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Crafting, reading, writing and drawing manga!

We are delighted that our first batch of engagement projects are underway and some lovely results are coming out of them. The sessions are all free and all materials (if you need them) are provided. Books for the Readers’ Group can be borrowed from Medway Libraries if you are a member.

River Lit Readers

People sitting round a table laughing
Having a hoot at River Lit Readers!

The first River Lit Readers group was on 18 Feb at Chatham Library where readers discussed Lisa Cutts’ crime novel ‘Never Forget’. Readers agreed that the book introduced a gutsy new heroine, and the forensic details of a police investigation (quite unusual in the depth of procedure) clearly drew on Lisa’s experience of having been a police detective. During the festival, Lisa will lead the panel discussion, Murderous Medway Presents: ‘What is Cosy Crime?’ along with crime writers Julie Wassmer (Whitstable Pearl) and NR Daws (Kember and Hayes mysteries).

The next readers group is specifically for our younger readers. On 18 March at Chatham library we’ll be discussing ​'The Time Thief' by Patience Agbabi (for ages 9-12). Patience will be appearing at the festival on our Children’s Book Day and reading from her Leap Cycle Series.

Book a place on River Lit Readers’ groups via Medway Libraries by phone 01634 337799, or the Spydus app.

My Manga Medway

A tutor describes an image of Humpty Dumpty
My Manga Medway

Led by Nadia Perrotta of House of Stars, we are running a project where young people aged from 12-26 will tell their stories of Medway in a manga style. Starting with a session on storytelling on 18 February, led by writer and festival director Sam Hall, the group has continued to develop their ideas for a short illustrated story, inspired by their experiences of Medway, with Nadia’s input into how to make your ideas into a manga style comic.

The finished stories will be displayed as an exhibition during the festival, and maybe also will be available as a book.

The group meets fortnightly on Saturdays, see the webpage for information on how to book.

Fun with Words

Fun with Words is run by Sam Rapp the Dyslexic Poet and is aimed at our younger writers and their families. In four hour-long sessions for families and children up to about 8, Sam will be encouraging everyone to have fun with words!

The sessions will be moving around Medway Libraries, the first one was at Chatham Library on 16 February. 'Another fantabulous session - brought out my creative side!'

The next one is at Gillingham Library on 16 March. See the webpage for more information and how to book.


A woven bookmark in shades of purple and black against a snowy image of the Kent marshes.
Woven bookmark inspired by 'On the marshes'

Craft-a-long is a relaxed 3-hour crafting session for all ages, held at Unravel and Unwind in Gillingham. In our first session on 20 February we made woven tapestries inspired by Carol Donaldson's 'On the Marshes'. The colours of the marshes made for some lovely pieces and one of our younger attendees was so inspired that she has been teaching friends at school how to weave!

In our next session on Monday 20 March, we will be making freeform cuddly toys inspired by John McCullough’s poem ‘Electric Blue’ from his poetry collection ‘Panic Response’. The poem is about tiny glowing plankton which sometimes are seen in the surf at nighttime called dinoflagellates. We will knit, stich, crochet or glue our collection of creatures.

Both John and Carol will be coming to Medway River Lit, and we are so excited to hear them read.


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