Once Upon A School - a truly inspiring talk about writing with kids in your community. If we all really listen, it’s a talk that could actually change the world.
Dave Eggers, author of one of my favourite books ever, A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS, talks about his incredible work offering one-to-one tutoring to kids in his neighbourhood. Pirate & superhero shops to lure them in and take away the stigma of needing extra help, published books of the kids’ work, writers giving up their time to foster the children’s imagination and so much more. I hope one day to set up something like this - it really is wonderful.
Really, how beautiful is this?! I am looking at my very boring coffee table and regretting giving away so many books over the years.
June 1st to June 3rd
"Year three of this eclectic, amusing, inspiring, sometimes audacious and always brilliant festival, set up to celebrate the area’s radical thinking and literary heritage."
Location, tickets and times: Various - see programme
"4 Writers, 3 Judges, 2 Rounds, 1 Epic Finale (and a bunch of really attractive lit-nerds)
The night’s 7-minutes-or-less readers include Picador debut novelist Anna Raverat (Signs of Life), truth-seeking journalistic missile Matt Potter (Outlaws Inc.), The Bugle podcaster and comedian Andy Zaltzman with his surrealistic writings and one final brilliant guest yet to be confirmed. Hosted by Bruno Vincent and Nicki Le Masurier.
They’ll be judged by a brilliant trio garnered from the world of literature and entertainment, and who we’re in the last exciting stages of booking! Trust when we say you won’t want to miss it! ”
Time: Doors at 7pm, Show at 8.15 (sharp)
Location: Stoke Newington Library Gallery, 184 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0JS
A two-day conference to make sense of all the possibilities facing writers today, including:
"Making and selling ebooks, self-publishing v traditional, emerging international markets, how technology changes literary forms, social media and other promotional tools.
With leading authors and industry figures: Hari Kunzru, Kate Mosse, Nicola Morgan, Simon Trewin, Maria Rejt, Karolina Sutton, David Godwin, Linda Grant, Robert Kroese, Tom Williams, Arzu Tahsin, Cathryn Summerhayes, plus many more!"
Tickets: £300 (£200 students and unemployed)
Time: June 8th 9.30am-6.30pm, June 9th 9.30am-6.30pm
Location: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
“London Writers’ Cafe is a place for creative writers who want input on their work. We focus mainly on short stories and work-in-progress novels but we’re open to hearing any form of creative writing!
Anyone can reserve a reading spot. In doing this, you’ll have 10 minutes to read and then live feedback from the rest of the group for 5-10mins."
Location: Location is shown to members only (it’s free to join)
"Do you write for children or YA? or would you like to? find out this month, what it takes to be a bestselling children’s and YA writer. And come along to the event and meet Julia Churchill, an agent at the Greenhouse Literary Agency, an agency who exclusively represents children and YA books."
Tickets: Free for members. Non-members: £15 in advance, £20 on the door.
Location: Clerkenwell House
If you know of an event being held that’s not listed, let me know and I will add it to the list.
I have to admit that I’m not generally a fan of poetry. There are exceptions, many actually, and here’s one - If I Should Have A Daughter by poet Sarah Kay. It should be a bit too Hallmark for my liking but, maybe it’s because I have a young daughter, it really moved me. Also worth listening to for her talk after the poem about her life as a poet.