Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Phil Hopkins
Group Travel Editor & Theatre Correspondent
1:00 AM 8th November 2023

Dracula And Emily Bronte Back In The Limelight!

A ‘Readers Retreat’ will be formally launched at The Grand, York next week when top author, Joanne Harris, steps into the spotlight for a Q&A about her writing career.

The new initiative, promising a page-turning journey through literary history, will embrace visits to Bram Stoker’s Whitby, inspiration for his classic Dracula, and Emily Bronte’s windswept Yorkshire Moors, where she penned the timeless masterpiece, Wuthering Heights. It is being launched at 6.30pm on 14th November at a special evening with Joanne Harris.

Renowned for her works, including Chocolat and the soon-to-be-released Honeycomb, Joanne will hold an exclusive talk as she shares her experiences of being a writer from the North, the local literary heroes who have inspired her, and how she continues to weave their influence into her work.

The evening starts with a welcome drink and canapes as guests enjoy the timeless elegance juxtaposed against the contemporary luxury. Nestled within the historic city of York, the hotel serves as a perfect backdrop for literary explorers.

Following the talk, there will be an opportunity to ask Joanne Harris questions about her writing process, inspirations, and her literary journey.

Post event, the Readers Retreat will become a bookable trip from January – April and includes a two-night bed and breakfast stay at the hotel, dinner at its award-winning restaurant The Rise, and an opportunity to visit locations around the city and beyond, that inspired some of the greatest novels of our time.

Tickets for the exclusive November 14th launch evening are available at £35pp.

Launch night tickets:

For more information on booking a Readers Retreat stay, visit