THE WORK of the Bronte sisters will again inspire modern-day writers at a special weekend in Haworth.

The Bronte Festival of Women’s Writing, on September 22 and 23, will involve both published professionals and would-be poets and novelists.

The Bronte Parsonage Museum is organising the event with a host of workshops, discussions and readings.

A spokesman said the festival, now in its eighth year, was dedicated to both showcasing and celebrating women’s writing.

She said: “Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte were pioneering women writers and continue to inspire contemporary literature in limitless ways.”

The weekend will begin on the Saturday from 10am to 1pm with a crime-writing workshop at Ponden Hall near Stanbury.

Radio, TV and stage playwright Frances Brody will explore the different approaches to writing a crime novel, and offer practical advice on creating characters, shaping plots and finding the right setting.

The spokesman said: “There will be writing exercises to stretch your imagination and sharpen your approach to rewriting, and useful tips range from developing your idea to finding an agent.”

Frances Brody is the award-winning author of three popular murder-mysteries set in 1920s Yorkshire featuring First World War widow turned detective Kate Shackleton.

Also at Ponden Hall, journalist, author and speaker Marisa Bate will lead a workshop entitled Write Online on the Saturday from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Marisa will base the session on skills learned from building and shaping The Pool, and award-winning online platform dedicated to creating inspiring and original content for busy women.

There will be tips about writing opinion and comment on current affairs, the differences between writing online and for print, and finding the right tone and style to engage with readers.

Marisa Bate, whose work focuses on women’s issues, has worked for InStyle and Red magazines and The Guardian newspaper.

She has hosted events at literary festivals including Cheltenham and Hay and has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Late Night Woman’s Hour and The World Tonight. In 2018, she published her first book, The Periodic Table of Feminism.

The headline event on the Saturday will be readings by renowned poet Patience Agbabi, who will showcase work she has created during her residency at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

The spokesman said: “Patience is one Britain’s most prominent spoken word poets and her electric performances mean that this will be a very special evening not to be missed!”

On the Sunday morning, Ponden Hall will host a workshop on self-editing, led by Emma Darwin and entitled Make Your Story Shine.

The spokesman said: “This practical workshop will think about structure and scene-building, then close-in to think about characterisation, voice, and finally the close-up focus that makes every word


“Participants will develop a clearer idea of how to tackle that crucial second draft, and a bagful of tools to work with.”

Emma Darwin’s debut The Mathematics of Love is believed to be the only novel nominated for both Commonwealth Writers’ Best First Book, and RNA Novel of the Year awards.

Her second novel, A Secret Alchemy, was a Sunday Times Bestseller, and her first non-fiction book was Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction.

Emma has taught creative writing in many places including the Open University, and her blog This Itch of Writing is used by courses and editors around the world.

In the afternoon Emma will lead another workshop, Writing Historical Fiction, again at Ponden Hall, exploring the business of finding, imagining and writing stories set in the past.

Visit or call 01535 640192 for further information on all the sessions.