Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bristol Festival of Ideas, women writers and feminism

Our friends the Bristol Festival of Ideas has some fantastic women writers and feminist events planned for May. I know you’ll see my face at a lot of them, so come along! It’s so exciting to see so many incredible and inspiring women in our city. 


Samantha Ellis

How to be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned From Reading Too Much

Watershed, Bristol

Sun 11 May 2014, 15.30-16.30, £7 / £6

On a walk to Wuthering Heights, Samantha Ellis found herself arguing with her friend about who was best:  Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. She decided to look again at her heroines, those who had shaped her ideas of the world and how to live. Her exploration of the ones that stood up to scrutiny will have many remembering those women who made them the reader and person they are today.


Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett and Holly Baxter

The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media

Watershed, Bristol

Sun 11 May 2014, 17.00-18.00-, £7 /£6

Feminist blog The Vagenda is a call to arms. Challenging us to look harder at the magazine articles about a celeb mum’s miracle weight loss or advice columns about bikini waxes and blowjobs to keep your man, co-founders Cosslett and Baxter argue it’s time for us all to push for change in a sphere which holds huge power over women of all ages, yet refuses to respect who they are today.


Rachel Holmes and Andrew Davies

Eleanor Marx: A Life

Watershed, Bristol

Sun 11 May 2014, 18.30-20.00, £7 / £6

Eleanor Marx led an eventful life packed with achievements and adventure. Foremost in her public and private life was her strong, pioneering feminism. Her life ended in mysterious suicide in her early 40s. Rachel Holmes’ new biography, which reads in parts like a novel by Wilkie Collins, reveals a woman unafraid to live her contradictions. In this special event Holmes discusses Marx with Andrew Davies, who will be showing clips from his 1977 TV serial Eleanor Marx.


FYI: TICKET OFFER – BOOK FOR 3 EVENTS ON SUN 11 MAY AND ONLY PAY FOR 2 (Contact Watershed for terms & conditions, excludes walk and Ian Nairn event)


Lucienne Boyce

Walk: From Women’s War to World War – Bristol Suffragettes

Starts Watershed, Bristol 

Sat 17 May 2014, 10.30-12.45, £8 / £7

(includes refreshments on arrival)

In 1913 the suffragettes declared war on the government that refused to enfranchise women. At the outbreak of the First World War, militancy was at its height. How did the suffragettes respond to the war? And how far did their suffragette experiences prepare them for their war-time activities? A specially commissioned walk led by Lucienne Boyce, author of The Bristol Suffragettes.


The Personal Is Still Political: Will You Occupy Your Body?

Watershed, Bristol

Sat 17 May 2014, 11.30-12.30, £7 / £6

Led by body activists AnyBody, UK chapter of international initiative Endangered Bodies, this event explores the complex ways in which ownership is claimed over a woman’s body by people other than herself. Join us for a discussion with the panel and audience, and walk the talk by formulating campaign strategies with us. 


Integrate Bristol

End FGM Campaign: Meet the Campaigners

Watershed, Bristol

Sat 17 May 2014, 14.00-15.00, £5 (all ticket income goes to Integrate Bristol)

The young campaigners from Integrate Bristol’s tireless campaigning to end female genital mutilation has got them national recognition. They are supported by Malala Yousafzai and the secretary general of the UN, and made Michael Gove pay attention.  Hear how they have managed to break down the wall of silence around FGM and why they won’t be stopping to talk about it any time soon.


Lucy- Anne Holmes

No More Page 3

Watershed, Bristol

Sat 17 May 2014, 16.00-17.00, £7 / £6

Lucy-Anne Holmes started the campaign to ask The Sun to stop Page 3 in the summer of 2012 when she realised that the largest female image in the paper was of a young woman showing her breasts, even though Jessica Ennis had just won her Olympic Gold medal. She talks about building and growing the campaign, dealing with backlash and why she’ll be continuing her work.


Rosie Wilby

Nineties Woman: A Personal and Political History

Watershed, Bristol

Sat 17 May 2014, 18.00-19.00, £7 / £6

Award-winning comedian Rosie Wilby uses live interactive storytelling interspersed with video interviews, music and photos to trace a hilarious journey through early 90s feminism, refracted through a very personal lens. Against a backdrop of John Major and riotgrrrl she blurs personal and political history, backed by a healthy dose of 21st century cynicism.

