26 April - 9 May 2021

Monday 26th April

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.


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.

Documenting the Past: Neema Shah (Kololo Hill) in conversation with Catherine Menon

Event Time: 6:00 pm

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Set in Uganda in 1972, Kololo Hill (shortlisted for the Bath Novel Award and the First Novel Prize) tells the story of one family’s escape. From the green hilltops of Kampala, to the terraced houses of London, Neema Shah’s debut explores what it means to leave your home behind, what it takes to start again, and the lengths some will go to protect their loved ones.

Neema wrote Kololo Hill around her full time job as head of marketing at Freeview (TV). Her route to publication involved connecting with a lot of creative writing groups and organisations and now, on publication, she'll be paying it back by offering a mentorship to an underrepresented writer. This event will reveal Neema’s documentation of family stories, the danger of the single narrative, and the inspiration for Kololo Hill.


Author Bio

Catherine Menon is Australian-British, has Malaysian heritage and lives in London. Her debut novel, Fragile Monsters, was published by Viking in April 2021, and her short story collection, Subjunctive Moods, was published by Dahlia Publishing in 2018. She is a University lecturer in robotics and has both a PhD in pure mathematics and an MA in Creative Writing.

The Scene of the Crime: William Shaw, Rebecca Wait and Nina Allan

Event Time: 7:00 pm

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William Shaw is one of our finest crime writers – critically praised and much loved by the crime writing community for his books including the Alexandra Cupidi investigations, brilliantly written and plotted crime set around atmospheric Dungeness with characters readers love at their centre. His latest book The Trawlerman continues this series and tackles meaty issues: mental health and corruption among them, while never letting up the pace as Alex – who is meant to have been signed off police duties – can’t help herself investigating a grisly double murder. Rebecca Wait, author of Our Fathers and Nina Allan, author of The Good Neighbours - Both books are set on windswept Scottish islands – beautifully evoked – and both deal with the aftermath of a father who kills his family. These exceptionally well written books (both authors have been praised across the national papers and Our Fathers was a Waterstones Book of the Month last month) address similar themes but in very different ways.


Author Bio

William Shaw

William Shaw was born in Newton Abbot, Devon, grew up in Nigeria and lived for sixteen years in Hackney. He has been shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, longlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and nominated for a Barry Award. A regular at festivals, he organises panel talks and CWA events across the country. He is the author of the Breen & Tozer crime series set in sixties London: A Song from Dead Lips, A House of Knives and A Book of Scars; and the standalone The Birdwatcher. Salt Lane and Deadland are spin-offs to The Birdwatcher. For over twenty years he has written on popular culture and sub-culture for various publications including the Observer and the New York Times. He lives in Brighton with his family.

Nina Allan

Nina Allan is a novelist and short story writer. Her previous fiction has won several prizes including the British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel, the Novella Award and the Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire for Best Translated Work. She lives and works on Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.

Rebecca Wait

Rebecca Wait grew up in the Oxfordshire countryside and graduated from Oxford University with a first in English, specialising in Old English poetry and early Bible translation. Along-side her writing she teaches in a London secondary school. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and written for the New Statesman and Independent on subjects as diverse as suicide, cults and autism and her childhood depression. She has written award-winning short stories. The author of two previous novels, The View on the Way Down and The Followers, she lives with her boyfriend in south London.