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Polari

Friday, November 11 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Writeidea is delighted to be hosting Polari – London’s award-winning LGBT literary salon. Described by the New York Times as ‘London’s most theatrical salon’ and by The Independent on Sunday as ‘London’s peerless gay literary salon’, Polari now has its home at the Southbank. Founded and hosted by the author Paul Burston, Polari provides a platform for LGBT authors to present their work in a fun and supportive manner. Supporters include Patrick Gale, Ali Smith, and Sarah Waters, who describes Polari as…

Emily Bullock: The Longest Fight

Saturday, November 12 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Set in 1950s London amid the gritty and violent world of boxing, Emily Bullock’s beautiful and brutal debut is the story of one man’s struggle to overcome the mistakes and tragedies of his past. ‘The Longest Fight’ was inspired by Emily’s boxing grandfather and is an exploration of love and family loyalty. Emily is a prize-winning short story writer and teaches creative writing. She is currently working on a new novel about a matriarchal family set in London at the…

Kimberley Chambers: From Roman Road Trader to Bestselling Author

Saturday, November 12 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join the inimitable Kimberley Chambers as she discusses her latest bestseller. The fourth book in the hugely popular Butler family series, ‘Tainted Love’ will immerse you in a world of loveable villains, forbidden affairs, doomed marriages and dark secrets. Kimberley writes with real authenticity and is a truly colourful character herself with a legendary legion of loyal fans across the country. With a background as a DJ, a cabbie and a street trader on Roman Road, she has fascinating stories to…

Roger Mills: Everything Happens in Cable Street

Saturday, November 12 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

There are other stories of East London’s Cable Street apart from the famous Battle of 1936, when locals saw off the fascists. Then a Jewish area, it later became a red-light district and the book and film ‘To Sir, With Love’ is set there. Author Roger Mills talks about the above and his own experiences with the Basement Writers, Wilton’s Music Hall, the Community Gardens, the edgy Artists’ Studios and the creation of the Cable Street Mural.

Melanie Whipman: Creative Writing Workshop

Saturday, November 12 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join Melanie for a book reading, and a creative writing workshop. she’ll discuss the importance of characterisation in the short story and unleash your creativity with some fun writing execises. All abilities welcome; just bring a pen and notebook. Melanie was the winner of our 2014 short story competition and has her first collection of short stories out this year, which includes her winning story. Melanie’s work has been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in numerous literary and commercial magazines…

Simon Savidge: Social Media, Blogging and Vlogging

Saturday, November 12 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Simon Savidge, who runs the popular Savidge Reads and hosts The Readers Podcast, will be talking about social media, blogging, vlogging (a world he has recently joined and is loving) and podcasting as well as how to reach out to a wide community. Simon has recently joined the publishers Orion as an editorial consultant and will be advising them on a new series with a diverse voice.

Georgie Wemyss: Excavating the Global Lives of Indian Seafarers

Saturday, November 12 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Georgie Wemyss is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, based at the University of East London. During this talk, she will explore the largely hidden stories of seafarers from South Asia who have been working on British-owned ships, crossing borders and arriving in London and other ports across the globe since the seventeenth century.

Ben Aaronovich: Rivers of London

Saturday, November 12 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

A screenwriter for Doctor Who and Casualty, Ben Aaronovitch is author of the acclaimed ‘Rivers Of London’ series. The cult novels follow the adventures of Peter Grant, detective constable and apprentice wizard as he tries to maintain law and order amongst the more fantastical members of London’s population. A unique blend of police procedural and supernatural mayhem with threads of hidden history woven through the plots. ‘The Hanging Tree’, the sixth in the series, was published in the summer.

Ann Cleeves: Shetland Noir & other Crime

Saturday, November 12 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Ann Cleeves is the bestselling author behind ITV’s Vera and BBC’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels, and created detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print.  In 2006 Ann won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the richest crime-writing prize in the world, for her novel, ‘Raven Black’. Ann will be giving an insight into her writing career and discussing her exciting new Shetland crime novel ‘Cold Earth’.

Ben Judah: This is London – Life and Death in the World City

Saturday, November 12 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Acclaimed foreign correspondent and author Ben Judah will be speaking about, and reading from, his new book ‘This Is London: Life and Death in the World City’. ‘This Is London’ explodes the fossilized myths of our capital city and offers a fresh, exciting portrait of what it’s like to live, work, fall in love, raise children, grow old and die in London now. After Ben has spoken, the floor will be opened up for audience Q&A.

