A groundbreaking literary event is poised to grace the cultural landscape of Scotland this autumn. The inaugural Edinburgh Women’s Fiction Festival, born from the passion for women’s fiction held by four dynamic Edinburgh women, is set to make its debut on October 6th and 7th, 2023. This inclusive festival promises to become a cherished annual tradition on the city’s vibrant festival calendar.
The festival will unfold at the captivating Morningside United Church on Holy Corner, with additional events hosted at the Green Room and Festival Bar conveniently situated at McLarens on the Corner. The program boasts a captivating array of literary delights, including stimulating panels and enriching workshops, offering an engaging experience for all who appreciate the power and beauty of women’s storytelling.
The festivities will kick off with a compelling ‘in conversation’ session featuring the accomplished authors Sara Sheridan and Kim Sherwood on the evening of Friday, October 6th. On the following day, the festival will be abuzz with five riveting panels and three illuminating writing workshops. The grand finale will feature another ‘in conversation’ session, this time between the beloved authors Jenny Colgan and Mike Gayle.
Among the stellar lineup of authors set to grace this literary celebration are luminaries like Anya Bergman, Catherine Hokin, Jackie Fraser, Niamh Hargan, Milly Johnson, Nina Kaye, Lily Lindon, Karen Swan, Stacey Thomas, and Eva Verde. Angela Jackson, a renowned Scottish writer whose debut work secured the coveted Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award, will lead one of the three inspiring writing workshops.
The genesis of this extraordinary festival stemmed from a realization that a significant segment of readers and writers remained underserved by existing literary gatherings. Olivia Kekewich, the Program Director, articulated their vision, stating, “We aspire to create an inclusive event that welcomes all who relish women’s narratives. Authors in these genres have often struggled to secure festival spots, and we believe there is an immense community of readers longing for the opportunity to connect with their favorite writers.”
In addition to her role as the festival’s Program Director, Olivia Kekewich is the Assistant Manager and Events Coordinator at the Edinburgh Bookshop. Her fellow organizers, Jane Anderson, Kristin Pedroja, and Alison Belsham, collectively manage the Edinburgh Writers’ Forum, a monthly platform for professional development and networking for the city’s writers.
The announcement of this pioneering festival has elicited an overwhelming outpouring of support from authors, publishers, and readers alike. Jenny Brown, a prominent literary agent, commented, “I wholeheartedly endorse the necessity of this festival in championing and promoting women’s fiction. Eleven years ago, Bloody Scotland was established to elevate the status of crime fiction, and today Scotland is celebrated for its contributions to the genre. Watch this space, as I predict a turning point in literary history thanks to this bold and much-needed initiative.”
Sara-Jade Virtue from Simon & Schuster added, “As reported by The Bookseller in February, the Romance & Saga genre achieved its second-best year on record in 2022, with over 10 million books sold (excluding eBooks and eAudio). 40% more women’s fiction novels were bought by readers than in 2021, making the genre the biggest seller overall in the UK. While there are at least seven literary festivals dedicated to crime & thriller genres, there isn’t a single literary festival specifically catering to the passionate audience of literally millions of women’s fiction readers.”
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this historic literary event celebrating the vibrant world of women’s fiction. Join us at the Edinburgh Women’s Fiction Festival on October 6th and 7th, 2023, and immerse yourself in the magic of women’s storytelling.
Discover the festival’s complete program and further details on the official festival website: www.edwomensficfest.co.uk.
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