On Saturday 26 October our Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer is set for a very special takeover as writers, authors, and literary professionals descend on Southbank Centre for London Literature Festival Writers' Day.
Hosted in partnership with Creative Future, London Literature Festival Writers' Day plays host to a succession of 15 minute presentations and talks from artists, publishers and literary organisations. Whether you are just starting out as a writer, or have been writing for years, this series of free talks is the perfect opportunity to gain inside insight from literary professionals and discover hints, tips and initiatives that can help advance your writing career.
The event also sees a special literary fair takeover the iconic Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, with leading literary organisations and publishers exhibiting their work and practice.
Here’s a quick insight to the nine different speakers who will take to our stage across the course of the day to share their wisdom, know-how and encouragement.
Dean Atta’s poems deal with themes of race, gender, identity and growing up, and have appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Channel 4. Atta was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by The Independent on Sunday, and he was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize for his debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger.
Anna is the author of five acclaimed novels, and is the founder and director of the Curtis Brown Creative writing school – which runs courses for writers in London and online. The school has so far launched the careers of 63 published novelists from among its students, including Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist), Laura Marshall (Friend Request) and Nicholas Searle (The Good Liar).
Julia Kingsford is a literary agent. She co-founded the agency Kingsford Campbell before going on to collaborate with Nikesh Shukla on the ‘Good’ Projects: The Good Immigrant, The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency. Prior to being an agent she was CEO of World Book Night and head of marketing at Foyles Bookshops.
Liv Little is the founder and CEO at gal-dem, an online magazine and media platform run by women and non-binary people of colour. She is obsessed with storytelling and has written for a range of outlets including Feminists Don't Wear Pink, The Guardian, Wonderland and Elle Magazine. Liv has been voted as a Future Leader, a rising star at WOW and included in the inaugural BBC's 100 women series.
Bobby Nayyar manages the London Writers’ Awards and box office programme of workshops. He also set up independent publisher Limehouse Books. Since 2018 Nayyar has been working with unpublished and emerging writers to help them develop their craft and kickstart their careers as authors.
Siena Parker is Head of Creative Responsibility at Penguin Random House UK. A key part of the publisher’s ‘creative responsibility manifesto’ focuses on making the publishing industry more inclusive and accessible to everyone.
Sophia Schoepfer is Assistant Editor at Little Brown Book Group, working across several imprints including Dialogue Books, Virago, Little Brown and Abacus. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick.
Shereen Tadros won the SI Leeds Prize 2018 with draft no. 37 of her first novel, Say Goodbye To Her. She was supported in writing this by Arts Council England and by the National Centre for Writing's Escalator talent development programme. When not writing, she works as a doctor in a children’s hospital and looks after her four children.
Amy Winchester is the head of publicity at Unbound, the world's first crowdfunding publisher. She delivers campaigns across the list and for the business in general, and her publicity campaign for The Good Immigrant was shortlisted for a PPC award. Previously she was a member of the HarperCollins fiction publicity team.
Taking over the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer throughout the day are this great breadth of literary organisations, publishers and societies, whom you can drop in and visit at their stalls.
Founded in 2013, the Creative Future Writers’ Award is a development programme for talented writers from a wealth of backgrounds. It includes the UK’s only national writing competition for all under-represented writers, alongside a series of workshops in hubs throughout the UK.
gal-dem is a new media publication, committed to telling the stories of women and non-binary people of colour. Through their online and print magazine, they’re addressing inequality and misrepresentation in the industry through platforming the creative and editorial work of our community.
A British magazine for women writers, founded and edited by Debbie Taylor, Mslexia is a vibrant, ambitious and growing organisation, commissioning work by prominent authors as well as talented newcomers. Launched in 1999, it aims to provide a high-profile platform for new and established voices with every issue.
Finding, encouraging and developing excellent writing talent, NWS provides high quality delivery of activities that stretch, empower and promote a diverse range of writers and their work. The group also cultivates new audiences for literature, theatre, poetry and new media with through their programme of live and virtual events.
A national arts organisation providing inspiring tuition and opportunities for poets and poetry audiences, The Poetry School was founded in 1997 by poets Mimi Khalvati, Jane Duran and Pascale Petit. With teaching centres across England, and online, they have, since their earliest days, encouraged poets and poetry to flourish through their courses and activities.
Founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry” The Poetry Society has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has more than 4,000 members worldwide and publishes the leading poetry magazine, The Poetry Review.
The Society of Authors is the UK trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators. They have been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession since 1884 and are there to help if you're looking for information on grants or financial support, or contract advice.
Helping writers make their mark on the page, the screen and in the world, Spread the Word is London’s writer development agency. The group supports the creative and professional development of writing talent, by engaging those already interested in literature and those who will be, and by advocating on behalf of both.
Founded in 1820, the RSL is Britain’s national charity for the advancement of literature. The RSL acts as a voice for the value of literature, engage people in appreciating literature, and encourage and honour writers at all stages of their careers.
Run by writers and not for profit, London’s Word Factory is the national organisation for short story excellence. It exists for everyone who loves stories, bringing brilliant writers and readers together for conversation and fun.
A group which aims to raise awareness of the contributions of BAME writers, poets, playwrights and authors born, living or connected to Sussex and the South East. Their first literary anthology Hidden Sussex: fiction, non-fiction and poetry from the black, asian and minority ethnic experience was published in 2019.
London Literature Festival Writers' Day takes place in Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer throughout the day on Saturday 26 October. Entry to all talks is free.
The thirteenth London Literature Festival takes place across Southbank Centre, 17 - 27 October featuring talks, discussions, readings and more from up and coming and established authors, poets and writers.