THE crammed programme for this year's Worcestershire Literary Festival will prove a real page turner for fans of the spoken and written word.

Six poets will go head to head to be crowned the county's poet laureate for 2014/15 to kick off this year's festival which will feature an evening of poetry with Mike Harding, walks and writing workshops.

Over thirty events catering for all ages will run at venues across the county for ten days from Friday, June 20 for the fourth festival.

Current Worcestershire poet laureate Tim Cranmore, from Malvern, will make up the judging panel at The Guildhall to find his successor during the opening evening.

Prizes will also be presented for the Young Writer competition at the launch and, later, the winners of the Flash Fiction competition will be announced by judge and competition founder Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn.

Maggie Doyle, director and poet laureate emeritus, said: "Worcestershire’s own literary festival, The Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe, is quickly and efficiently making a name for itself.

"Locally referred to as "the LitFest", it has brought the ‘shire’ a poet laureate and even a poet laureate emeritus, thought to be the first such role in the country.

"Through its wide range of events, the LitFest has provided workshops, walks, entertainment, theatre, book launches and a range of spoken word events of mesmeric proportion.

"It offers poetry, prose and storytelling at events during the June festival and throughout the year."

Events in Worcester include a romantic novelists' panel at St Swithun's Institute and Cat Weatherill's How to be Glorious at The Hive, both on Saturday, June 21, and Sketches of Worcester by the Worcester Pub Theatre Company on Friday, June 27.

Further afield, folk singer and comedian Mike Harding will be at Avoncroft Museum, Bromsgrove on Sunday, June 22 and people can join a midnight walk across The Old Hills, Callow End on Friday, June 20 from 10.30pm.

Youngsters can join Judy Pass at Tudor House, Friar Street for storytime extracts from Roald Dahl's The Witches and a cookery demonstration will take place with cookery book author Anita Sharma-James at Bindles.

To round off the festival on Sunday, June 29, there will be a "double whammy slammy" at Drummonds Bar, The Swan and Two Nicks, New Street with a flash fiction slam and poetry slam.

For a full programme including ticket prices, log on to