26 April - 9 May 2021

Saturday 8th 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.


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.

Using More Than One Language in Your Writing: Why and How (Workshop)

Event Time: 12:00 pm

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This workshop is aimed at whomever is interested in working across multiple languages. While open to everyone, this workshop will be particularly useful for bilingual writers or for those where English is their second language.

Access Sabrin's powerpoint from the workshop


Author Bio

Sabrin Hasbun is an Italian-Palestinian transnational writer. She has always had to mediate between two cultures and every day for her is a journey across borders. She studied literary theory at the University of Pisa, the Sorbonne University and Bath Spa University where she is now finishing her PhD in Creative Writing and History in collaboration with Exeter University and with AHRC funding support. She has recently worked as writer, editor and translator for the Embassy of Palestine to the Holy See, the international journal Transnational Literature, and Tuscany Now and More. Sabrin is looking to publish her first book, the family memoir Wait for Her.

On Writing the Body - Haleh Agar in Conversation with Pragya Agarwal

Event Time: 1:00 pm

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This talk explores female embodiment; specifically, representations of the body as a site of vulnerability and empowerment. Author Haleh Agar draws upon intersectional feminism and her personal experiences as a woman of colour –whose body has been labelled as clinically vulnerable– to inform her writing.

Recommended reading from the session


Author Bio

Haleh Agar

Haleh Agar is a novelist, short story writer and essayist. Her debut novel Out of Touch was published in paperback by W&N in spring 2021. Her short story ‘Not Contagious’ was Highly Commended by the 2019 Costa Short Story Award. She won the Brighton Prize for a piece of flash fiction, and her narrative essay ‘On Writing Ethnic Stories’ won The London Magazine’s inaugural essay competition. She has run writing workshops and spoken at literary events such as The National Flash Fiction Festival and most recently, the Stay At Home Literary Festival. Haleh is part of this year’s judging panel for The London Magazine’s short story prize. She is Canadian-Iranian and lives permanently in London. Donya is her second novel.

Pragya Agarwal

Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural scientist and author of Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias and Wish We Knew What To Say published in 2020. Her next book (M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman is out on 3 June with Canongate. She has also just written her first book for children about racism which is out in August.

BAME of Our Lives: Truth and Stereotypes in Asian Writing

Event Time: 3:00 pm

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Mona Dash, Nadia Kabir Barb and Shibani Lal are three writers from The Whole Kahani, a collective of South-Asian writers based in the UK. In this event they discuss their writing and their experiences with stereotypes. Chaired by Reshma Ruia.


Author Bio

Mona Dash

Mona Dash is the author of A Roll of the Dice: a story of loss, love and genetics, winner of Eyelands Book Award 2020 for memoir. Her other published books include two collections of poetry, A Certain Way and Dawn-drops, and a novel Untamed Heart. She has been listed in various competitions, and in journals and more than eighteen anthologies. With a degree in engineering, an MBA, and a Masters in Creative Writing (with distinction) she works in a global tech company. She lives in London.

Nadia Kabir Barb

Nadia Kabir Barb is a journalist and author of the collection of short stories Truth or Dare (Bengal Lights Books 2017). Her work has been published in international literary journals and anthologie including, Wasafiri, The Missing Slate, Open Road Review, and a winner of the Audio Arcadia Short Story Competition. She holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has worked in the health and development sector in both the UK and Bangladesh. She is currently a columnist for the Dhaka Tribune and is working on her first novel.

Shibani Lal

Shibani Lal writes short stories, children’s books and flash fiction. She was a finalist for the 2019 Hamlin Garland award, and won the 2019 Autumn Term City University Writing Competition. In addition, her stories have been longlisted in several competitions, including the Bath Short Story Award, the Bristol Prize, the Fish Short Story Prize and the Cambridge Short Story Prize. She was the runner-up for the 2015 Asian Writer Short Story prize. Her work has been published in the UK (Dahlia Press, Linen Press). Shibani’s children’s story, “The Maharaja of Mastipur and the Pet Tiger” was published in August 2020, and she has just completed her short-story collection. An avid swimmer, Shibani competes in international open-water swims, and she holds an MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University.

​​​Reshma Ruia

Reshma Ruia is an award winning author and poet. Her first novel, Something Black in the Lentil Soup, was described in the Sunday Times as ‘a gem of straight-faced comedy.’ Her second novel manuscript, A Mouthful of Silence, was shortlisted for the 2014 SI Leeds Literary Prize. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various British and International anthologies and magazines and commissioned for BBC Radio 4. Her debut collection of poetry, A Dinner Party in the Home Counties, won the 2019 Debut Word Masala Award. Her short story collection, Mrs Pinto Drives to Happiness will be published next year.

