CHARACTERS are lining up and the plot is taking shape for a month-long celebration of poetry, prose and performance.

Bestselling authors, scriptwriters, poets, columnists, historians and actors will bring literature to life in the fourth annual Northwich LitFest, which starts on June 1.

Organiser and writer Susi Osborne said: "Northwich LitFest has grown enormously since I started it single-handedly four years ago.

"Let's grow it even bigger and then Northwich could be rivalling the Hay Festival."

The first event is 'It's Storytime!' at Viva in Witton Street, where the winner of the LitFest's first short story competition will be revealed and tales will be told.

Susi said: "We have been amazed by the high quality of all of the stories we've been sent.

"They're absolutely brilliant.

"There's so much talent out there and such a lot of imagination."

Admission is free.

Novelist Charlotte Gringras will speak at Sandiway Library on June 2 in a second free event.

Her second novel 'Not in Our Hands' is set in Italy and is a contemporary story of forbidden romance and the hidden history of 16th century Tuscan Jews.

Carole Matthews, the author of more than 22 successful romantic comedy novels, will appear at Davenham Theatre on Thursday, June 4.

"I feel I have to give a little 'woohoo' about this one," Susi said.

"I've been trying to persuade her to come for four years and she's finally agreed."

Admission to this event is £8.

Dr Who and the Egyptians is the title of a double bill by husband and wife Simon Guerrier and Debbie Challis.

Simon is the author of several Dr Who books and has also written for Blake 7, written for more than 40 audioplays and award-winning short films.

Debbie works at the Petrie Museum of Egyption Archaelogy and has written several books including 'The Archaeology of Race', 'The Harpy Tomb' and 'The Ottoman Empire'.

The pair will speak at Davenham Theatre on June 6 and admission is £5.

A free event called 'Moulton and Beyond' takes place at Viva on June 9, starring David Yearsley, whose book 'Winding the Clock Back' is set in 1960s Moulton, and Debbie Bennett and friends, who are running a community radio play project in the village.

Former Northwich Guardian columnist Billy Nomates will entertain audiences at Viva in a free event on June 10, ably assisted by his friends.

Folk music and poetry will be the theme of an event hosted by Northwich Folk Club at the Polish Club, in London Road, on June 12.

This free event gives guests the chance to take to the stage to do a song or reading.

Award-winning crime writer Martin Edwards, who was educated at Sir John Deane's College, returns to Northwich on June 15, when he will appear at Davenham Theatre.

Admission for this event is £5.

A magical night of music and poetry with Angela Topping and friends takes place at Viva on June 16.

This free event includes an open floor section.

Davenham Theatre hosts 'Midsummer Madness' on June 17, which has been billed as 'a hilarious night of high theatre'.

Admission is £5.

Award winning novelist Rowan Coleman will speak at Davenham Theatre on June 19.

Her 11th novel 'The Memory Book' was chosen as one of the Richard and Judy Autumn Book Club titles for 2014.

Admission is £5.

Elizabeth Williams will speak about 19th century writer Fanny Trollope at an event at Davenham Theatre on June 23.

Admission is £5.

Writer and reviewer Laura Lockington will host two events at Davenham Theatre.

The first, on June 25, will be with guest Sarah Rayner, author of five novels including international bestseller 'One Moment, One Morning'.

The second, on June 27, will be with guest Carole Solazzo, who has worked as a scriptwriter for The Archers and Coronation Street.

Both of these events are £5.

The festival finale will be Mark Carey's one-man show 'Into the Breach', which is set in the Second World War and described as a nostalgic, funny and moving story that will appeal to all.

In it Mark will play all 17 of the colourful characters.

The show will be at Davenham Theatre on June 30 and admission is £5.

All events start at 7.30pm.

To book or for more information visit or ring the DAN office on 01606 41597.