xx women’s writing festival 2014
Prizewinning authors A.L. Kennedy, Rhian Edwards, Melissa Benn
Prizewinning authors and artists including novelist A.L. Kennedy, political journalist Melissa Benn, poets Kathryn Simmonds and Kim Moore and painter Shani Rhys James are among the many wonderful women featured in this year’s xx women’s writing festival, being held at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff from Thursday 6 March through till Saturday 8 March.
Debut and established writers will take part in this year’s festival, the second xx event, which aims to celebrate women authors from Wales and the world. The festival is being partly funded by the Arts Council of Wales, and sponsors include Welsh publishers Seren, Parthian, Honno and Firefly and Chapter Arts Centre.
Other authors participating in readings, interviews, workshops and panel discussions include poet and Wales Book of the Year Award-winner Rhian Edwards; Sue Vertue, producer of TV programmes including Coupling, Mr Bean, and Sherlock; editor of Mslexia magazine, Debbie Taylor; author Tiffany Murray and Young Adult writer Lucy Christopher.
A.L. Kennedy’s reading will be one of the first readings from her new collection of short stories, All the Rage, which is being released 6 March. Kennedy’s 15 published books include Day, which won the Costa Book of the Year Award in 2007.
“While women authors are hugely influential in the literary world, books by women are still reviewed less than books by men, and women do less reviewing,” said Susie Wild, one of four organisers of xx and editor at Parthian Books. “Rather than just complain, we decided to bring more attention to the excellent writing by women that is out there and encourage men and women to come and hear these writers at xx.”
One event at the three-day festival will feature leading male writers and politicians, including T.S. Eliot Prize-winner Philip Gross, and MP for Cardiff West Kevin Brennan, reading from work by their favourite women authors and discussing their influence.
A new element of this year’s xx festival will be workshops on writing and publishing for festival-goers, led by editors and writers from across the UK including Mslexia editor Debbie Taylor and Mulfran Press editor Leona Carpenter.
The first xx festival, held in October 2012, sold out the theatre at Chapter and featured writers including prizewinning authors Nikita Lalwani, Rachel Trezise, and Roshi Fernando.
Our second festival aims to bring together readers and new and established writers, plus editors and critics, to enjoy the burgeoning range and depth of writing by women from Wales in English, and from the wider world. This year’s festival features more than twice as many authors, and is being held over two and a half days at Chapter.
“Our sell-out audience demonstrated a real thirst for women’s writing, and we’re glad to be able to offer people the chance to hear even more women writers talk about writing and read from their work,” says Amy Wack, festival treasurer and poetry editor at Seren Press.
The other organisers are Penny Thomas, xx chair, publisher of the new Welsh children’s publisher, Firefly Press, and fiction editor at Seren; and Carole Burns, Cardiff author and head of creative writing at the University of Southampton.
Ticket costs (full-price/concessions) are:
Weekend ticket: £30/£27
Friday day ticket: £15/13
Saturday day ticket: £25/22
Single event tickets range from £6 to £8 per event
For more details contact Chapter Arts Centre, www.chapter.org
Workshops cost an additional £10 and are limited to 20 people per workshop.