Opening Doors – Opportunities for Poets


Here at Kendal Poetry Festival headquarters, we have been plotting and planning – please read on for information about our new project – and spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested!

Opening Doors

Are you a writer who would like to attend the festival but can’t afford to financially?

We are running a pilot project this year where we are offering the chance for two writers to attend the 2018 festival.  Each writer will receive a Festival Pass which will enable them to attend any of the readings, discussions during the weekend, plus the Saturday open-mic.   Both writers will be hosted by a member of Brewery Poets in their home from Thursday 6th September to Sunday 9th September.

We would like to offer this opportunity to writers who would benefit from a weekend of immersion in poetry, but who would not be able to attend without some financial assistance.

Things to note:

  1. Travel is not included.
  2. Writers need to have their own transport or be physically able to walk. The festival venue is about a 40 minute walk from where you will be staying.
  3. You will have your own bedroom but will be sharing a bathroom. Bedrooms are at the top of the house, so you will need to be able to climb stairs.
  4. Your host will provide a help-yourself-breakfast, but you will need to provide your own lunch/dinner.  Tea, coffee and sandwich making facilities will be available.
  5. There is the opportunity to perform at our ‘Writing Summit’ Open Mic event on Thursday 6th September but this is not compulsory.

To apply please send an email to with the following information:

  1. One document with your name, date of birth, email address and a short biography (100 words).
  2. A 200 word statement outlining why it would be difficult for you to attend without a bursary and how you would benefit from the opportunity.
  3. Contact details (Email) of a referee – someone who knows your work and knows you personally.
  4. Please include all of this information in one Microsoft Word document.

Deadline for submission is May 31st.  Decisions will be made by mid-June and we will reply by email to all applicants.

2018 Programme

We are really excited to reveal our line up for the 2018 Kendal Poetry Festival.

We enjoyed ourselves so much last year we decided to add an extra night! On Thursday 6th February we are running a ‘Writing Summit’ Open Mic night at the Waterside Cafe in Kendal, in association with Kendal Mountain Festival and hosted by Dove Cottage Young Poets.  The Open Mic is another chance for festival goers to read their own work. This third instalment of the festival will be full of our usual mix of readings, open mics, workshops and discussions.

We also have a limited number of Festival Passes availabe at £45 each, if you like to go to lots of events. A Festival Pass will give you entry to most of the events over the weekend, excluding the Afternoon Tea with Brewery Poets, workshops which should be booked separately and the Thursday Night Writing Summit Open Mic. Events can also be booked separately and prices range from £5-£8.

We have appointed a new Young Poet in Residence, Matthew Sowerby, who made his debut appearance at Kendal Poetry Festival in the Open Mic session, and has been a member of Dove Cottage Young Poets ever since.  Our Young Musician in Residence is Alistair Burton, a brilliant young violinist who is a student at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music.  Hannah Hodgson will once again be our Young Blogger in Residence, so watch this space for interviews and poems from our 2018 Festival Poets.

We hope you enjoy browsing the events, and look forward to seeing you in Kendal in September.