Workshop 7

Marketing and promotion for authors, White Rock Hotel

Date: Saturday 1 September

Time: 14.00 – 16.30

Course Leader:  Claire Trévien

Cost: £25 per person (maximum 20 participants) Booking now closed

In this practical workshop participants will discover the basics of marketing and promotion, and leave with insights they can apply immediately.  The session will cover 

  • Dos and Don’ts of social media marketing (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram)
  • How to develop a long-term blogging strategy to build your community
  • Shortcuts to creating stunning media: videos, graphics and podcasts.

The workshop is suitable for those who already have a media presence online and/or an understanding of the technology. A handout will be provided to take away.

Claire Trévien is the author of Guardian First Book Award longlisted The Shipwrecked House (Penned in the Margins, 2013), and Astéronymes (Penned in the Margins, 2016). She founded Sabotage Reviews in 2010 and runs its annual Saboteur Awards. In 2016, she was shortlisted for ‘Marketer of the Year’ at the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards

Online ticket sales for this event are closed.

Workshop 2


Fully booked

Date/time: Friday 31st August 14.45 to 17.00

Venue: The Garage at the Horse & Groom, St Leonards on Sea

Course Leader: Anna Page

Discover the magic of putting words to music.

This is a workshop for songwriters and aspiring songwriters of all abilities to help inspire song titles and lyrics and put them to music. Participants may work alone or collaborate with the aim of creating an original song, or at least a chorus and verse which can later be developed into a whole song.

We’ll start by looking at some hit songs and their structure, attitude, use of rhyme, assonance, alliteration, imagery, plot and universal emotion and then carry out some related songwriting exercises. We’ll also discuss strategies for overcoming blocks. Pen and paper or notebooks may be brought along or can be supplied, and any instruments you play are welcome.

There will also be some basic instruments provided (e.g. child’s toy xylophone) to help with melody creation for those who don’t already play an instrument, and also to encourage an element of playfulness. There will be an opportunity towards the end of the session to perform or read out your ideas to the group and receive feedback.

Online ticket sales for this event are closed.

Workshop 5

Scriptwriting with John Knowles

Date/time: Saturday 1 September 10.00 – 17.00

Venue: The Stables Theatre , Gwen Watford Room

Cost: Workshop ticket price £55 (places limited to 12) Booking now closed

Playwright John Knowles will be leading on a day-long workshop exploring the practicalities of writing for the theatre and taking your script, from page to stage. The workshop will include plenty of hands on exercises and even an opportunity to have work read by two professional actors and is aimed at writers at all stages of their scriptwriting journey.

The day will be split into two key areas:

Morning session: 10.00am-12.45pm Structure, conflict and arcs.

A look at the key elements of three act play structure and the essential beats of a script (with some hints at pitfalls and common errors). The need for conflict and dramatic arcs and finally character development and understanding the stage, audiences and staging decisions.

Sandwich lunch/ soft drinks (included) 12.45pm – 1.45pm

Afternoon session: 1.45 pm – 4.30pm Monologues, development, voice and structure.

Starting with examples of monologues from various playwrights including a passage from John’s play ‘Hitleria Pizzeria Parts I&II’ and work from Dario Fo (read and performed by Patrick Kealey and Rachel McCarron, two well respected and professional local actors). The workshop will explore the challenges of writing monologues, finding your characters voice (mining your character and taking a view). Alongside various workshop activities there will be an opportunity for participants to hear excerpts from their work read by Rachel, Patrick and John (yes, he also acts!).

Participants will, as part of the pre-event sign up, be given a brief for a short monologue, which will be based around famous literary or theatre characters and will be aged-matched to our performers available on the day. This is a voluntary aspect of the day and not a requirement, but should be fun to do.

Patrick Kealey – Actor

Patrick has been acting, directing, writing teaching and producing nationally and internationally for the stage for over 40 years which he finds both amazing and vaguely alarming.

Recent projects – dramaturg on ‘17 Border Crossings‘ in Bogota, Colombia and Philadelphia, USA. Co-director with Frances Viner of Hallucinating Angels community theatre with whom he has just completed an entry for the Trashed Cannes 5 day film challenge. Next up he will direct ‘Paris Snow‘ a new romantic comedy musical written with composer Marc Mir to be presented at the Kino Teatr February 2017 Patrick now runs the newly-established and Hastings-based Theatre Nation.

Rachel McCarron – Actor

Rachel McCarron is an Actress and Singer living in St. Leonard’s on Sea. She has performed in a variety of shows from Shakespeare to West End Musicals and clowning around the countryside on top of a caravan. She recently appeared in Skerryvore at Old Operating Theatre London, The Stables Theatre, and The Barn in June, and at The Brighton Fringe Festival with Printers Playhouse – Coldstream: Critical Threat.