Laurence Ward: Exploring the LCC Bomb Damage Maps, 1939-1945

Saturday, November 12 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This talk will discuss the air raids of the Second World War and the terrible damage they inflicted on both Londoners and their city, before focussing on how the damage was recorded by means of an incredible set of hand coloured maps created by the London County Council. Laurence Ward is the Head of Digital Services at London Metropolitan Archives and the author of ‘The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps, 1939-1945’.

Roddy Slorach: A Very Capitalist Condition – A History and Politics of Disability

Saturday, November 12 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Roddy Slorach shows how capitalism creates disability by turning our minds and bodies into commodities to be priced and traded. Those who don’t fit are identified as a problem. This book examines the origins and development of disability, looking at disability movements in different parts of the world and the hidden history of groups such as disabled war veterans, deaf people and those in mental distress. It argues that Marxism helps provide an understanding of the politics and nature of…

The Secret to Writing Bestselling Crime Fiction

Saturday, November 12 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Join three successful British crime authors Vaseem Khan, Amit Dhand and Abir Mukherjee as they talk about their writing journeys, their work and the key ingredients they think are necessary to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive publishing industry. They will discuss method, plot, characterization, setting, and the often opaque process of publishing, with tips from their own experiences.

Suzanne Joinson: The Photographer’s Wife

Saturday, November 12 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

‘The Photographer’s Wife’ is a powerful story of betrayal: between father and daughter, between husband and wife, and between nations and people, set in 1920s Jerusalem and 1930s Sussex. Suzanne Joinson is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction whose work has appeared in, among other places, the New York Times, Vogue, Aeon, Lonely Planet travel writing anthologies and the Independent on Sunday. Her first novel, ‘A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar’ was translated into sixteen languages and was a…

Sarah Wise: ‘The Fairyland of Horror’ – a Shoreditch slum, and the lies that were told about it

Saturday, November 12 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Police would not patrol there, even in daylight; no strangers would chance their arm there; it was a nest of cosh-carriers and prostitutes. The Old Nichol in central East London has had a terrible press over the past 150 years or so. But did it deserve it? Historian Sarah Wise has pieced together a much more complex picture of life in the slum. And in the process, the Nichol legend dies a death.  

Rowan Moore: Slow Burn City – London in the Twenty First Century

Saturday, November 12 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Fiercely intelligent, thought-provoking, lucidly written and often very funny, ‘Slow Burn City’ is packed with fascinating stories about the physical fabric of London in the twenty-first century. Seeing this fabric as the theatre of social and cultural struggles, Rowan Moore, architecture critic of The Observer, connects the political and architectural decisions of London’s enfeebled and reactive government with the built environment that affects its inhabitants’ everyday lives. Rowan Moore is the architecture critic for the Observer and previously for the…

Jan Blake: Storyteller

Saturday, November 12 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

As one of the leading storytellers for adults and children, Jan Blake has been performing worldwide for over 30 years. Specialising in stories from Africa, the Caribbean, and Arabia, she has a well-earned reputation for dynamic and generous storytelling. Recent highlights include Hay Festival, the Viljandi Harvest Festival in Estonia and both TEDx Warsaw & TEDx Manchester. As well as performing at all the major storytelling festivals both nationally and internationally, she works regularly with the British Council, leads storytelling…

Dan Cruikshank: Spitalfields – The History of a Nation in a Handful of Streets

Saturday, November 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Architectural historian and television presenter Dan Cruickshank will tell the story of Spitalfields, where he has lived for the past four decades. Starting in Roman times and continuing right up to the present day, Cruickshank will explain how Spitalfields’ streets have evolved, including the transformation he himself witnessed, from when he first arrived during the 1970s and encountered a war-damaged collection of semi-derelict houses, to the vibrant community it is today.

Kate Summerscale: The Wicked Boy

Sunday, November 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

‘The Wicked Boy’ is a gripping account of a murder case that sent late Victorian Britain into a frenzy, by the bestselling, multi-award-winning author of ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’. Kate Summerscale’s latest book is a compelling and shocking study of two young brothers, Robert and Nattie Coombes, who became an overnight sensation when they were discovered to have murdered their mother. Kate’s extensive research uncovers how notions of class, education, gender and criminality played a role in the case.…

