This year’s York Lit Fest kicks off on Friday – and with more than 80 events there’s something for everyone.

We’ve already previewed some of the big names and must-see events at the fest, which runs from 15-31 March.

But there are dozens of other events – from a panel on romance fiction to a literary themed walk – to choose from.

Here festival director Susanna Cooper picks a few of the more unusual events that you should catch during the festival.

Vaseem Khan, Murder at the Grand Raj Palace

Vaseem Khan, Murder at the Grand Raj Palace

Susanna says: ‘Vaseem will be talking about his detective series set in India where Inspector Chopra solves crimes along with his baby elephant, Ganesh. Vaseem is not only a crimer writer, but also works at the University College London for the Department of Security and Crime.’
Mon Mar 18
6.00 pm-7.30 pm
York Explore Library and Archive
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Valley Press Poets

Valley Press Poets

Susanna says: ‘This is really an amazing group of poets, all doing readings of their works. Award-winners Antony Dunn, Penny Boxall and Wendy Pratt are joined by up and comer Charlotte Eichler as they showcase their pieces all while aboard the lovely City Cruises York.’
Mon Mar 18
7.00 pm-9.00 pm
City Cruises York
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The Art of Translation & Contemporary Iranian Literature

YLTQuaker

Susanna says: ‘This will be a fascinating event delving, first, into the newly released The Book of Tehran, which is a short story collection of stories around modern-day Tehran by some of Iran’s most exciting writers. The event will then be a discussion of Persian writing into English – the beauty and challenges presented by this language as Comma Press brings these stories to an English-speaking audience.’
Tue Mar 19
6.30 pm-8.00 pm
Friends Meeting House
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Tim Murgatroyd, Pilgrim Tale

Tim Murgatroyd, Pilgrim Tale

Susanna says: ‘This will be the launch of Tim’s book, Pilgrim Tale, which is a dystopian novel set in North Yorkshire (and the first of a trilogy). Attendees will join Tim in celebrating the book’s release and discussing its themes.’
Wed Mar 20
7.00 pm-8.30 pm
Waterstones York
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Children’s Day

York St John Lecturers’ Story Time for Children

Susanna says: ‘Children’s Day – featuring YSJU Lecturers Storytime, Hoglets for Babies & Toddlers and Bears, Buns & Badges – has events mainly intended for the 0-6 age groups (though everyone is welcome!). They will all be really fun events celebrating reading for the younger set!’
Sat Mar 23
Various

Big History Weekend

‘Susanna says: Romans, Vikings, York Minster, Richard III and the Victorians all feature as part of a series of historical fiction and non-fiction events with a York focus. All look to be really interesting and fun, with tickets going quite quickly.’
Sat Mar 23-Sat Mar 23
10.00 am-6.00 pm
Various venues
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Satire & the Future: Can The Satirists Still Save Us?

Satire & the Future: Can The Satirists Still Save Us?

Susanna says: ‘A discussion of satire’s role in the modern-world where we are surrounded by apocalyptic headlines (including fake news and Brexit). This should be an interesting look at how satire has a role to play in questioning our present and future and, as the speakers say, perhaps saving us all?’
Mon Mar 25
6.00 pm-7.30 pm
York Explore Library and Archive
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What Days We’re Having Now

What Days We’re Having Now

Susanna says: ‘This event is a live anthology of subtly theatricalised poems that take you from your teenage bedroom as you head out into the world. The poems of Alex MacDonald, Ella Freers and Will Harris will navigate you away from home and help you find your way back again (touching on identity, uncertainty, the meaning of family and the nature of love).’
Mon Mar 25-Mon Mar 25
7.45 pm-8.45 pm
York Theatre Royal
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Nuala Ellwood, Day of the Accident

Nuala Ellwood, Day of the Accident

Susanna says: ‘A discussion of Nuala’s latest psychological thriller where a woman wakes up from a coma only to find out that her daughter is dead and her husband has disappeared. It will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat and up all night reading!’
Thu Mar 28
7.00 pm-8.30 pm
Waterstones York
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