New speaker announced: Trifonia Melibea Obono

We are absolutely thrilled to announce a new speaker to our 2020 line-up: Trifonia Melibea Obono from Equatorial Guinea.

Trifonia Melibea Obono is an award-winning author, academic and activist from Equatorial Guinea. She is the author of several novels, including Las Mujeres Hablan Mucho Y Mal, which won the 2018 International Justo Bolekia Boleká Prize for African Literature, and La Bastarda, which was the first novel by a woman writer from Equatorial Guinea to be translated into English (by Lawrence Schimel). Obono has recently published Yo no quería ser madre (‘I didn’t want to be a mother’), a collection of testimonies by 30 lesbian and bisexual Equatoguinean women about their experiences of forced pregnancies.  She lives between Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and Madrid, Spain.

It is a huge privilege to invite Trifonia Melibea Obono to Bristol Women’s Literature Festival. She will be speaking on the Women In Translation panel, with Rosalind Harvey, Olivia Hellewell, and Laia Jufresa.

Book your tickets to see Trifonia Melibea Obono talk Women In Translation.

Melibea 2

Book now

Comments Off on New speaker announced: Trifonia Melibea Obono

Filed under Uncategorized

Launching our 2020 Programme!

We are so proud to announce our 2020 line-up!

Virago Press: Balancing purpose and profit in feminist publishing?

21 March 2020, interactive workshop with D-M Withers at Spike Island

Book tickets


Helen Lewis: Difficult Women

(in partnership with Bristol Festival of Ideas)

26 March 2020: Helen Lewis in conversation with Sarah Ditum

Book now

Helen Lewis credit Urszula Soltys

Image credit: Urszula Soltys


Bristol Women’s Literature Festival LAUNCH PARTY!!!!

27 March 2020 with Karolina Ramqvist, Janne Teller, Eleanor Pender, Shagufta Iqbal, Malaika Kegode and Becky Kosick (in partnership with Hay and Comma Press)

Book now (tickets on sale 14/01/2020)

Launch Party montage

Hadley Freeman: House of Glass

28 March 2020, Hadley Freeman in conversation with Jenny Lacey

Book now

Hadley Freeman byline picture.  Photo by Linda Nylind. 24/5/2013

Image credit: Linda Nylind, the Guardian Newspaper


Writing the news

28 March 2020: panel with Anoosh Chakelian, Nandini Archer and Coco Khan, chaired by Bidisha

Book tickets

Write the news montage

Women writing today

28 March 2020: panel with Yvonne Battle-Felton, Fiona Benson, Rosanna Amaka and Naomi Wood, chaired by Sarah LeFanu

Book tickets

Women writing today montage

Viv Groskop lifts us all UP!

Book tickets


Writing our lives

29 March 2020: panel with Olivia Sudjc, Juliet Jacques, Zeba Talkhani and Clover Stroud, chaired by Prof Madhu Krishnan

Book tickets

Memoir montage

Professor Helen Taylor discusses why women read fiction

29 March 2020

Book tickets



Women in translation

29 March 2020: panel with Laia Jufresa and Olivia Hellewell, chaired by Rosalind Harvey

Book tickets

Women in translation montage

Women writing the wild

Book tickets

29 March 2020: panel discussion with Isabel Hardman, Zakiya McKenzie, Lia Leendertz, Sara Maitland, chaired by Dr Samantha Walton

Writing the wild montage
Supported by Bristol Festival of Ideas and Arts Council England

Comments Off on Launching our 2020 Programme!

Filed under Uncategorized

Bit of housekeeping

Dear friends – we’ve noticed a few people leaving comments on the website re trying to contact the festival.

We have now confirmed our line up and the programme will be launched next week (13/01/2020).

If you need to get in touch for any reason, please contact us via Facebook or Twitter, or email sianm[dot]norris[at]gmail[dot]com.

Comments Off on Bit of housekeeping

Filed under Uncategorized

Love women in sci-fi? You’ll love this.

We are pairing up with Handheld Press and Bristol Festival of Ideas for a special, one-off event before our main festival programme to celebrate women in sci-fi and fantasy.

