Pull up a chair, gather around the fireside and indulge in a weekend of stimulating and entertaining conversation at Gladstone’s Library. Hearth is a festival for writers to pick up hints and tips, and for those interested in books and literature to find out more about the writing and publishing process. This spring, Hearth will take place 3rd – 4th February and will include events with Dipika Mukherjee (Shambala Junction), Annabel Abbs (The Joyce Girl), Sheena Wilkinson (Name Upon Name) and Jenny Lewis (Gilgamesh Retold).
So, settle down with a mug of hot chocolate (or something stronger!), gather around the fireside and listen to readings, make new like-minded friends and discuss books with four of the best contemporary writers.
Dipika Mukherjee is an author and sociolinguist whose second novel Shambala Junction, a sharp exploration of corruption within international adoptions, won the UK Virginia Prize for Fiction in 2016. She is currently affiliated to the Buffett Institute for Global Studies where she is finishing an academic manuscript on Migrant Women and the Language of Civic Participation in Malaysia. At Hearth Dipika will talk about Shambala Junction as well as her debut novel, the contentious Ode to Broken Things (2016), a story set among the political scandals of modern Malaysia.
Annabel Abbs is a writer of historical-biographical fiction and a food writer at kaleandcocoa.com. Her debut novel, 2014’s The Joyce Girl, was a Guardian reader’s pick of 2016. Annabel came to novel-writing after 15 years in marketing and a bohemian childhood in rural Wales; she now lives in London and Sussex while working on several projects, including the untold story of the original Lady Chatterley. Via an exploration of some of her inherited cookery book collection, Annabel joins us at Hearth to consider questions including ‘How did ingredients change from the mid sixteenth century to the swinging sixties?’, ‘Why did Eliza Acton and Mrs Beeton strike such a chord with the nation?’ and ‘Who were the earliest writers of the form?’
Sheena Wilkinson is a novelist, short-story writer, and Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is the author of several young adult novels, and has been called ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’ by the Irish Times. Sheena’s historical novels, Name Upon Name and Star by Star, are set in Ireland during World War One and focus on war, identity and suffrage. At Hearth she considers how to create characters who are accessible to a modern reader but not ahistorical; how to write a ‘quiet’ novel which doesn’t take place on the front line; and how to negotiate the complexities of the past.
Jenny Lewis is a poet, playwright, children’s author, songwriter and educator. Now teaching poetry at Oxford University, she originally trained as a painter at the Ruskin School of Art. Jenny’s father served in Mesopotamia (Iraq) in the First World War and at Hearth she explains how her investigations into his service, and into Sumerian culture, led to her discovery of the Gilgamesh epic, her subsequent all-consuming interest in it and the way that this research has influenced her writing.
For the full timetable please click here.
Individual event tickets are priced at £14.
Day tickets are priced at £35 which includes dinner on Saturday or lunch on Sunday.
Weekend tickets are priced at £60 including dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday.
All tickets include free entry to the panel discussion on Saturday evening with all four Hearth speakers during which they will reflect on reading and writing and guests are invited to put forward their most testing questions!
Guests are encouraged to stay at the Library over the weekend to really make the most of this unique festival and its atmosphere. Accommodation prices start at £66 (student, clergy and Society of Authors discounts available).