In association with What The Frock! Comedy




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Happy World Book Night! Want to win a book?

We’re running a competition on Twitter to give away a signed copy of our founder’s book. It’s called Greta and Boris: A Daring Rescue and it’s jolly good if we say so ourselves. 

Here’s the rundown: 

Greta’s best friend is her cat Boris. However, little does she realise her bewhiskered buddy is actually the Prince of the Kingdom of Cats. So when he is kidnapped by the Rat King, a young warrior cat named Kyrie Mi-ke is sent to find Greta, and together they face a mystical and magical adventure to bring Boris home again.

Greta must face the challenge of the staircase of the autumn leaves; cross Cloud Top Land and the Milky Sea; end the war between the two tribes of mice and face the truth of the Millpond; before facing the Rat King himself.

Journalist and friend of the festival, Bidisha, described the book as: 

‘touching, exciting, cheeky and vivid, with wonderful characters, a strong narrative and sudden delightful details. It is an adventure that is both heartstopping and heartmelting, at once sentimental and comfortingly predictable. The story’s sprinkled with sparkling details, with each location fully realised and a joy to traverse.’

And to whet your appetite, here’s a little excerpt from the book itself:

Swish, swish, was the sound that broke into the stillness of the night. Swish, swish, accompanied with scampering and scratching of claws and paws, rushing forward through grass and fallen leaves towards the palace. And if anyone had been awake to hear it, they would have heard that each scurrying paw-step was landing in time, in the rhythm of a march. A soft thud, thud, swish, swish, echoed through the sleepy kingdom, as only the moon looked down on the onward journey of an army that didn’t want to be seen.
The cats slept on, oblivious to the menace that was slowly surrounding them.
The pack of marching creatures started to head up the hill where the palace stood, imposing and magnificent. In the moonlight, the towering building looked even more beautiful and impressive. The rainbow-colored tiles glistened like tiny fairy lights, a blinding spectacle that illuminated the hills and villages below it. The army continued to advance. As the moonlight reflected off their furry backs, it became increasingly obvious which creatures of the animal kingdom were threatening the peaceful palace of the cats. And there could be no doubt at all, when one of the marching many kicked a stone and let loose a wild and pained ‘SQUEAK!’ before hastily being seen to and told off by the leader of the procession.
The moon could see the horrible truth below her now, yet from her lofty place in the sky was powerless to stop it. It was an army of rats. The rats had invaded the Kingdom of Cats. Under the cover of darkness, safe in the knowledge that every kitten, tom and queen would be sleeping soundly, they had made their cowardly advance, confident that no-one would be able to stop them.
Want to enter to win your copy? It’s easy to do. Simply follow @sianushka on Twitter, and then whenever she tweets the following tweet:  competition time! RT to be entered into a draw to win a signed copy of Greta & Boris: A Daring Rescue well, just re tweet it! 
All re-tweeters will be entered into a prize draw and whoever is drawn out of the hat will receive a signed copy of Greta and Boris: A Daring Rescue
Here are the rules:
All RTs tweeted before midnight on 23rd April 2014 will be entered into the prize draw.
Only one RT per tweeter will be counted. 
The judge’s decision is final. 
World Book Night has not endorsed this competition. 
The prize is one signed copy of Greta and Boris: A Daring Rescue which will be posted second class to the winner. 
@sianushka will tweet the name of the winner and let the winner know on 24th April 2014. 

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Win a signed copy of Greta and Boris

In celebration of Sian’s article profiling the best cats in literature, we’re running a little competition. 

To enter, simply comment on the post on our Facebook page or tweet @sianushka with your favourite cat from a book before 5pm on Friday 4th April to be entered into a prize draw to win a signed copy of Greta and Boris. 

The winner will be drawn out of a hat on Friday. The judge’s decision is final. 

Good luck! 

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Cats and books – a winning combination

Our founder, Sian, has written an article for the utterly wonderful For Books’ Sake about the Top Five Cats in literature

Her list features classic novels from Colette and Antonia White, children’s adventures The Little White Horse and Greta and Boris, and Doris Lessing’s memoir, On Cats. 

It was hard to reach a shortlist – classic cats Carbonel and Orlando didn’t make the cut. 

Who would be on your list? Add your comments to the article with your thoughts. 

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