PLUS (included in ticket price for participants in the Scriptwriting Workshop) John will be presenting two of his monologues at the Garage, Mercatoria St Leonards on Sea (through the Horse and Groom public house) on Friday 31st August. At the end of the evening there will also be a Q&A with both actors and the writer.

See: Two Plays by John Knowles for more information

Online ticket sales for this event are closed.

Workshop 3

Workshop 3: Sports Journalism, Jerwood Gallery Studio

We regret that this workshop has been cancelled for reasons beyond our control.

Date/time: Saturday 1 September, 11.15 – 13.30

Venue: Jerwood Gallery

Course Leader: Pete May
Pete May’s latest book is Man about Tarn – How a Londoner Learned to love the Lake District.

Cost: £17 per person (maximum 22 participants)

Bring writing materials and any examples of sports writing/journalism that you have particularly enjoyed – or written yourself.

Workshop fee includes entry to exhibitions at Jerwood Gallery, access to bookshop and cafe.
Author, journalist and lecturer Pete May discusses his experience and answers questions on how to get involved in sports writing and blogging. Look at the techniques for producing an effective piece of reportage that conveys all the excitement and drama of being there, and write a short piece on how you fell in love with sport. Whether you are (or want to be!) writing for a team newsletter, sports page or blog, no experience is required, but participants should have a strong interest in the subject, either generally or in a specific sport.
You may also be interested in our Sports Journalism Competition sponsored by Hastings United Football Club.

Online ticket sales for this event are closed.

Workshop 8

Make your own book!- a workshop for younger people

Date/time: Sunday 2nd September 11.15 – 13.00

Venue: Jerwood Gallery Studio

Course Leader: Sioux Bradshaw

Cost: £10 per child plus accompanying adult

Join author and illustrator Sioux Bradshaw to create your very own little books.
All materials will be provided – all you need to bring along is your imagination and inspiration.
Suitable for children from 10 years and upwards.
Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Workshop fee includes entry to exhibitions at Jerwood Gallery, access to bookshop and cafe.


Online ticket sales for this event are closed.

In the Margin

HASTINGS Litfest’s own fringe. See below, as well as posters and flyers for details of associated FREE events taking place during the festival

Writing for Wellbeing – FRIDAY 31 August, 14.00 to 15.00


Free event to precede Talk by Rianna Walcott’s talk on The Colour of Madness.

Writing is a powerful way to help discover ourselves, tap into our inner strengths and restore balance and wellbeing. In this taster workshop we explore ourselves through short writing exercises using a variety of prompts. Led by trained writing for wellbeing practitioners, Nicky Torode and Felicity Stephen.

Hastings Stanza Poetry Reading – SATURDAY 1 September, 11.00 to 12.30


What better way to spend a Saturday morning? Members of the Hastings Stanza poetry group will read their poems in the relaxed environment of Café Grand Rue de Péra. The group, which is affiliated to the Poetry Society, includes a number of poets regularly published and books and pamphlets will be available for purchase. Entrance is free, but you will be expected to sample the coffee (among the best in Hastings) and other beverages on offer.

Two Plays by John Knowles

‘Caliban’s Codex’ and ‘Toby Belch is Unwell’

Date/time: Friday 31st August 19.00

Venuethe Garage, Mercatoria, St Leonards on Sea (through the Horse & Groom public house)

Cost: £10 per person (maximum 50)

John Knowles presents two of his monologues. At the end of the evening there will also be a Q&A with both actors and the writer.

19.30pm ‘Caliban’s Codex’ a monologue developed with Emily Carding of Brite Theatre and written by John Knowles.

The Tempest is a play by Shakespeare which deals with magic and betrayal. Set on an island somewhere near Italy, where Prospero – the one-time Duke of Milan – and his daughter, Miranda, have been exiled. When they arrive on the island they find Caliban, a feral creature abandoned on this island full of sounds by mankind (in the belly of his now dead witch mother Sycorax) and Ariel, a spirit of light, (who is freed by Prospero from imprisonment in the knotty resin of a pine tree). At first Prospero is a benign presence, freeing Ariel and treating Caliban with kindness. In return Ariel becomes a de facto servant and Caliban shares his knowledge of the island. However, the relationships become one of power, with Prospero gradually abusing his magic to control Ariel and Caliban. Caliban tries to rape Miranda and Ariel finds himself trapped in a relationship with Prospero which is more one of slave than willing servant. Eventually rescued from the island, Prospero and Miranda leave for Naples, and Ariel is at last free. However, it is unclear in Shakespeare’s story what the future for Caliban will be.

