London Literature Festival 2021

Candice Carty-Williams - credit Ekua King

Candice Carty-Williams – credit Ekua King

Following a year’s hiatus, London Literature Festival hosted by the South Bank Centre is returning from 21st to 31st October 2021, with literary events exploring what friendship truly means in our current times.

“In response to the isolation we’ve all endured, London Literature Festival creates space for a timely conversation about contemporary friendship, while our autumn season offers unmissable encounters with the writers and artists shaping our cultural life,” says Ted Hodgkinson, the Southbank Centre’s Head of Literature and Spoken Word. “Truly an exceptional programme for exceptional times.”

Exclusive events include Caleb Azumah Nelson, Vanessa Onwuemezi and Naomi Ishiguro on 21st October, reflecting on the complexities of contemporary friendships forged in London. Also on 21st October, catch a London exclusive appearance from neuroscientist Anil Seth. Candice Carty-Williams (pictured top), author of Queenie, will talk to Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff about her debut YA novel and the value of true friends on 23rd October, while on 24th October novelist Tahmima Anam and essayist Roisin Kiberd will scrutinise friendship and disconnection in the age of social media, in an event chaired by Jenny Kleeman.

On Sat 30th October, novelist Kate Mosse will chair An Extra Pair of Hands, an event focusing on experiences of the NHS and the friendships formed between carer and patient, with children’s author and poet Michael Rosen, award-winning poet and specialist nurse practitioner Romalyn Ante and writer and former nurse Christie Watson.

Don’t miss bestselling picture book maker Oliver Jeffers discussing his new picture book, There’s a Ghost in This House, on 31st October in a family friendly free event.

alchemymay23. Credit Belinda Lawley

Credit Belinda Lawley

In short, have your imagination thoroughly stirred.

For the full programme, visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

All images supplied by the South Bank Centre.

The magic of a child’s imagination

Selkie and Mermaid stories with Nicola Davies

Southbank Centre’s annual multi-arts Imagine Children’s Festival returns for its seventeenth year from 7th till 18th February 2018. It’s the perfect opportunity to set your creativity loose, with twelve days of storytelling, playing and exploring for children and their families. At its heart, this year’s programme features a specially curated Royal Festival Hall event celebrating the world’s leaders and pioneers who have changed the world, to inspire the next generation of young changemakers.

The line up of activities include Super Hero parties, magical immersive adventures and snail friendships (particularly intrigued by this!) to dancing scientists with flatulence. Elsewhere, Nicola Davies will be sharing Selkie and Mermaid stories (see the beautiful artwork above), and award-winning author Jacqueline Wilson will discuss her much-loved characters including Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker, as well as her latest novel Wave Me Goodbye.

An Afternoon with Jacqueline Wilson Credit James Jordan

An Afternoon with Jacqueline Wilson © James Jordan

Over half of the events are free, making it as inclusive as possible, with the likes of Caroline Bowditch, CBBC’s Ben Shires & Cerrie Burnell, Charlotte Cotterill, Radio 1’s Chris Smith & Greg James, Francesca Simon, Harry Hill, Jacqueline Wilson, James Campbell, Jess Thom, Joseph Coelho, Mitch Johnson, Patrick Monahan, Robin Stevens, Yuval Zommer all counted among the folks hoping to rev up kids’ imaginations.

Find out more and book tickets at the Southbank Centre website or call 0203 879 9555.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley(at)icloud(dot)com.

Spring literary leaps at Southbank Centre

Neil Gaiman. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Author and fabulist Neil Gaiman. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Norse myths have been a source of inspiration for author and fabulist (how’s that for a job title) Neil Gaiman throughout his literary career. Discussing this influence and his latest book Norse Mythology (due out today – 7th February 2017), Neil Gaiman is part of Southbank Centre’s Spring Literature programme and year-long exploration of Nordic culture Nordic Matters.

On 15th February you can learn how Gaiman brings Norse gods to life through his inimitable fiction, where fantasy meets fairytale, fable, nightmare and happy endings in equal measure.

Other events to look out for include the Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival returns to Royal Festival Hall from 9th-19th February (speakers and storytellers include Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Michael Morpurgo, cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, and Icelandic author Þórarinn Eldjárn), and Southbank Centre’s new year-long Belief and Beyond Belief festival, which examines belief, faith and spirituality as well as what it means to be human in the 21st century. So, plenty to inspire, intrigue and get your mind ticking!

To find out more and book, visit Southbank Centre’s website southbankcentre.co.uk or call the box office on 020 7960 4200