrian Pope)
Todmorden Book Festival is taking place online this year, with a smaller-scale but inventive programme.

The digital festival opens on November 6 with an exclusive event, featuring poet and Festival patron Andrew McMillan reading poems from his new collection pandemonium on the moors above Todmorden.

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Andrew’s new work explores the inner world of mental health through an engagement with the natural world.

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The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen will be in conversation with food writer Amanda Wragg.

The Sunday Times bestselling author grew up in Huddersfield but was inspired by the James Herriot books to leave her town life behind and head to the countryside to become a full-time shepherdess with her own flock of sheep at Ravenseat, a 2000 acre hill farm at the head of Swaledale in North Yorkshire, one of the highest and most remote places in England.

Amanda’s latest book Adventures of the Yorkshire Shepherdess, published last year, brings readers up-to-date with life on the farm.

In another first for Todmorden Book Festival, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt will discuss climate change and the environmental imperatives we face in order to secure a safer world for future generations with youth climate campaigner Katie Hodgetts.

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In his ultimately optimistic book Hope in Hell: A decade to confront the climate emergency, Porritt confronts the issue head-on.

Todmorden Book Festival's strapline is 'Landscapes, people and stories' and one of the stars of this year's Festival is the stunning South Pennine landscape.

The programme includes a walk with the Kashmiri Ramblers, an event that explores the future of farming, an Open Mic hosted by local writing group the Wednesday Writers, and the Festival's first fringe event, A Play and a Pint. All events will be streamed via the Festival website from 6-14 November.

A spokesperson for the Festival said: "This year's Festival will be a very different offering. It's an exciting opportunity to host some digital events, raise the profile of the town and engage with a wider audience."

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Todmorden Book Festival ran for the first time in November 2018 and is supported this year by Todmorden Town Council and Calderdale Council.

Register for free access to this year's events at