Bookings at WordFest

Beyond Words - Bringing Stories to Life

This May, local libraries and other venues across the Wakefield district are celebrating words by holding a wide range of free, exciting events and activities for WordFest. From author talks and storytelling to music and digital workshops, there is something for everyone! Book your place on a free event below:



Please note the dates and timings for Roots have now changed to the below.

Roots is a gentle and fun story of belonging for Early Years children, set in the enchanted world of Story Trails. Explore the world and discover the story through music, interactive props and Makaton.

Thursday 4 May Hemsworth 10am

Friday 5 May South Elmsall 2pm

Thu 11 May  Normanton 10am, Stanley 2pm

Friday 12 May Horbury 10am

Mon 15 May Featherstone 10am, Pontefract 2pm
Mon 22 May Castleford 10am, Airedale 2pm
Thu 1 June Anglers 10am, Wakefield 2pm

Book here.



What’s in a name? We all have one, and they hold so much meaning. Let’s collaborate and create collages of our names to tell the stories behind them. Cut, stick and have fun as a family.
Sat 6 May Castleford 10am, Pontefract 2pm
Sat 20 May Horbury 10am, Wakefield 2pm
Wed 31 May Featherstone 10am

Book here.



Join text artist and birdsong obsessive Adrian Riley for 90 minutes of fun collectively writing bird language, making up nonsense raps and even a little jumping about. It’s an activity for eggheads and birdbrains alike and we promise that the time will fly by…
Sat 13 May Horbury 10am, Wakefield 2pm
Fri 2 June Castleford 10am, Pontefract 2pm

Book here.



It’s time to explore different zine making techniques, including collage, redaction, and zine creation. Get ready to create booklets, posters, book covers, and album covers.
Sat 13 May Pontefract 10am, Castleford 2pm
Sat 27 May Horbury 10am, Wakefield 2pm
Tue 30 May Castleford 10am, Airedale 2pm

Book here.



Experience a gentle and beautiful theatre show performed from a vintage suitcase, followed by an illuminated lantern workshop.
Tue 2 May Castleford 10am, Airedale 2pm
Tue 9 May Hemsworth 10am, South Elmsall 2pm
Tue 16 May Normanton 10am, Stanley 2pm
Tue 23 May Normanton 10am, Stanley 2pm

Book here.



Help unpack Granny’s backpack and build comic characters.

Tue 30 May Castleford 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.15pm & 2.15pm

Book here.



Join book author and illustrator, Liz Million, for a fun interactive
Fri 2 June Hemsworth 10am, South Elmsall 2pm

Book here.



An enchanting inspirational performance for children and their families/carers using visual theatre, music and magical shadow puppetry.
Fri 5 May Normanton 11am
Sat 6 May Stanley 10am
Sat 13 May Anglers 10am, Pugneys 2pm
Sat 20 May Airedale 10am, Castleford 2pm
Fri 26 May South Elmsall 2pm
Sat 27 May Hemsworth 10am
Wed 31 May Sandal 10am, Wakefield 2pm
Sat 3 June Featherstone 10am, Pontefract 2pm

Book here.



Learn how to write Chinese characters with a brush pen.
(Children) Sat 13 May Wakefield 11.15am

(Adult) Sat 13 May: Wakefield 10am

Book children workshop here.

Book adult workshop here.


Making Stories for Virtual Reality with Dreaming Methods

Join lead artists Andy Campbell and Judi Alston of Dreaming Methods for an exploration of their new exhibition and interactive story, The Abandoned Library.  This is a rare behind-the-scenes look at how the Virtual Reality project is being made and explore how storytelling ideas can be brought to life in amazing detail using game mechanics. Ages 7+

Wed 3 May 4pm – 7pm (one hour slot per 2 x family – no more than 5 per family)

Thu 11 May 4pm – 7pm (one hour slot per 2 x family – no more than 5 per family)

Venue: The Tiled Gallery, The Art House, Drury Lane, Wakefield WF1 2TE

Book here.



Get ready to unleash your creativity with Growing with Gissing! Join Empath Action CIC at the Gissing Centre for a unique writing and performance workshop inspired by Thomas Gissing’s passion for poetry and plants.

Book here.



On Sunday May 21, as part of WordFest, join us at the Gissing Centre to hear the work of our performers who will have been busy all day scribing and stretching their literary skills all to entertain you with their poetry and prose. After the short performance, tour the Gissing Centre and learn about the fascinating and internationally known Gissing family!

Book here.



Join artist Leigh de Vries for an artificial intelligence (AI) adventure! Get hands-on experience with AI tools and create a unique digital outcome such as a poetry book with images. Inclusive for all, including the d/Deaf community with a sign language interpreter. Let’s make something special with AI!
Sat 6 May Wakefield 10am & 2pm
Sat 20 May Pontefract 10am & 2pm
Sat 27 May Castleford 10am & 2pm
Fri 2 June Pugneys 10am & 2pm
Sat 3 June Stanley 11am

Book here.



Come along and join this fun and creative hand stitch workshop where you will be able to create your own bag design, adding a word, letter or initial onto a calico bag. No previous embroidery experience is needed as
artist Jessica Grady will show you her simple and colourful ways to add
stitch and embellishments to your own designs. All materials provided, please just bring yourself!
Wed 10 May Sandal 11am, Pontefract 2pm

Book here.