It’s an evening celebrating female geekery and science fiction creativity, with four exceptional writers and critics of sff: Emma Geen, Cheryl Morgan, Emma Newman and Liz Williams. In conversation with Kate Macdonald of Handheld Press, they will unknot the bonds of unknowing to illuminate the best of feminist sff:

– the writers we can’t stop reading

– the writers and artists you need to know about

– the struggles of the women in sff who came before us

– what we can all do to support the new generations of sff women

When? Tuesday 25 Feb 2020

What time? 7.30pm – 9pm

Where? Foyles, Cabot Circus

You can book your tickets through via Bristol Festival of Ideas

Who’s who

Emma Newman is an author of science fiction and fantasy. Her novel, After Atlas, was shortlisted for the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke award and the third novel in the Planetfall series, Before Mars, has been shortlisted for a BSFA Best Novel award. She is a professional audiobook narrator, and won the Alfie and Hugo Best Fancast Awards for her podcast Tea and Jeopardy.

Cheryl Morgan is a science fiction critic and publisher. She is the owner of Wizard’s Tower Press and the Wizard’s Tower Books ebook store. Previously she edited the Hugo Award winning magazine, Emerald City (Best Fanzine, 2004). She also won a Hugo for Best Fan Writer in 2009. She is a Co-Chair of Out Stories Bristol and lectures regularly on both trans history and science fiction and fantasy literature.


Emma Geen is a Bristol based author and lecturer in Creative writing. Her first novel The Many Selves of Katherine North was published by Bloomsbury. Several of her short stories feature in Stories of the Stranger, published by Bene Factum Publishing, Her articles have appeared in The GuardianLit Hub and The New Statesman. She is an associate lecturer at Bath Spa University.


Liz Williams is a British science fiction writer. The Ghost Sister, her first novel, was published in 2001. Both this novel and her next, Empire of Bones (2002) were nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award. She is also the author of the Inspector Chen series. She is the daughter of a stage magician and a Gothic novelist. She holds a PhD in Philosophy of Science from Cambridge. She has had short stories published in Asimov’sInterzoneThe Third Alternative and Visionary Tongue.

Liz Williams

Kate Macdonald is a literary historian and has taught and researched science fiction and fantasy fiction for many years. She reviews sff for Foundation and other critical organs, and has recently had some of her own sff short stories published. She runs Handheld Press, an independent publishing company based outside Bath, which specialises in the recovery of forgotten fiction, and has republished classic fantasy fiction by Sylvia Townsend Warner, and science fiction by Rose Macaulay and Vonda N McIntyre.



Comments Off on Love women in sci-fi? You’ll love this.

Filed under Uncategorized

A new partnership for 2020

We’re really pleased to announce that Bristol Women’s Literature Festival will be supporting the charity Womankind Bristol during our 2020 festival.

Festival founder Sian Norris is a patron of the charity.

‘Womankind Bristol is a brilliant organisation led by women for women, providing support for women in crisis – often as a result of gender based violence. I’m proud to be a patron of the charity that cares so deeply for women’s health, lives and wellbeing. I hope that through the festival, we can help raise awareness and money for the wonderful way Womankind supports women and girls in our city and beyond.’

To find out more about how you can support women in crisis, donate to Womankind Bristol today.

Comments Off on A new partnership for 2020

Filed under Uncategorized

Getting ready for 2020… with a Twitter account

We decided it was time to move our social media profile from “sian’s account” and launch our very own Bristol Women’s Literature Festival Twitter account.

Give us a follow!

Comments Off on Getting ready for 2020… with a Twitter account

Filed under Uncategorized

We’re back for 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Bristol Women’s Literature Festival will be returning in 2020 with an amazing line-up of writers, thinkers and academics.

The festival will take place between 26 – 29 March 2020.

Speakers are already being confirmed and emails are being sent so we will be able to share more information with you soon about who will be attending the festival and the events we have planned. Tickets will go on sale January 2020.

We are the oldest current festival focused on women’s writing, and the only one with an intersectional, trans-inclusive all-woman line-up.

Please put the dates in the your diary and we look forward to welcoming you all to the fourth Bristol Women’s Literature Festival in March 2020. 


Comments Off on We’re back for 2020

Filed under Uncategorized