Poems for the Planet

Event Time: 4:00 pm

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Julian Bishop, Maggie Butt, Sarah Doyle and Cheryl Moskowitz are four well-published and prize-winning members of Poets for the Planet, who have come together to perform climate emergency poems and publish a pamphlet 'Poems for the Planet' (2020) with all profits to eco-charities.


Author Bio

Julian Bishop

Julian Bishop is a former television journalist living in North London. He was longlisted in this year’s National Poetry Competition and won the 2021 Poets and Players Competition. He’s also a former runner-up in the Ginkgo Prize for Eco Poetry.

Maggie Butt

Maggie Butt's sixth poetry collection is everlove (The London Magazine Editions 2021) and a novel, The Prisoner’s Wife, under the name Maggie Brookes was published internationally in 2020.

Sarah Doyle

Sarah Doyle is a poet and PhD researcher. She is widely placed and published, with a pamphlet of collage poems inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals – Something so wild and new in this feeling – published by V. Press in March 2021.

Cheryl Moskowitz

Cheryl Moskowitz is a poet, novelist and creative translator. Together with composer Alastair Gavin she runs the poetry and electronics performance series, All Saints Sessions, www.allsaintssessions.uk. Her recent pamphlet, Maternal Impression, is published by Against the Grain Poetry Press.

Two Stunning Debuts - Boys Don't Cry and the End of Men

Event Time: 5:00 pm

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Glasgow, 2025. Dr Amanda Maclean is called to treat a young man with a mild fever. Within three hours he dies. The mysterious illness sweeps through the hospital with deadly speed. This is how it begins. The victims are all men.


Author Bio

Fíona Scarlett is from Dublin’s fair city but is now living in Co. Kildare with her husband and two children. She holds an MLitt in creative writing with distinction from the University of Glasgow, was awarded the Denis O’Driscoll Literary Bursary for an emerging writer through Kildare County Council 2019, and a Literature Bursary through the National Arts Council Ireland 2020. She works full time as a primary school teacher and her debut novel Boys Don’t Cry will be published by Faber & Faber in May 2021. Christina Sweeney-Baird was born in 1993 and grew up in North London and Glasgow. She studied Law at the University of Cambridge and graduated with a First in 2015. She works as a corporate litigation lawyer in London. The End of Men is her first novel.

Bookshop Bonanza with Beth Morrey, Marianne Levy, and Kathy Slack

Event Time: 7:00 pm

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A series of authors stage (previously arranged) 'break-ins' to their local bookshops to secretly curate a display of their own work. But along the way they just can't help having a browse, digging out their favourite books, and finding new ones they'd love to take home. A celebration of independent booksellers, featuring diverse local authors championing classic, obscure and new works.


Author Bio

Beth Morrey

Beth Morrey is a former TV producer who worked on various shows including Channel 4’s The Secret Life of Four Year Olds and ITV’s 100 Year Old Drivers. After several attempts at completing a full-length novel, she finally achieved it just before her 40th birthday. Saving Missy has sold in 17 countries, and was one of the top ten bestselling debuts of 2020. Now Beth is a part-time writer, and full-time harassed mother, dog-walker and caterer.

Piers Torday*

Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children’s Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. The third book in the trilogy, The Wild Beyond, was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. There May Be A Castle was published in 2016 and was a Times Children’s Book of the Year. His most recent book, The Frozen Sea, was published in 2019, and Piers recently announced a prequel to The Last WildThe Wild Before - which will be published in August 2021. The son of the late Paul Torday (author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) Piers completed his father’s final unfinished novel, The Death of an Owl, which was published in 2016.

*Please note that Piers was unfortunately unable to attend the session and Marianne Levy kindly stepped in.

Kathy Slack

Kathy Slack is a cook, veg grower and writer who previously worked in advertising agencies in London for more than a decade, before escaping to the Oxfordshire countryside and retraining. After learning the ropes working at Daylesford Organic Farm she became a full-time writer and recipe developer, hosting supper clubs and cookery demonstrations, all with harvests from her veg patch, as well as food styling and photography for various brands and publications. She has a column in Borough Market's award-winning magazine and a regular slot on BBC Radio Oxford. Kathy has won the Young British Foodie award and the Soil Association's Best Blog award. She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, her spaniel and her vegetables, and her first book, From the Veg Patch, is published by Ebury Press in June this year.

Marianne Levy

Marianne is the author of five children's books, published with Egmont and Macmillan. Her work has appeared in The Independent, The Guardian and The Financial Times. She writes features, book and television reviews for the i newspaper, where she is the lead children's book critic. She lives in London.