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!

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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. 


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A celebration of Zelda Fitzgerald, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Rose Macaulay Three modernist women

Bristol Women’s Literature Festival is BACK for a special one-off event on 21 March.

Book your tickets now!

This Women’s History Month, join Bristol Women’s Literature Festival and Handheld Press for a celebration of three modernist women writers: Zelda Fitzgerald, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Rose Macaulay.


All three writers pushed the boundaries with their writing, producing an extraordinary body of work that included novels, short stories and essays. But for too long, these women have been excluded from the canon – marginalised from our understanding of modernism due to marriage, mental health, sexuality, and social status.

“So much she loved the man, so close and closer she felt herself that he became distorted in her vision, like pressing her nose upon a mirror and gazing into her own eyes … She felt herself very small and ecstatic.”– ZELDA FITZGERALD


Bath-based publisher Handheld Press has reprinted Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save Me The Waltz, Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Kingdoms of Elfin, and Rose Macaulay’s What Not. For this special event, Handheld’s Director Kate Macdonald is joined by Macaulay’s biographer, author and Women’s Press editor Sarah LeFanu to discuss these women’s work, the process of republishing classics by women, and why these three writers deserve their place in modernist history. Following the discussion are readings from Save Me The WaltzKingdoms of Elfin, and What Not.

This is your chance to discover the words of these wonderful women – and if you are already familiar with their writing, to reconnect with your love of their work.


Book your tickets now!

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Fancy a writing retreat in Bali?

We’ve got a very special offer to share with Bristol Women’s Literature fans who fancy honing their writing, learning new skills, and working with some of our favourite authors in beautiful Bali.

Here’s the website blurb:

Writing Retreat Bali

Seven nights. Six writers. One seriously playful retreat.

Writing Retreat Bali. Finesse your novelplot your screenplaysell your news storyrefine your poetry and build a copywriting portfolio. This is a seven day swoop into creative and commercial writing, replete with stimulating wordfood that aims to inspire, entertain and sustain.

You’ll be retreating with a range of writers including novelist Clare Fisher.

Here’s the deal:

As a special offer for Bristol Women’s Literature Festival, Writing Retreat Bali offers a £50 saving per person on ALL tickets.

This offer WILL work in conjunction with our EARLY BIRD which is currently running until 23/02. So, it’s possible to save a whopping £150 on tickets purchased before 23/02.

Quote BRISWOMLIT when booking to claim the discount.

If you have any problems with booking or using the code please contact Writing Retreat Bali directly (not me!).

Happy writing!

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An Impossible Poison – join Bidisha at Spike Island

We are pleased to be hosting a very special event with Bidisha and Taban Othman at Spike Island on 17 May.

Book now

Over the past few months, conversations have raged about Me Too, feminism, and women’s representation in film, literature and wider culture.
In her debut film, the writer, broadcaster and journalist Bidisha explores issues around gender, violence and control. Her work is beautiful, challenging and designed to provoke discussion.
This very special event brings Bidisha together with award-winning filmmaker Taban Othman, who now lives in Bristol having left Iraqi Kurdistan. The pair will be screening their films and then will join Sian Norris in conversation. Together they will discuss the inspirations and motivations behind their work, the challenges facing women of colour in the film industry, and how, post Me Too, we can encourage women’s stories to be told, heard and respected.



Bidisha is a journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster for BBC radio, BBC TV and SKY. She is a Trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation and writes regularly for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. Her fifth book is Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices(2015) and her debut short film is An Impossible Poison (2017).

Taban Yasin Othman

Taban Yasin Othman is an experimental film maker.

Book now

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Thank you!

Thank you so much for being part of the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival. It was such a brilliant brilliant weekend – two days of intelligent and thought provoking conversation, fun, wit, and a real celebration of women’s work, feminism, reading and writing.

Not even the snow could put us off – hurrah!

We’ll be updating the website soon with pics and audio recordings… so watch this space.


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Festival going ahead

Hi there

So we have decided to go ahead with the festival so please do brave the snow and come along to Watershed.

We may have to reduce or amend some of the line-ups so it might not be exactly as programmed but we are doing our very best in these surprising circumstances to keep calm and carry on…

See you later.

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