PROGRAMME OF EVENTS | XX 2014
(L-R: A. L. Kennedy, Rhian Edwards and Sue Vertue)
Thu 6 March
7.30 p.m. First Thursday of the Month New Poetry and Fiction (Poetry Wales)
xx kicks off with this regular event. Meet the new editor of Poetry Wales, Nia Davies, who will read from her own poetry and discuss plans for the magazine. Also with novelist Zillah Bethell (Seren) and poet Maureen Jivani (Mulfran). Hosted by Seren poetry editor Amy Wack. Tickets for this bought on the door on the night. £2.50 and Open Mic. Join the First Thursday of the Month at Chapter facebook page for news.
Fri 7 March
2.30 p.m. The Fearless Feminist Spot: Melissa Benn
What Should We Tell Our Daughters? The new book by journalist, novelist, and writer on socio-political topics Melissa Benn raises compelling questions about how we raise our girls. She will be interviewed by Julie Morgan, Wales Assembly Member for Cardiff North.
4 p.m. Florilingua: Shani Rhys James
An interview with one of Wales’ foremost modern painters by the writer Francesca Rhydderch. Rhys James has commissioned work by four writers inspired by the colourful canvases of her Florilingua exhibition. Readers include Jasmine Donahaye, Amy Wack and actress Helen Griffin.
7 p.m. The ‘Woman Writer’: Lennie Goodings
The publisher of Virago Press will give the xx keynote speech on women and publishing, then answer questions from Cardiff author and University of Southampton lecturer Carole Burns.
8.30 p.m. Cardiff Literary Salon
A special edition of Cardiff Literary Salon takes to the stage for xx. Fiction will be our hot topic with readings and discussion from novelist and former Hay Festival International Fellow Tiffany Murray (Sugar Hall, Seren, 2014) and a showcase of bright new talents Carly Holmes (The Scrapbook, Parthian, 2014), Georgia Carys Williams (Second-Hand Rain, Parthian, 2014), and Rhian Elizabeth (Six Pounds, Eight Ounces, Seren, 2014). We will also be treated to a set from Hail! The Planes, a Cardiff-based band creating intricate and melodic music with elements of folk and post-rock as vocals, electric guitar and violin interweave. For this performance core members Holly Müller and David Neale offer a stripped-back, intimate incarnation of their recent EP ‘Send A Signal To Me, Love’ and other material. Hosted by Parthian Books’ editor Susie Wild.
Sat 8 March
10 a.m. Young Adult Fiction
What does it take to write for teenagers? Compered by Firefly Press publisher and Seren Fiction Editor Penny Thomas and featuring Catherine Fisher, author of author of Incarceron and 17 other novels (as well as three books of poetry), award-winning novelist Lucy Christopher (Stolen, The Killing Woods) and Kat Ellis, debut author whose thriller, Blackfin Sky, will be published in May.
11.15 a.m. Script and Screen
A panel session about writing and producing for stage and screen, featuring TV producer Sue Vertue (Sherlock, Mr Bean), Bafta-winning BBC script editor and producer Ceri Meyrick (EastEnders, Father Brown), Soho Theatre’s creative producer Rebecca Gould, and Welsh actress, playwright and screenwriter Helen Griffin (Human Traffic, Twin Town). Led by Susie Wild, reviewer for The Stage and former film editor at RedHanded.
12.30 p.m. Writing From Life: New Memoir/Fiction
Home from Abroad: Where does fact end and fiction begin? Three authors of memoir and fiction from around the world reflect on some fine dividing lines: Kit Habianic, Until Our Blood Is Dry (Parthian, 2014); Karen Fielding, American Sycamore (Seren, 2014), and Hilary Shepherd, In a Foreign Country (Honno, 2014). Hosted by Penny Thomas, Seren fiction editor.
2.30 p.m. New Poetry
Forward prize-winning poet Kathryn Simmonds will be reading poems from her new collection, The Visitations (Seren). Also featuring newcomers to the scene Jemma King, shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2013, reading from her Parthian debut, The Shape of A Forest, Cumbrian poet Kim Moore, winner of the Eric Gregory award, reading from her pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves and Cath Drake, who has won the Mslexia Pamphlet Competition, 2014. Compered by Amy Wack, Seren poetry editor.
4 p.m. Sex in Writing by Women
In the wake of Fifty Shades, we look at the role sex plays in fiction by women, in terms of emotions, fulfilment, empowerment, disempowerment, maybe even redemption. Does women’s writing about sex differ from men’s? Does it differ by sexual orientation? By nationality? Writer A.L. Kennedy, Mslexia magazine editor Debbie Taylor, poet and 2014 Wales Book of the Year winner Rhian Edwards discuss. Led by Carole Burns, author and lecturer.
6.30 p.m. Men Reading Women
Men read extracts from their favourite women writers. Featuring Kevin Brennan M.P. for Cardiff West; Mark Drakeford A.M; T.S. Eliot prize-winning poet Philip Gross; writer and publisher Lewis Davies and Damian Walford Davies, Professor of English at Cardiff University. Plus Q & A with the audience. Presented by Baroness Eluned Morgan.
8 p.m. All the Rage: A.L. Kennedy
‘The renowned Scottish writer and winner of the 2007 Costa Prize reads from her new collection of short stories, All the Rage, and answers questions from author Carole Burns and audience to close the festival.
Workshops xx (Workshops must be booked in advance, sizes limited.)
Sat 8 March only:
- 10 – 11 a.m.
Leona Carpenter from Mulfran Press:
Preparing your book manuscript for submission: understand requirements and plan your own submission of a poetry, fiction, non-fiction book.
We will cover making sure that book you’ve written is ready to go, deciding where (and when) to send it, what to put in your cover letter (and what not to include), understanding responses to submissions. Participants will be given forms for creating a draft plan during the workshop and handouts pointing to sources of further information for use afterward.
- 11.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
Mab Jones, Poet: Performing Poetry: Tips, Tricks, and How to Get Ahead.
- 1.30 – 2.30 p.m.
Debbie Taylor, Editor, Mslexia magazine: Getting your work published in literary magazines.
- 3 – 4 p.m.
Jo Verity from Honno Press on the short story: What’s the Point of Short Fiction?
xx women’s writing festival is organised by Amy Wack, Seren poetry editor, Penny Thomas, Seren fiction editor and publisher with Firefly Press, Susie Wild, author and Parthian editor; and Carole Burns, author and University of Southampton lecturer.