Festival of Words 2023

16th October 2023

Festival of Words Banners


The Festival of Words kicks off from 20th of October and will continue through until the 29th October, culminating in a full festival day at the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne.

This festival has been organised as part of the Words in the Landscape project, a Chase & Chalke project which aims to connect people to the landscape through the spoken and written word.

During the Festival of Words, you can get involved in a variety of activities such as Story Walks through the landscape, Online Workshops, an Open Mic night, which builds to the grand finale – a one-day festival on the 29th October.

Tickets: The Chase & Chalke Festival of Words Tickets, Fri 20 Oct 2023 at 12:00 | Eventbrite


Story Walks 

Win Green | 22 October

Join a guided walk adventure around Win Green and listen to tales, poems, and ballads of the landscape with artists Claire H the Poet and Shaun Gary Palmer.


Fontmell Down | 27 October

Join a guided walk adventure around Fontmell Down and listen to tales, poems, and ballads of the landscape with artists Ri Baroche and Sukie Baker from Lucid Tales.


Online Workshops 

The Hero’s Journey | 23 – 27 October

A Heros Journey

From the 23rd to the 27th of October: join Myriam San Marco and Fay Roberts for a week-long series of online workshops exploring creative writing using the mythic Hero’s Journey and aspects of the beautiful landscape of Cranborne Chase as inspiration. Registration is free, and you can book on to as many sessions as you like.

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder; fabulous forces are there encountered, and a decisive victory is won; the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 1949

Day 1 | 23 October

Day 1 introduces the map of the Hero’s Journey and the path that we will be following; we will write about establishing a foundation for our story and how to describe people and places. We will focus on the first three of the twelve landmarks we’re using on the Journey: The Ordinary World; The Call to Adventure; Refusing the Call. We will use focused exercises and discussion, along with scenes from the Chase itself to spark inspiration. By the end of the workshop, you should have taken your first steps along the route.

Whether you end up with a number of themed vignettes or the framework of an epic we look forward to witnessing what you produce!

Day 2 | 24 October

New Friends & Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone (the hero answers the call and, with some help and hindrance, travels to the otherworld; we will write about conflict, friends and enemies, and unfamiliar places)

Day 3 | 25 October

Darkness and Light/ Sacrifice and Reward (the hero comes up against the ultimate test and bests the beast, changing fate in the process; we will write about facing your fears and redefining destiny)

Day 4 | 26 October

Homeward Bound – a New Perspective (the hero re-emerges from the otherworld transformed, and with the power to transform the ordinary world; we will write about aftermaths and how going home is very different from being at home)

Day 5 | 27 October

A Triumphant Return (the hero returns home with the ultimate prize and crowning glory; we will get to hear and share feedback together on what’s been written over the course of the week)

The events will be carried out on Zoom and will be as accessible as we can make them, utilising automated closed and image descriptions for anyone who needs them. Please let us know in advance or on the day if you have any specific access requirements not already covered.


Open Mic Night

Saturday 1 October | 7 – 9pm | Online

Join us for a special online Open Mic Night to celebrate the Festival of Words on Cranborne Chase.

During this online interactive session, you are welcome to share your ‘Words in the Landscape’ in this 2 hour session hosted by Abby G. Poetree. Abby has been hosting open mic nights monthly in Bournemouth for 5 years and it continues to go from strength to strength. In this special online event, you will get your chance to read your own written work to fellow poets as we celebrate ‘Words in the Landscape’ on Cranborne Chase.

Abby G


Festival Day

Sunday 29 October | Ancient Technology Centre | 12pm into the evening

During the day from 12 to 5pm we will have a plethora of workshops, a community poem, a treasure hunt, poetry on demand, a showcase of our Creative Writing competition winners, and even a performance from the Bard of Exeter!

In the evening, starting at 7pm, get ready for a showcase of commissioned work from Estelle Phillips, Sukie Baker and Shaun Gary Palmer.

And to top it all off, our Headline Guest, the amazing Rachel Rose Reid will take to the stage.

atc doorway



Tickets available here: The Chase & Chalke Festival of Words Tickets, Fri 20 Oct 2023 at 12:00 | Eventbrite