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2018 dates for Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival

17 January 2018

Councillor Janet Emsley.

Another exciting chapter in the 5-year history of Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival will be written this October (2018).

This year's spectacular literary showcase will run from Monday, 15 October - Monday, 22 October 2018 and we are promising 8 days of exciting arts for all ages.

Events will cover drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children's shows. For young people aged 14 - 25, another exciting 'Generation Z' programme is being put together, with plans to commission a brand new piece of work specially for the festival.

Over 3,000 people attended last year's festival with the programme including events featuring Tony Walsh, Jenny Eclair, Alan Johnson, Terry Waite CBE, Jessica Rankin and many more.

'Tickets on sale from 10am on Monday, 30 July 2018'

The highly-anticipated 2018 festival will include guest speakers and writers and is aimed at celebrating and promoting the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage with books and ideas. Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, met in Rochdale Central Library in the 1950s and left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.

The annual autumn festival, which began in 2013, includes events at venues across the borough of Rochdale. 

Authors, performers and workshops will start to be confirmed from April 2018 onwards, with tickets on sale from 10am on Monday, 30 July 2018.

We are also on the look out for young writers aged 14 - 25 to contribute to 'Unmasked', a zine of stories, creative writing and art to be published later this year by 'Unmasked'.

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.

Councillor Janet Emsley our cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:

"Once again we will be spreading our wings and bringing more new ideas to this popular festival. The event is now well established on the calendar and the calibre of guests we have had over the last five years has been superb. This year it runs for eight days and there will be something for everybody, so do get the dates in your calendar."

Last year's festival received glowing praise, with 99% rating events as excellent or good, 98% said they would return again and 94% agreed that the festival 'helps raise the profile of arts and culture in Rochdale'.

For information about appearing at the festival, sponsorship or getting involved in other ways, email  If you'd like to contribute to 'Unmasked' zine, email

Watch video highlights of 2017

For festival updates on Twitter connect with @RochdaleLitFest

The festival is organised by us, funded by the Maskew Bequest, ticket sales and sponsorship.