Sidney Kean as Toby Belch, by Peter Mould

This monologue imagines Caliban after twelve years of abandonment. Piecing together the story of the past, and weaving together the elemental spirit contained in the island itself with the magic left in the burnt remains of Prospero’s books, Caliban creates one last spell, which will save the island from mankind. The monologue uses iambic pentameter as a starting place for its structure, but creates a language of its own.

Running time approx. 40 min.

About Emily Carding

In 2015 Emily graduated with an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from the University of Exeter which included two residencies at Shakespeare’s Globe. Since then she has been touring with Richard III (A One Woman Show) which has been winning rave reviews and awards internationally. Emily recently created a new one-woman interactive adaptation of Hamlet with Brite Theatre and Hamlet (an Experience), previews at the Brighton and Prague Fringe Festivals before a full run at Edinburgh Fringe. She has also written and directed and performed a Sci-Fi storytelling show inspired by Frankenstein in partnership with the Science Museum, London and recently received five star reviews for her performance in Kafka’s Apparatus.

21.00pm ‘Toby Belch is Unwell’

Toby Belch is unwell. The years of drinking, late nights and debauchery have taken their toll and now he faces his end with the knowledge that he is seen as a buffoon, a drunken sot and a bully.

Toby Belch appears in Shakespeare’s comedy ‘Twelfth Night’; a louche, drunk with an ambiguous mix of high spirits and low cunning, who pushes the boundaries of acceptable behaviour but remains a force for vitality, noise and good cheer. In the play, Toby Belch – whilst sponging off his so-called good friend Andrew Aguecheek – becomes embroiled in a plan to see his Niece’s steward, Malvolio (a protestant work-ethic of a man, who has ambitions beyond his station) made a fool of, and, in the end, roundly abused. Although the downfall is instigated by Maria (his niece’s chambermaid and Toby’s lover) it is Toby Belch we most associate with the destruction of a man’s reputation and livelihood, and it is he who carries the guilt. But who is Toby Belch and does playing the actor for years reflect upon the actor? What is it like to always play the second story in a Shakespeare play, to be the comic turn, the buffoon, when, deep down you still harbour ambitions to be… someone?

He could have been Hamlet, he could have been Macbeth… Is this his epitaph?

​Toby Belch is Unwell is written by John Knowles and is performed by veteran TV, screen and stage actor Sidney Kean.

Running time approx. 70 min.

About Sidney Kean

Sidney’s career has spanned over four and a half decades and has included extensive work in the theatre, cinema, television and radio. Naturally, he is equally at home in all these different fields. He is especially gifted at picking up accents and dialects from around this country and, indeed, the rest of the world, and making them sound natural and native.

It was in the Reps and National Tours that he learnt the art of “deliberately staying there, watching and listening to other performers”. It is often said that the best Actors are the ones that listen… Sidney is a past master at this art.

He has superb comic timing as well as magnetic stage presence. He is also a breeze to work with!

Ticket prices: FREE for participants in the Scriptwriting Workshop (see 1 September)

All others: £10

Please note that once available tickets have been sold on this site, there will be some additional seats for sale on the door.

Online ticket sales for this event are closed.

Claire Trévien

Claire Trévien is the author of Guardian First Book Award longlisted The Shipwrecked House (Penned in the Margins, 2013), and Astéronymes (Penned in the Margins, 2016). She founded Sabotage Reviews in 2010 and runs its annual Saboteur Awards. In 2016, she was shortlisted for ‘Marketer of the Year’ at the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards.

Claire will be leading our Marketing and promotion for authors workshop on Saturday 1 September.

Book tickets

Sports Journalism Competitions

The competitions closed for submissions on 31 July

The 2018 Hastings United Football Sports Journalism Competitions

Hastings Litfest/HUFC Sports Journalism competition 2018 results

Over 18s Winner

Fathers and Sons – Four Generations of Supporting Palace, by Steve Amos

Under 18s

First place: Badger-Bludgeoning Blues Profit at Priory – Will Hugall

Winners collect their trophies from Dave Omerod

Second place: The Reds get The BluesMatt Gittleson

Highly Commended: The Great Escape: Crystal Palace –v- Leicester CityBen Amos

Thank you to everyone who entered.


