TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track The Cheltenham Festival of Literature (October 10-19) is offering three free "Creative Journeys" writing workshops for teachers, librarians, and youth workers. The first, on October 12, led by Mexican writer Mauricio Montiel, is for Spanish speakers; those with Jane Bailey on October 18 and Ayeta Anne Wangusa on October 19 are open to all. Book on 01242 263494. Other workshops (on crime writing, travel writing, comedy and so on) cost pound;16 (pound;12 concessions). There's a free writers'
Festival Challenge at 1.15pm on October 18: meet writer in residence Tim Pears, find out the theme, write your poem or mini short story overnight and perform it the next afternoon.
The children's festival, Book It!, also includes Write On! workshops, led by popular children's authors. There are places left in two sessions on October 11: Starting Points, with Celia Rees (ages 11-16) and The Dangers of Writing, with Sally Prue (8-11). On October 18 there's room in How to Make a Book with Vivian French and Chris Fisher (6-9). Tickets pound;6.
General bookings on 01242 227979.
The Ilkley Literature Festival opens a week earlier on October 3 and both festivals have Donna Tartt (pictured) as their star curtain-raiser (October 1 in Ilkley at pound;5 full price, October 4 in Cheltenham at pound;8 or pound;6 full price). Ilkley also has a children's weekend (October 11 and 12), a poetry cabaret programme including an "open mic" event for poetry, prose and stand-up, and writing workshops, including free surgeries with Martyn Bedford from Literary Intelligence, the Ilkley-based critical readers' service. Box office: 01943 816714; www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk.
Twisting Yarn Theatre, the theatre in education company attached to Bradford's Alhambra Theatre, is keeping an eye on the Booker shortlist for future material. Artistic director Keith Robinson has just acquired (free) world stage rights to The Life of Pi, last year's winner by Yann Martel.
Thanks to this coup, Year 6 and 7 pupils across Bradford will be able to see the adaptation at the Alhambra Studio from November 3 with two free shows every weekday until December 5; the rights have been granted only for not-for-profit productions. The story of a 16-year-old Hindu boy (who embraces Christianity and Islam) and his adventures sharing a lifeboat with beasts including a tiger and a zebra appealed to Twisting Yarn, which specialises in multicultural shows. Call 01274 437490 for details.