Tickets for BWLF weekend programme now on sale!

Tickets for 2018’s Bristol Women’s Literature Festival are now on sale via Watershed Bristol’s website

Fans of contemporary, feminist, classic and YA writing can book tickets to see writers as diverse as Patrice Lawrence, Louise Doughty and Sheila Rowbotham as they discuss their own work, the place of women in publishing today, and the relationship writers have with their readers.

Over the weekend, attendees can rediscover their love of Frankenstein with Professor Marie Mulvey-Roberts. They can discuss the joy of talking about books with the Read Women project team. Together we’ll celebrate the single woman with Joanna Scutts, assess the legacy of #MeToo in the 100th year of UK women’s suffrage with Samira Ahmed, step back in time to 1920s Paris and much, much more…

Programme at a glance:

Friday 16 March: Bristol Women’s Literature Festival launch party

Featuring a screening of Greta Schiller’s Paris Was A Woman and readings of 1920s writers

Saturday 17 March:

Living alone and liking it with Joanna Scutts

100 years since suffrage with Samira Ahmed, Nimco Ali, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, Sheila Rowbotham and Professor Helen Taylor

Women Writing Today with Louise Doughty, Meena Kandasamy, Jenny Landreth and Bidisha

Sunday 18 March:

200 years of Frankenstein, with Professor Marie Mulvey-Roberts

Why we love talking books, with the Read Women Twitter team

Writing YA, with Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Patrice Lawrence and Eleanor Pender

Book now


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Guest post: #MeToo – women’s poetry anthology

This is a guest post in support of the #MeToo Women’s Poetry Anthology, edited by Deborah Alma:

A brand new collection of largely new work, from some of our finest poets: that rose up directly out of the collective rage from the #MeToo campaign on social media around the world at the end of 2017.

“This collection is quite the rollercoaster: it made me cry with sadness – and with joy. I salute the courage of the women who have shared the pain of sexual harassment in verse that is lyrical, poignant and powerful

– as will readers of this outstanding collection.”

Rachel Kelly

author of ‘Black Rainbow: How words can heal – my journey through depression’ and mental health campaigner.

“Listen hard- this is what you hear, and what must be said: the hard poetry of truth, exploding into the light, where it goddamn belongs. Read these poems and then decide in what order you want to 1) cry 2) march 3) scream with relief and recognition 4) grab a sword-pen and write your own.”

Amanda Palmer

Singer-songwriter, Musician, with the Dresden Dolls.

Enough tears. Enough silence. It was all of us but we

never knew. Sisters, take my hands, we can say it together:

me too

me too

me too.

Sarah Doyle

All profits will go to Women’s Aid UK

Cover image

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Buy your tickets for the launch!

Tickets are now on sale via Spike Island for the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival launch party on Friday 16 March.

Step back in time to 1920s Paris, where women from across America and Europe came together to form a community of writers, publishers and artists, and act as one another’s muses.

The evening begins with a screening of Greta Schiller’s documentary film Paris was a Woman (1996, 80mins) which explores the lives of these remarkable women, from Gertrude Stein and Colette, to Sylvia Beach and Janet Flanner, followed by short readings of their work.

If you would like to volunteer to read at the event, please get in touch via sianm[dot]norris[at]gmail[dot]com

Book now

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Bristol Women’s Literature Festival 2018: we’ve launched!

Happy New Year women’s literature lovers! What better way to kick off 2018 with the launch of our March programme!

We are absolutely thrilled to be working in partnership with Bristol Festival of Ideas, Bristol Women’s Voice, Watershed, and Spike Island to bring you some of the UK and US’s best writers over three days in March.

We kick off with a journey back in time to 1920s Paris on Friday 16 March. Then on the following two days you’ll discover the best contemporary women writers. Discuss feminist activism in the 100 years since UK suffrage. Meet your favourite YA writers. Celebrate women who lived solo, and give yourself chills re-discovering your love of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

You’ll have the chance to hear from speakers as diverse as Louise Doughty, Meena Kandasamy, Patrice Lawrence, Samira Ahmed, Sheila Rowbotham and many, many more. Together we will celebrate women’s creativity and artistic achievements, counter the male dominance of cultural line-ups, and explore women’s literary history.

View the full programme

Tickets will be on sale by the end of January. We can’t wait to see you in March!

The Bristol Women’s Literature Festival is presented in partnership with Bristol Festival of Ideas, Watershed, and Bristol Women’s Voice.

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Launch of Anon with Hurst St Press

Join Hurst St Press and Bristol Women’s Literature Festival at Spike Island for the launch of ANON: a new series of publications from Hurst Street Press. ANON is a series of pamphlets that celebrates the work of undervalued women writers, republishing their work alongside commissioned responses from new writers, academics and artists.

The launch of the series includes three editions, showcasing the work of three early twentieth century authors: Charlotte Mew, Elizabeth Bibesco, and Mary Butts.

Book your place

This event features readings from the works of Mew, Bibesco and Butts by the poet and writer Camille Ralphs, as well as an introduction to the ANON series by Hurst Street Press co-founder Beth Sparks. A panel discussion (including writers and artists included in the pamphlets and chaired by literary producer Lily Green) focusses on the works of the three writers, from initial reactions to artistic response, in addition to wider debates about the reputation of women writers and the interaction between literature and art.

You may also purchase a copy of the works and see a selection of artworks from the books at the launch.

Launch schedule

More information about the new editions

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2018: we’re doing it

So, here we go again.

Thanks to a new partnership with Bristol Festival of Ideas, March 2018 will see the return of the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival to Watershed.

We’ll be updating the website soon with details of times, dates, speakers and more.

But for now just to say… you can expect brilliant contemporary women’s writers who’ll discuss their work as poets, novelists, short-story writers, and creators of genre-defying non-fiction. You’ll hear from feminist writers who are changing the world, 100 years on from us winning the vote in the UK. You’ll discover more about our gothic foremother Mary Shelley, meet the best talent in young adult fiction, and get to chat books with the Read Women team.

It’s going to be two days of bookish joy and I for one can’t wait. We’ll pack Bristol with literary lovers, as we celebrate the brilliant creativity of women writers throughout history.

And, of course, you’ll get to buy books and meet the writers too.

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Let the planning commence…!

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Winnie M Li’s Bristol book launch

This is a guest post on behalf of Winnie M Li. This is not a BWLF event. 

Winnie M Li will be in Bristol this Thursday, July 13th for a special launch event for my novel DARK CHAPTER at the Abbots Leigh Village Hall.
Here are all the details
It’s free to attend, and feel free to bring friends and spread the word, too.  (Though unfortunately, we can only accept cash payment for books at the event.)
Here’s a review of DARK CHAPTER from Wasafiri magazine

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