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Winners of Lancaster festival's wildlife photography competition announced

Jonny Gios, with Otters on the River Kent at Kendal, was one of the winners of the Litfest Wildlife Photography competition

The winners of a landscape and wildlife photography competition held at a Lancaster festival have been revealed.

Litfest received more than 100 entries for its 'Northwest Landscape and Wildlife Photography Exhibition’.

The winners were Ellen Bell, Jonny Gios and John Bentham, with their striking images of dragonflies, otters and terns, and, in the landscape category, by Iwona Suwala and Graham Dean, for theirs of turbines off Walney Island and beached boats on Morecambe sands, and finally, in the under-18 category, newcomer Jed Tansley (14) for his outstanding image of a fallow deer stag at Levens Hall.

Here are the winning photographs.

Beached boats on Morecambe sands by Graham Dean

Fallow deer stag at Levens Hall by Jed Tansley

Turbines off Walney Island by Iwona Suwala

Common Blue Darter by Ellen Bell

Tern with sand eel by John Bentham

Over the 12-day event held last month in Lancaster, Litfest hosted 40 events, welcomed 90 participating artists and speakers and more than 2500 wonderful audience members, worked with four schools, nurtured a new wave of budding poets and writers and put on a dazzling exhibition of photographs, textiles and history!

The festival explores all aspects of literature and its accessibility to today’s audiences through presentations, discussion, storytelling, and the visual arts.

Participants attended workshops on nature writing, poetry and creative writing, and on reimagining myths and legends with Lancaster Lore.

The Queer by Gum workshop gave local queer artists the chance to hone their skills in creative writing, music and performance.

A total of 144 local poets, including students from local high schools, submitted poems on the subject of ‘Histories’ to our Poetry Map, whilst 12 performers joined The Wordarium open-mic session with top Manchester poet Ella Otomweo, to showcase their latest work.

The event also included author readings, topical discussions, walks, talks, the first Lancaster History Lecture, given by Sathnam Sanghera, and an amazing storytelling finale.

Litfest is still running the Big Read Challenge giving you the chance to win prizes by reading this year’s fantastic chosen book: S.F. Said’s Tyger.

The novel is set in an alternative Britain where the Empire is still in existence, where imagination and creativity are superpowers, and where there is the most incredible underground library.

If you missed any of the festival events, there’s the chance to catch up on what you missed here until the end of April.

You can enter here.

• On April 25 at 7pm, Litfest and Lancaster University will welcome leading environmental campaigner and Britain’s only Green MP, Caroline Lucas, to give the 2024 Lancaster Environment Lecture.

Entitled Another England Is Possible, Caroline will join Edward Simpson to explore what England’s progressive spirit can teach us about the most pressing issues of our time, from the toxic legacy of Empire to the accelerating climate emergency.

Although in-person tickets for this event are now booked up, you are can still join online on Crowdcast: simply reserve your place via the Litfest website or geni.us/lelcl.

Tickets are free or pay what you can (with a recommended price of £5)

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