A week today, the brilliant celebration of writing and creativity that is Storyfest begins! It is a huge pleasure to invite you to attend.
Too often, the hectic pace of our lives, pressures of deadlines, and the many challenges the pandemic has thrown up, can make us feel out of tune with our creative selves, and lose touch with how to nurture that creativity.
Festivals like Storyfest, free and organised by your fellow students, are here to remind you of the amazing diversity and power of stories and storytelling, across genre and across media. Creativity connects us, wakes us up, reminds us what matters and why.
This year’s festival is of course online – we have all had to adapt in different ways, and so the organising committee chose the theme of Transformation – all of the sessions will reflect this key theme. You can follow the festival on Twitter for all the latest news and updates @nlstoryfest.
In the meantime, here is a sneak preview!
You can treat yourself to workshops with leading filmmakers and playwrights, hear from award winning novelists including The Costa Book of the Year winner Monique Roffey, sharing craft secrets and exploring Magical Realism together with Leone Ross, who will be giving you a sneak peek of Faber’s lead Spring title, her novel One Sky Day.
Please visit and bookmark the festival site; North London Story Festival | Middlesex University
And you can already listen to one of the stories from one of our MA novelists, Brian Hicks. Check back for more inspiring content over the week. The Eventbrite links will be here too – I will share these on Friday.
The amazing lineup includes:
David Heinemann, film lecturer at MDX will be discussing his award-winning film Voices Apart. The documentary presents three Lithuanians who hear voices that set them apart. You can watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/462423732
Creativity is often a collective, communal activity. On Tuesday 16th of March, Thriller writer Lara Thompson will be appearing together with her editor Sarah Savitt from Virago Press to talk about her exciting debut novel One Night, New York, a brilliant and immersive thriller, which won her the Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer Award
Judith Bryan’s Bernard and the Cloth Monkey was Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, as Part of Penguin’s new series Black Britain. This series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation. On Wednesday 17th March, Judith will be in conversation with MDX novelist Ariel Kahn, discussing the theme of Transformation in their books.
On the 18th of March at 7.30, reserve your places for meeting with Monique Roffey, author of Costa Book of the year award-winning The Mermaid of Black Conch, discussing Magical realism together with the amazing Leone Ross, who will be giving you a sneak peek into her novel This One Sky Day a month before its publication.
There are many organisations which support and platform new writing. The National Centre for Writing will be discussing how they share stories through web, podcast, social channels, print and marketing.
This will be followed by a live workshop from a dynamic duo from MDX, Film maker David Cottis and Playwright James Kenworth.
In addition to the live events each evening, there will be brilliant bonus content on the website, with carefully curated interviews, including:
Nalini Singh is a paranormal romance writer. The discussion touch on the topic why she’d chosen shapeshifters rather than vampires and the author’s journey from romance and thriller to paranormal romance writing.
Nadine Dalton-West, short-listed for the British Fantasy Society award and was accepted into the WriteNow 2020 programme with Penguin. She has features in couple of anthologies including The Book of Witches.
Writing is often a path to personal freedom, and a way to reflect on and shape the journeys that made us. Two brilliant refugee writers from Iran I’ve had the privilege of mentoring, with the support of exiled writers Ink and the Arts Council, have just had their short stories published.
Navid Hamzavi had his short stories banned in his native Iran. He and fellow Iranian writer and poet Sana Nasari talk about the pleasures and pitfalls of writing and translating their work across language and culture.