26 April - 9 May 2021

Friday 7th May

Kathryn Koromilas

Event Time: 9:15 am

Join Kathryn Koromilas for a daily morning meditative writing session. In this calm and mindful session, we’ll meditate - in writing - with a poem. The intention of meditative writing is to help you remove mental obstacles, encourage mindful concentration, enhance your creative practice, and just generally supercharge your day. Sessions will be streamed live on Instagram, every morning from 9:15am to 9:45 am for the duration of the festival.

Follow the Stay-at-Home! Literary Festival Instagram account to take part.

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Author Bio

Kathryn Koromilas is a creative writer, a teacher & a gentle, joyful Stoic! She uses ancient wisdom and writing practices to help reignite creativity, reimagine purpose, and foster a thriving writing practice.

Writing Climate Fiction for Children

Event Time: 12:00 pm

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The Last Bear by Hannah Gold offers young readers both a hopeful tale and a call to action on climate change - the idea that no one is too small to make a difference. Join the author in conversation with writer and environmentalist Lyndsey Croal about the growing trend of writing climate fiction for children - the challenges, the opportunities and the responsibility.

"There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that's what April's father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life..."

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Author Bio

Lyndsey Croal

Lyndsey (she/her) is a Scottish writer based in Edinburgh. She received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for 2020 and is working on her debut novel. Last year, she was the Emerging Writer in Residence for The Stay-At-Home Literary Festival. Her work has been published in a number of anthologies, and her debut audio drama was recently produced by the Alternative Stories and Fake Realities podcast. She also works in climate change policy for an environmental charity.

Hannah Gold

Growing up, Hannah’s biggest dream was to own a cat and be a writer and she’s happy to say she’s achieved both. After studying screenwriting at university she went onto work in the London film and theatre industry before following her heart to write children's books. She now lives in Lincolnshire with her tortoise, her cat and her husband. Hannah is passionate about writing stories which share her love of the planet and when not writing, she’s busy looking for her next big animal story.

Her middle-grade debut, The Last Bear, was published in Feb in both the UK & the US by HarperCollins and was The Bookseller Children's Book of the Month for February as well as being picked as The Saturday & Sunday Times Book of the Week. In its first half week of sales in the UK it became an instant debut hardback bestseller.

Yvonne Battle-Felton

Event Time: 1:00 pm

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A workshop on developing characters that challenge stereotypes – with a reading from Remembered.

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Author Bio

Yvonne Battle-Felton, author of Remembered, is an author, academic, and creative producer. Remembered was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (2019) and shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize (2020). Winner of a Northern Writers Award in fiction (2017), Yvonne awarded a Society of Author’s Foundation Grant for Remembered in 2018. She was commended for children’s writing in the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize (2017) and has titles in Penguin Random House’s The Ladybird Tales of Superheroes and The Ladybird Tales of Crowns and Thrones. Yvonne has a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is a 2019 British Library Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow, and Principal Lecturer—Business and Enterprise Lead at Sheffield Hallam University

Monsters in Fiction: Camilla Bruce and Catriona Ward in Conversation with CJ Cooke

Event Time: 4:00 pm

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Monsters have always featured in stories as embodied fears and nightmares, often evoking concerns over social change and new technologies. This panel discusses monsters of the mind, as found in two brilliant new books - The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward and You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce. This event is chaired by CJ Cooke, author or The Nesting and founder of the Stay-at-Home! Literary Festival.

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Author Bio

Catriona Ward

Catriona Ward was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. Stephen King praised her latest gothic thriller, The Last House on Needless Street, saying, ‘I was blown away. Haven’t read anything this exciting since Gone Girl.’ The Last House on Needless Street is published by Viper (Serpents Tail) and Tor Nightfire. Ward’s second novel Little Eve won the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award, the August Derleth Prize at the British Fantasy Awards and was a Guardian best book of 2018. Her debut Rawblood also won the 2016 August Derleth, making her the only woman to have won the prize twice. She lives in London and Devon.

Camilla Bruce

Camilla Bruce is a writer of dark speculative and historical fiction. She was born in central Norway and grew up in an old forest, next to an Iron Age burial mound. She has a master's degree in comparative literature and has co-run a small press that published dark fairy tales. Camilla currently lives in Trondheim with her son and cat.

New Gothic Literature: Books for the Post-Pandemic Era

Event Time: 5:00 pm

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Paul Maunder (The Atomics) and Greg Buchanan (Sixteen Horses) discuss why readers are so drawn to gothic fiction, where that appetite comes from, and how the pandemic has changed our reading habits.

