Coalville Writes 2019 Festival
May 2nd – 12th

Mantle Arts’ festival of stories, books and writing, Coalville Writes, returns with a host of new events, as well as some favourites from last year.

Guests include Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn, crime novelists Edward Marston and Judith Cutler and local author Michael Kendrick.

Download a pdf of the festival brochure here.

On Monday May 6th, the Belvoir Shopping precinct will host a Story Day featuring street performers, storytellers, bookstalls and street poet Dave Wood, writing on-the-spot poems for passers by.

This year there are lots of free events as well as paid talks and workshops.

See the full programme and book places via the What’s On section of this website here.

Bookings: please note if do not wish to pay online you can select ‘Reserve Ticket’ as the payment method and then pay at the event.

If you have problems booking on this site please contact us on 01530 830811 or info@mantlearts.org.uk and we will reserve tickets for you.

Events include:

Murder Ancient and Modern

Crime writers Edward Marston and Judith Cutler compare techniques for writing in this genre, both past and the present.
Edward Marston is the author of the popular Railway Detective series, set in the 19thcentury, as well as crime novels set in the Elizabethan and Medieval periods.
Judith Cutler specialises in contemporary crime, featuring feisty female detectives, and set in the Midlands.

Another Walk in the Woods

Walk and Workshop.
Get your creative juices flowing with a creative writing workshop, taking a walk around urban woodland as inspiration.

Fifty Good Men and True

Book Launch
Mantle Lane Press will be launching an updated edition of Michael Kendrick’s book about the first fifty volunteers from N.W. Leicestershire who fought in the First World War.

The Boy Who Wanted to Fly

Rhubarb Theatre Co.
Sunday May 12th. Century Theatre. 2.30pm.
A brand new show about a boy, a bed, and a brilliant book!
Ages 5+

Billy Baxter is feeling ill
It’s worse than measles and mumps
His heads so hot you could cook an egg
The hospital stay could be months!


Billy is stuck in a hospital room with drab white walls, nasty tasting medicine and lots of busy grown-ups with not enough patience for this little patient. It’s miserable.
But all that’s about to change…
When a cool hospital porter comes dancing down the corridors, pushing a trolley of books, he leaves an old tattered tome on Billy’s bed. Pulled into the book, Billy is transported far from his bed into strange new worlds of adventure!

See the complete list of events here.


What’s On

No Events

2019 Guests

Writers, Authors and Workshop Leaders


Judith Cutler is the author of seven series of contemporary crime novels, including books featuring amateur sleuth Sophie Rivers and the series featuring Detective Sergeant Kate Power. Most of her novels are set in the West Midlands. Judith started writing whilst attending Oldbury Grammar School, winning the Critical Quarterly Short Story prize with the second story she wrote. She read English at university but didn’t write fiction again until years later when an attack of chickenpox caught from her son laid her low. One way of dealing with the itch was to hold a pencil in one hand, a block of paper in the other – and to start writing her first novel. This eventually appeared in a much revised version as Coming Alive, published by Severn House.
Coalville Writes Event: Murder Ancient and Modern


Terri Eynon is a retired GP, former children’s storyteller, occasionally published poet and regular broadcaster on HermitageFM and Carillon Wellbeing Radio where she hosts a Sunday afternoon programme celebrating all things literary in Leicestershire. She has a passion for language and has published on metaphor and mental health.

Coalville Writes Events: Shared Reading and Wise Words and the Wireless




Michael Kendrick. Writer and journalist Michael Kendrick was born in Hugglescote in North West Leicestershire and started writing when he was twelve years old. In 2004 he wrote Fifty Good Men and True about the first fifty men from N.W. Leicestershire who volunteered to go to war in 1914. He was concerned that the memory of their sacrifices should not be forgotten. He is related to local WW1 poet Arthur Newberry Choyce.
Coalville Writes Event: Fifty Good Men and True Book Launch.




Edward Marston is the author of sixty crime novels, set in seven distinct periods of history, including Domesday Books set during the compilation of Domesday in the late 11th century, the Nicholas Bracewell series featuring an Elizabethan theatre company, the Christopher Redmayne mysteries looking at the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666 and the Inspector Colbeck series dealing with major crimes committed on Victorian railways.
Coalville Writes Event: Murder Ancient and Modern




Adriana Polito  has worked everywhere from No.10 Downing Street to Starbucks. In 2009 she started community production company, Stay Curious Productions. Working with artists in Glasgow, she helped bring their films, photography and music to a wider audience. The World Within is her first novel.
Coalville Writes Event: Bringing Dreams To The Page workshop.




Frances Quinn won the fourth series of the Great British Bake Off in 2013 and published her book Quinntessential Baking in 2015.
“My background was in design.  In fact I often get asked what would you choose baking or design? But for me it’s never a choice and always a collaboration of the two. It’s the impact, response and experiences created through designing with food that is for me, what I find the most inspiring.”
Coalville Writes event: Life After Bake Off





Sabrina Mei-Li Smith is a writer, lecturer, researcher and community artist. She has written for the BBC, the Royal Court Theatre, Bass Breweries, PGD Photography and Nottingham Playhouse. Currently, she is a tutor of creative writing, social and personal histories with Leicester City Council. The anthology ‘Memories into Healing Words’, which features co-created poems with Leicester’s elderly, will be published in September 2019. Her play, ‘The Holy Bible’, has been developed through Derby Theatre, Tamasha and ‘In Good Company’.
Coalville Writes Event: Another Walk in the Woods.




Laura Wilkinson has published six novels for adults (two under a pseudonym) and numerous short stories. Her novels are Crossing the Line, The Family Line, Redemption Song and Skin Deep. Her work has been described variously as ‘compelling’, ‘poignant’, and ‘vivid’.
Coalville Writes Event: The Truth Inside the Lie: Fact and Fiction.




Dave Wood runs workshops in day centres, schools, hospitals, and residential homes. For festivals he comes as Dr Rhyme, adorned with stethoscope. He has been published in many magazines and journals and created a number of commissions. And he doesn’t look a day over…
Coalville Writes Event: Story Day.






Curious Creations  is a theatre company based in Lincoln producing magical street theatre. It specialises in creating spectacle and breathing new life into stories old and new.

Adambara and Zhim, their show for the Story Day tells the Indian Panchtantra story of the Elephant and the Mouse, through puppetry and storytelling.




The Fabularium is a touring outdoor theatre company with a medieval twist, utilising storytelling, live music, mask work, puppetry, physical theatre and acrobatics.

There Be Monsters, their show for the Story Day is a version of Don Quixote.




Rhubarb Theatre
is a professional touring company based in Lincolnshire, specialising in performance for children and families. They are bringing street theatre show The Bookworms to the Story Day, and also presenting the final event of the festival, their children’s show The Boy Who wanted to Fly, at the Century Theatre on Sunday 12th May.




Thingumajig is a puppet company based in Yorkshire, producing outdoor spectacle and touring shows.

For the Story Day they are bringing storytelling show Kit and Kaboodle involving miniature puppet shows inside a big, rolling mule puppet.




Other Activities

Coalville Writes is also running workshops in schools:

Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. She wrote her first novel in maths lessons hiding her notebook  under her desk. She’s the award-winning author of two books for young adults, ACID and The Fearless. Both were nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. She runs writing workshops and groups for writers aged 8- adult. She’s also a mentor, supporting other writers, and a reader for The Literary Consultancy, specialising in children’s and YA fiction.

Contact Us

If you are having difficulty with any aspect of this site, including the booking system email us on:

enquiries (at) mantlearts (dot) org (dot) uk