Listed alphabetically by author

Over 18s Shortlist

  • Fathers & Sons – Four Generations of Supporting Palace Steve Amos
  • What’s in a Name? Tony Oswick
  • Balancing Study and Play Robert Wheeler

Under 18s Shortlist

  • The Great Escape: Crystal Palace –v- Leicester City Ben Amos
  • Bexhill Cricket Club –v- Three Bridges Daniel Burton
  • Checkmates! Frederica Churton (aged 7)
  • Night of Reflection Noah Cullen
  • My First Football Match Baxter Elam-Sains (aged 5)
  • The Reds Get The Blues Matt Gittleson
  •  Badger-Bludgeoning Blues Profit at Priory Will Hugall

Over 18s:  The Hastings United Football Club Sports Writer of the Year Award  will be given for a piece of sports writing which is fresh, inventive, and provides insight into the sportsperson or sport that is the subject of the piece. 

Under 18s: The Hastings United Football Club Junior Sports Journalist of the Year Award. This award is for high standards of writing, strength of thought and freshness of ideas.

Both competitions are free to enter.

Prizes: Winners of both the Under- and Over- 18s will receive a trophy and match tickets (in the Chairman’s Box !) to see Hastings United FC in action, plus other HUFC goodies. Winners and runners up in both categories will also receive book tokens from Hastings LitFest.

Winners will be announced and prizes presented at the Hastings Litfest closing ceremony at Royal Victoria Hotel*  on Sunday 2nd September.

*   Not Hastings Pier as previously posted

The judges of both competitions will be appointed by HUFC.

You may also be interested in the Sports Journalism Workshop on Saturday 1st September.

Anna Page

My musical career began in 1996, as founder and singer/songwriter for all-girl band Deluxor. Our first four-song tape won Demo Of The Month in Making Music Magazine:

“Vocalist Anna Page has a fey, Tanya Donelly type approach to singing, juxtaposed with aggressive lines like, ‘Don’t try to tell me that everything’s fine or I’ll kill you I swear’. Fast or slow, these songs are melodic and catchy without resorting to indie cliché.”

Our first and only single, ‘Ecstasy’ was also Single Of The Month in Record Collector Magazine:

“These women know what they’re doing: the pop suss of the Undertones or the Buzzcocks tied to the feminist ethics of The Au Pairs. All men are bastards and so is the beauty industry: two songs to make you weep and dance at the same time. Superb”

After the band split, I co-wrote and recorded tracks with producer Paul Sampson, of The Primitives and Catatonia production fame, before embarking on a solo career, playing venues like The Cobden Club, The 12 Bar Club, Filthy McNasty’s and The Metro, where I supported Steve Diggle, Johnny Borrell and The Libertines, among others. Live review from The Kashmir Klub:

“Those of us who saw Anna’s early KK appearance on a Friday evening will have marked her out immediately as One To Watch. Her songs and persona are refreshingly honest and bullshit free, while her self-deprecating asides are a front for some pungent and pertinent observations about life. Ecstasy is a perfect illustration, Anna effortlessly skewering the misogynist ego with a raised eyebrow and unambiguous language. Already Autumn is just a great song about the fear that life’s passing you by, while After It Happens is the best song about meaningless sex I’ve heard in ages. Hungover Morning speaks for itself, exemplifying the truism that there’s many a true word spoken in jest. Anna Page has talent and star quality to burn, remember where you saw her first!”

I played as The Anna Page Band at The Borderline, and at Alan McGee’s club, Death Disco, and he played my demo ‘Addicted’ on his Radio One ‘One World’ show a number of times. I also ran a songwriter’s night once a month for 5 years at The Boogaloo in Highgate, dubbed the most Rock n Roll pub in London by Time Out. I’ve been a burlesque model, appeared in The White Stripes and Mick Jagger pop videos, on Channel 4 as a dancer on The Word and BBC2 as an actress in The Singer, as well as performing my own songs live on digital TV’s Where It’s At.

I also studied Art and have a degree in Philosophy and Literature, so I put on a one-woman exhibition in 2001 on St Martin’s Lane entitled “How The Universe Works (The Answer To Everything)”, for which I was dubbed “The Shining Child Of the Revelation Revolution” in The West End Extra. I used this theme for a Hastings Fringe show in September 2017.


I have taught singing, song writing, guitar, piano, ukulele and music theory privately since 2005. I was a part time lecturer for The Academy of Music and Sound ( for 6 years until 2012, and I have taught at stage schools such as Starstruck in Chippenham and Rising Aspirations in Swindon. I have run singing and music workshops for organisations such as MOLP (Music Open learning Programme) in Bristol and at Littlecote House.

I offer learner-based tuition to meet the specific needs and objectives of the individual student or group, using the latest technology. For example, if the student chooses, performances can be recorded and reviewed using audio or video recording. I have a PTLLS teaching certificate, belong to IFL (the Institute For Learning) and I’m fully CRB checked. In autumn 2014 I was awarded a distinction in a postgraduate Master of Music qualification in Song Writing course at Bath Spa University.