A PACKED programme of events is planned as the Bronte Festival of Women’s Writing celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Poet Hollie McNish, winner of the Ted Hughes Award, will open the festival next Thursday, July 29.

There will then be a long weekend of activities – mainly online – featuring women writers, artists and performers from across the world.

Twenty-one creative writing workshops, virtual drawing events, online theatre performances, in-conversation sessions and face-to-face activities will take place.

Rebecca Yorke, interim director of the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth, said: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing the festival back and that a writer as in-demand as Hollie will open the event in fitting style – her taboo-busting poems and short stories which challenge our perceptions feel appropriate and familiar to fans of the Brontes’ work.

“The museum has an international following, so hosting some events online has the added benefit of literary fans from across the world being able to join us and enjoy the diverse programme that includes some of the most interesting and distinctive women writing right now.”

Since its inception, the festival – which wasn’t held last year due to the pandemic – has become an acclaimed fixture on the literary calendar.

Highlights this year will include – on the opening day – Hollie McNish in conversation with playwright and journalist Samantha Ellis and reading from her much-anticipated new collection, Slug...and other things I’ve been told to hate.

Critically-acclaimed Nigerian-British writer Irenosen Okojie will talk on the Friday about “journeying into fantastical worlds” in her writing.

That day will also see LipService Theatre present Chateau Ghoul, a multi-media haunted house thriller, via Zoom.

New York Times best-selling young adult writer Namina Forna will be in conversation with debut author Natasha Bowen on the Saturday.

Also, award-winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed will examine iconic and poignant items that belonged to Anne Bronte, with the museum’s audience development officer Lauren Livesey. They will discuss how the artefacts help shape and develop people’s understanding of Anne’s spirit and fortitude.

On August 1, journalist and theatre critic Arifa Akbar brings her memoir – Consumed, a Sister’s Story – to the festival. She will be in conversation with writer, academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari.

And Manchester-born author Anita Sethi will feature. She wrote I Belong Here as a way to reclaim a feeling of belonging to her much-loved northern landscapes after experiencing racist abuse travelling through the north of England.

Currently showing at the museum are Contemplating Hope – installations by ceramicist Layla Khoo – and Gondal Arise!, an exhibition of work from writer/illustrator Isabel Greenberg. Each artist will be involved in events over the festival weekend.

For the full programme and tickets, visit bronte.org.uk/whats-on.