In March, Lancaster Litfest had to cancel its 2020 festival due to Covid-19. But with help of an Arts Council England support grant the festival was able to commission three digital projects over the summer. The first of these was ‘Walking Solo’: two local writers (Jenn Ashworth and Polly Atkin) made podcasts of walks in the northwest. Then, with these great examples to follow, Litfest opened the invitation to everyone in the region to make their own podcasts. A very high-quality set of talking lockdown walks soon arrived.
Today Litfest announces that in the opinion of the judges the best three podcasts on the theme of ‘walking solo’in lockdown, in alphabetical order, are:
- ‘Williamson Park – My Exercise Yard’ by Mary Ainsworth
- ‘The Magic Cattlegrid’ by Loren Cafferty
- ‘Borrowdale Valley’ by Tara Vallente
Tara Vallente podcast accompanies the listener on a walk down Borrowdale Valley, and makes use of simple sound effects to create an authentic sense of place. Jen Dobson, formerly Manager of Waterstones, King Street, Lancaster, said: ‘I particularly enjoyed Tara Vallente’s podcast, identifying with it strongly, and enjoying the great feeling of space it gave me.’
All three podcasts are available as free downloads and texts on the Litfest website from 24 September at https://litfest.org/walking-solo
The judges were: Jennifer Dobson (until recently Manager of Waterstones, King Street, Lancaster), Karen Lloyd (Award-winning writer and environmental activist) and Beth Pipe (writer, aka ‘The Cumbrian Rambler’).
The project is run by Litfest, the Lancaster and District Festival.