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Author Bio

Greg Buchanan

Greg Buchanan was born in 1989 and lives in the Scottish Borders. He studied English at the University of Cambridge and completed a PhD at King’s College London in identification and ethics. He is a graduate of UEA’s Creative Writing MA. Sixteen Horses is his first novel.

Paul Maunder

Paul Maunder is an author and journalist. His 2018 memoir The Wind at my Back explores the connections between landscape, creativity and the writing process. He was awarded a Faber bursary for his fiction and has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, where he studied with the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion. He regularly publishes features and fiction in cycling magazines Peloton and Rouleur. He lives in South London with his wife and two children.

Solace in Sound – Three Bloodaxe Poets Explore the Landscape of Grief

Event Time: 6:00 pm

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Join a trio of Bloodaxe poets whose recent poetry collections span Scotland, Ireland, England and Estonia. Each shares a powerful sense of their formative landscapes; whether farmland, forest, mountains, estuaries, rivers or beyond. In poems that consider the impact of loss – of friends and friendships, parents, or a communal event of the most traumatic kind – these collections foster sympathy and strength. The poets will read from their own work, and also from each other’s, creating a unique conversation about memory and resonance in the landscape.

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Author Bio

Jane Clarke

Jane Clarke is the author of two poetry collections, The River and When the Tree Falls (Bloodaxe Books 2015 & 2019), and an illustrated chapbook, All the Way Home, (Smith|Doorstop 2019). Four of her poems feature in Staying Human (Bloodaxe Books 2020) and one of the poems from When the Tree Falls was selected for The Forward Book of Poetry 2021. She grew up on a farm in Co. Roscommon and her work explores enduring connections to people, place and nature. She lives in Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow where she combines writing with teaching & mentoring creative writing.

Philip Gross

Philip Gross, born in Cornwall, son of an Estonian wartime refugee, has lived in South Wales since 2004. He won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2009, a Cholmondeley Award in 2017, and is a keen collaborator – with artist Valerie Coffin Price on A Fold In The River (Seren, 2015), with poet Lesley Saunders on A Part of the Main (Mulfran, 2018) and with scientists on Dark Sky Park (Otter-Barry, 2018). His latest collections are Between The Islands (Bloodaxe, 2020) and Troeon/Turnings (Seren, 2021) with Welsh language poet Cyril Jones. A new Bloodaxe collection, The Thirteenth Angel, is due in 2022.

Heidi Williamson

Heidi Williamson grew up in Norfolk and spent many years living in Central Scotland. Her first collection, Electric Shadow, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. The Print Museum won the 2016 East Anglian Book Award for Poetry. Return by Minor Road, published in 2020, revisits her time living in Dunblane at the time of the Primary School shooting and its aftermath. She is an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund and also works for the Poetry Society, Poetry School, National Centre for Writing and The Writing Coach.

Katy Massey in Conversation with Laura Wilkinson

Event Time: 7:00 pm

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Katy Massey in conversation with Laura Wilkinson about her memoir, Are We Home Yet?. Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize, Are We Home Yet? is a moving memoir of a mixed-race woman from a working class community in Leeds and her outspoken French-Canadian mother, which explores issues of shame, immigration, and class.

As a girl, Katy accidentally discovers her mother is earning money as a sex worker at the family home, rupturing their bond. As an adult, Katy contends with grief and mental health challenges before she and her mother attempt to heal their relationship. From Canada, to Leeds and Jamaica, and exploring shame, immigration and class, the pair share their stories but struggle to understand each other’s choices in a fast-changing world.

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Author Bio

Katy Massey

Katy Massey grew up in Leeds and worked as a freelance journalist in London. She suffered burnout, and returned to education, culminating in a self-funded PhD in creative writing. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, and while recovering from surgery, started working on ways to encourage non-writers to author their life stories, particularly those under-represented in literature. One result of this work is Tangled Roots, an anthology of memoir by more than thirty members of mixed-race families, exploring their experiences, history and contribution to British society. She is currently developing Who Are We Now?, a collection of memoir responses to the Brexit referendum and a post-European future, while also working on The Cleansing, a novel imagining post-Grenfell London after a large-scale attack.

Laura Wilkinson

Laura Wilkinson is a feminist and lover of ginger hair. A resident of a shabby quarter of Brighton, she likes to write stories which entertain and provide food for thought. Her novels are Crossing the Line, The Family Line, Redemption Song and Skin Deep. Crossing the Line was a Welsh Books Council book of the month and her latest, Skin Deep, has been widely praised, including a longlisting for Not the Booker Prize. Alongside writing, she works as an editor and mentor, and speaks at events nationwide. She has a passion for fashion and anything which glitters. In another life, she’d make a good magpie.