Catherine Johnson: Blade and Bone

Sunday, November 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Novelist and screenwriter Catherine Johnson has written many novels for young readers including the award winning ‘Sawbones’, and her most recent, Carnegie Medal nominated ‘The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo’. She’s spent a life in stories, working at Centerprise in Dalston, as writer in residence in Holloway Prison and contributed to the film Bullet Boy. Catherine will talk about ‘Blade and Bone’, the new sequel to ‘Sawbones’ and, as a highly experienced creative writing mentor, will be giving tips…

Mary & Brian Talbot: The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia

Sunday, November 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

This is the third collaboration by graphic novel pioneers Bryan and Mary Talbot. It tells the amazing life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’. Utopian, anarchist, teacher, orator and poet – she was decades ahead of her time. She fought on the barricades during the Paris Commune of 1871. After its defeat, when she was deported to a penal colony, she supported the indigenous population against French colonial oppression. Bryan and Mary will talk about…

Mel Evans: Artwash

Sunday, November 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In ‘Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts’, Mel Evans provides a gripping exposé  on the murky world of oil sponsorship of the arts, focusing on the deep-rooted relationship between our art institutions and the multi-national corporations that fund them. In the wake of massive environmental disasters created by the oil industry, companies such as BP and Shell are using arts sponsorship as a calculated PR exercise to ‘artwash’ their soiled reputations, raising important questions about artistic censorship and complicity, as…

Sunny Singh: In conversation with Rachel Shabi

Sunday, November 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

What happens when war comes home? Or when the news reporter becomes news itself? Are love, friendship, honour, courage mere words in an increasingly fragmented, violent world? Join writer, activist and academic, Sunny Singh as she talks about her latest novel, Hotel Arcadia. Described as ‘addictive and penetrative,’ the literary thriller explores identities, politics, love and survival in an increasingly uncertain world. In a wideranging discussion with writer, journalist and broadcaster, Rachel Shabi, the session will cover politics of fiction and…

Slambassadors: Poetry Slam

Sunday, November 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

A performance poetry event introduced by Joelle Taylor, professional spoken word artist, published poet and playwright. Slam is the competitive art of spoken word performed before a loud and lively audience. SLAMbassadors UK is the Poetry Society’s national youth slam championships and the longest running youth slam in the country, involving as many young people as possible in reading, writing, and performing poetry. This event is not ticketed and will take place on the 4th Floor

Chris Russell: Songs About a Girl

Sunday, November 13 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Chris Russell is a writer and musician. His novel, ‘Songs About A Girl’, is about heartbreak, pop music and the power of teenage obsession. It tells the story of sixteen-year-old aspiring photographer Charlie Bloom, whose life spirals out of control when she is invited to take backstage photos for a chart topping boyband. Chris will perform some of the songs he has written for the novel and talk about how his love for music as a teenager led him to…

Paul Trynka: Starman – David Bowie

Sunday, November 13 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Many music fans where  stunned to hear that a new single and album was going to be released by David Bowie in January. The whole world was stunned when they heard that Bowie had died. Not just a musician but innovator, fashion icon and sexual pioneer. Paul Trynka paints the definitive portrait of Bowie: musician, innovator, fashion icon and sexual pioneer. He describes Bowie’s life from post-war, bombed-out Brixton, to the decadent glamour of Ziggy Stardust and the vital Berlin…

Joan Ellis: A Woman’s Wit, Wisdom and Pratfalls

Sunday, November 13 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Join ‘funny, fascinating’ author Joan Ellis as she takes a wry view of a woman’s lot. Share her banana-skin moments and hear celebrity anecdotes as she recalls life as a copywriter working in London with the likes of Felicity Kendall and Harry Enfield. Meet the women from Joan’s books: Ella – girl in a man’s world in 80s Adland. Sandra – woman who loves too much in the thriller inspired by Joan’s terrifying encounter with a murderer. Susan – young mum…

Dean Atta: Poetry can be life changing

Sunday, November 13 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Dean Atta’s collection, ‘I Am Nobody’s Nigger’, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and he is currently working on his second poetry collection ‘The Black Flamingo’. Dean is described by the Huffington Post as “one of the leading lights in London’s poetry scene” and he was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday Pink List. I Am Nobody’s Nigger, written to commemorate Stephen Lawrence, went viral on YouTube.…

Sara Barnard: Beautiful Broken Things and after

Sunday, November 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join Zoella Book Club star and emerging UKYA talent Sara Barnard, in a conversation all about friendship, first loves and her incredible year since ‘Beautiful Broken Things’ was published. Sara is inspired by what-ifs and people. She thinks sad books are good for the soul and happy books lift the heart. She hopes to write lots of books that do both. ‘Beautiful Broken Things’ is her first book and a dream come true.

