Introducing Christina Longden, our new Writer in Residence for the coming year.

Before she settled in Kirklees, Christina lived and worked with the Kalahari Bushmen in Namibia where she wrote two non-fiction books with them, using their own words. Christina wrote two ‘dark comedy dramas’ set in Kirklees (her books will appeal to all Sally Wainwright fans) and she continues her interest in comedy and humour at her blog. She now writes both fiction and historical non-fiction. Most recently, she wrote a historical biography of the great x3 grandfather, the UK’s ‘Hidden Victorian Muslim’ – and then turned the facts into a work of creative historical fiction.

Christina’s mission is to get more people using our libraries, more often. In particular, she wants to ensure that we don’t ‘lose’ children once they reach those tricky teenage years—and she also wants to show people who are more ‘reluctant readers’ that Kirklees libraries are not just about novels, that these ‘people’s palaces’ are rammed full of information, help and very different forms of storytelling and information!

This might be a very strange time to become Writer in Residence for Kirklees. However, with the backing of the library team, Christina will be carrying out online chats, workshops and masterclasses as well as doing some good old-fashioned ‘real time’ sessions, once we’re in a position to open safely to the public.

You can find out more about Christina and her work at and

Upcoming Sessions

Our Writer-in-Residence Christina Longden will be launching her programme of events on Thursday 3rd September with a session entitled ‘The Book in You.’ Christina will be running monthly sessions on the first Thursday of each month at 11am. Her aim is to encourage writers at all points on their writing journey, including those who have never written anything before – or since they were at school! These will have a question and answer section, and we encourage you to get involved. Ask that question you’ve always wanted to ask about writing, as a pastime or as a career, but have never had the opportunity. 

Upcoming events include one for parents with children who are reluctant readers, children who are disengaged when it comes to reading for pleasure. We have put together a panel who will be offering advice, information and plenty of wonderful suggested reads. Send your questions for the panel to 


  • 3rd September – 11am – The Book In You – catch up here
  • 24th September – 11am – Encouraging Reluctant Readers – catch up here
  • 1st October – 11am – Fiction or Non-Fiction? – catch up here
  • 5th November – 11am – Reluctant Readers Part 2 –  catch up here
  • 12th November – 11am – Jewish? Christian? Muslim? The Life and Times of Robert ‘Reschid’ Stanley
  • 3rd December – 11am – A Christmas Get Together – ‘Winter Unwonted’ – catch up here
  • 7th January – 11am – Emma Decent – ‘I Don’t Know What I’m Supposed to Be Doing’ – catch up here
  • 21st January – 11am – ‘Unfinished Business’ – A Room of One’s Own?  I Wish! – watch live or catch up here
  • 11th February – 6.30pm – ‘The Real Peaky Blinders’ with Professor Carl Chinn and Christina Longden.

For a list of local writing groups you can get involved with, click here.

For a list of recommended reads for reluctant readers, click here.