Emerald Street Literary Festival 2016

Highlights from our first festival

On June 11 2016 we held our first Emerald Street Literary Festival at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington, London.

Who was there?

Kate Mosse and the Baileys Prize Finalists

The Baileys Prize: are female spaces in literature important?

Finalists from 2016’s Baileys Prize For Women’s Fiction - Cynthia Bond, Elizabeth McKenzie and Lisa McInerney discussed female spaces in literature and the importance of having a prize for women’s writing, with the Prize’s founder Kate Mosse.

Jessie Burton

The Muse, The Miniaturist: talking to Jessie Burton

The celebrated author talks to us about her best-selling debut novel The Miniaturist and her 2016 publication The Muse.

Caroline Criado-Perez and Marina Lewycka

What has the EU ever done for women?

Just 12 days before until Britain’s European referendum, we asked if women were better off voting to leave or remain. Activist and writer Caroline Criado-Perez and Marina Lewycka, author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and Two Caravans, discussed the issues at stake with Emerald Street editor Anna Fielding.

This Must Be Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell is one of Britain’s most loved authors. She joined Emerald Street to talk about her writing life and to read from and discuss her seventh novel This Must Be the Place, hosted by literature writer Anna James. 

Faber Academy: The Bare Bones of Stories

Richard Skinner is the Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy. He hosted two workshops giving readers the chance to sample one of the Faber Academy’s highly respected courses.

Emerald Street Presents: Kit de Waal

Kit De Waal’s debut novel My Name Is Leon covers race, class and the British foster care system. Kit read from her work and answered readers questions.

Amy Liptrot and Bryony Gordon

Writing about the dark times

Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun is a beautiful, painful memoir covering the author’s alcohol addiction and her redemption on the Orkney islands. Bryony Gordon’s Mad Girl is a brave and inspiring book about OCD, depression and bulimia. Bryony and Amy discussed their respective memoirs and why they chose to write about such difficult times.

Scarlett Thomas

In 2015 we described The Seed Collectors as “fun and thoughtful” which is typical of Scarlett’s writing style. She combines new ideas and sharp observations with humour and the ability to be somewhat filthy and we spent a session hearing from her in the intimate Emerald Street Presents room.

Petina Gappah

We called Petina Gappah’s The Book of Memory our favourite book of 2015 and said it was both “cleverly written and powerful”. Petina will be reading her work and answering your questions.

Laura Barnett: a sneak preview

Laura Barnett’s debut novel The Versions of Us was an unusual love story, following the same couple through three different life paths. Laura exclusively read from her newest book, which was not due for publication until 2017.

A.L.Kennedy reading Serious Sweet

A.L. Kennedy is a prolific and brilliant writer of novels, short stories, screenplays and non-fiction. She joined us to discuss her new novel, Serious Sweet, which is poignant, funny and very inventive.

Holly Bourne

Talking to girls about feminism

Holly Bourne is a Young Adult author of four novels, all with a strong feminist theme (mixed in with boys, sex, A-Levels and the occasional end of the world). Holly discussed why we should talk about feminism with younger women and how we go about doing it.

The Venue

“One of the best literary events I’ve ever been to.”

“I enjoyed the setting and felt that the speakers were highly engaging.”

“The atmosphere, the talks and the themes of literary women. Filling up my bookshelf!”

“Listening to Jessie Burton talk about her new book and getting a signed copy of The Muse. Absolute best!”

“I liked the venue, the fact that you didn’t have to queue too long to see the authors & I thought it was a delightful touch to get a complimentary drink.”

“The workshop sessions by the Faber Academy really inspired me to write.”

With these two formidable women at the Emerald Street Literary Festival! #emeraldstreetlitfest

A post shared by Christine Brooks (@chrissobrooks) on

We’ll see you at our 2017 event!

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