Mark P Henderson
Festival Founder, lead organiser
Author, editor and storyteller
After a career in medicine and university teaching, Mark P. Henderson retired to North Derbyshire in 2002 and started to write fiction, edit manuscripts, teach creative writing, and collect and tell Peak District folktales. His publications, through five different publishing houses, comprise an anthology of short stories (Rope Trick, 2008), a novel (Perilaus, 2009), a children’s story (Fenella and the Magic Mirror, 2009), a study of the evolution of a local legend (Murders in the Winnats Pass, 2010), a collection of 62 traditional stories (Folktales of the Peak District, 2011), a collection of puns in verse and prose (Cruel and Unusual PunNishments, 2016), a one-act play (Forget it, it’s History, 2017), five more novels (National Cake Day in Ruritania, 2018; The Engklimastat, 2019; Perilaus II, 2021; Con, 2022; Black Harry, 2023), a novelette (The Definitive Biography of St Arborius of Glossopdale and his Thin Dog, 2019), and a novella (The Cat of Doom, 2020). His compilation of folktale films recorded in situ in collaboration with Tim Knebel of “Peak in the Past” and his colleagues (http://www.peakinthepast.co.uk; scroll down to “Folktales”), is available for free download and the set is due for completion in 2023. A second collection, Elusive Tales of the Peak District, was published in September 2023, and Mark is currently working on a seventh novel.
Member of a huge Northern tribe, Manchester native, Mum and teacher turned author, Pamela Turton has published several novels: ‘So Sister,’ Selling Short’, ‘The Life Coach Less Travelled’, ‘Blue Is the Object’ and the ‘Stalkbook’series, as well as poetry and non-fiction. Find out more at
Open Mic organiser/host,
Author, Poet & Occasional Stand-Up Comic
My adventure on the road to poetry started with my tribute to Bobby Charlton in 1973 which my mother sent to him! He sent me in return a beautiful letter on Preston North End headed paper which I still have today!
During the 1990s I had several poems broadcast on the BBC. I have won competitions (most recently 2023) and been placed in many more including international open competitions (most recently 2022).
I have written lots of poems for Ekphrastic collaboration events particularly with Stockport Art Guild and artist Mark Sheeky where their paintings/my poems were featured in exhibitions. My first collection Nebulous, published in 2019 raised over £500 for Liverpool Eye Cancer Unit.
To commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One, I was invited to write, perform and record a series of new poems for the Lest We Forget website, a Hollingworth Lottery funded project.
My second collection Something Wicked This Way Grows (2023) is a collection of thoughtful and amusing poems written about events and characters on allotments. The title poem was published by the National Allotment Society.
I do write the odd short story now and again and my latest Of The Time featured in Tales From The Underbanks, an Arts England / Stockport Borough Council joint venture in 2022.
I compere/host Glossop Open Mic at Glossop Labour Club as well as performing regularly at open mic events in and around Manchester and Derbyshire. Occasionally, I am apt to perform some stand-up comedy too.