Brix Smith Start: The Rise, The Fall and The Rise

Sunday, November 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Brix spent ten years in The Fall, described variously as radically dysfunctional and as the most influential anti-authoritarian postpunk band in the world. Then a violent disintegration led to her exit and the end of her marriage with Mark E Smith. Hollywood raised Brix has gone from luxury to destitution, from the cover of the NME to waitressing in California. Hers is a story of constant reinvention; a singular journey of a teenage American girl on a collision course with…

Keiron Pim: Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Sunday, November 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Whitechapel-born David Litvinoff was the fast-talking provocateur who counted the Krays and the Stones as friends and whose underground experiences provided the inspiration for the cult film Performance. One of the great mythic characters of Sixties London, a ghostly figure linking the disparate worlds of crime, the aristocracy, pop music and the gay demi-monde – and one of the few people able to insult Ronnie Kray to his face and live to tell the tale. Keiron Pim talks about Litvinoff…

Kerry-Ann Mendoza: Murder by Austerity

Sunday, November 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Kerry-Anne Mendoza is a writer, blogger, activist and founding Editor-in-Chief of The Canary. She is known for creating one of the UK’s top independent political blogs, Scriptonite Daily; for authoring the best-seller ‘Austerity’; and for her Middle East reporting during times of active bombardment. Kerry-Anne is based in Bristol, UK.  The Canary (www.thecanary.co) launched in October 2015 and is a counterpoint to the mainstream media. It is founded on the belief that a free, fair, and fearless media is the…

Pete Kennard: Unofficial War Artist

Sunday, November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Over a 45 year career Peter Kennard has been recognised as the leading political artist in Britain. His images have become synonymous with the idea of protest and reproduced as badges, postcards and placards as well as in newspapers and galleries. His major retrospective Unofficial War Artist showed at the Imperial War Museum 2015-2016. For WriteIdea he will talk about attempting to make a different narrative through using image and text or using montage and about making @earth – a…

Taran Matharu: The Novice

Sunday, November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Taran Matharu wrote his first book when he was nine years old. At twenty-two, he began posting ‘The Novice’ on Wattpad (the online writing website) and reached over three million reads in less than six months. ‘The Novice’ is the first of three books in the Summoner series, and Taran Matharu’s fiction debut He will be talking about his unusual journey to becoming a published author, and will be answering questions on how you can use his techniques do the…

Dr Matthew Green: A Time Traveller’s Guide to London

Sunday, November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Discover how London cracked out of its medieval shell, sprawled into the suburbs and blossomed into the biggest city on the face of the earth on this immersive whirlwind tour through 2,000 years of London’s rich and chequered history, visiting medieval bear pits and Georgian chocolate houses, Shakespearean playhouses and Victorian pornography shops, Roman amphitheatres and 1950s Brutalist blocks.  Along the way, we will meet a motley crew of characters from Chaucer to the Elephant Man, Samuel Pepys to Mary…

Barney Hoskyns: Small Town Talk

Sunday, November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Think ‘Woodstock’ and the mind turns to the seminal 1969 festival that crowned a seismic decade of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. In ‘Small Town Talk’, Barney Hoskyns recreates Woodstock’s community of brilliant dysfunctional musicians, opportunistic hippie capitalists and scheming dealers drawn to the area by Dylan. Drawing on first-hand interviews with the remaining key players in the scene, and on the period when he lived there himself in the 1990s, Hoskyns will talk about Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin,…

Mile End Community Project : Film Screening and Q & A

Sunday, November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

The Mile End Community Project (MCP) is an award winning youth and community project that inspires young people and communities to express themselves creatively. Formed by a group of young volunteers in 1995, MCP has become an established and popular youth and community organisation, known particularly for its award winning film-making projects and campaigns. To date, MCP films have won eight awards – both national and international – and shortlisted, exhibited, and screened at a number of high profile festivals. 

Philip Norman: Paul McCartney – The Biography

Sunday, November 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

In 2013, Sir Paul McCartney granted Philip Norman – whom he had previously considered implacably hostile towards him – ‘tacit approval’ as his biographer. Philip Norman’s biography reveals history’s most successful songwriter, a man of seemingly effortless talent, beauty and charm, to be a complex, insecure workaholic who still feels as great a need to prove himself in his 70s as when he was a teenager.  Packed with the new information and critical insights that are the hallmark of Philip…

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