26 April - 9 May 2021

Tuesday 4th 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.

Claire Dyer on Instagram Live

Event Time: 11:00 am

Poet and novelist Claire Dyer reads from Yield, her new poetry collection. In Yield, the the eponymous verb is repeatedly redefined over a poetic odyssey that sees a son becomes a daughter as the mother becomes a poet, only to see the daughter follow suit.


Author Bio

Claire Dyer’s poetry collections are published by Two Rivers Press, her novels by Quercus and The Dome Press. Her novel, The Significant Others of Odie May, is forthcoming in 2021. She curates Reading's Poets’ Café, teaches creative writing and runs Fresh Eyes, a mentoring, editorial and critiquing service. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Berkshire.

Anthony Anaxagorous: A Workshop on Strangeness and Associative Logic in Poems

Event Time: 12:00 pm

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Acclaimed poet Anthony Anaxagorou reads from his collection After the Formalities and leads a workshop on strangeness and associative logic in poetry.


Author Bio

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His poetry has been published in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, New Statesman, Granta, and elsewhere. His work has also appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts. His second collection After the Formalities published with Penned in the Margins is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S Eliot Prize. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year.

In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books; a practical guide fused with tips and memoir looking at the politics of writing as well as the craft of poetry and fiction along with the wider publishing industry. He was awarded the 2019 H-100 Award for writing and publishing, and the 2015 Groucho Maverick Award for his poetry and fiction. In 2019 he was made an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton. Anthony is artistic director of Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press.

Chills and Thrills: Psychological Thrillers in a Cold Climate (pre-recorded event)

Event Time: 4:00 pm

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Join Sarah Pearse (author of The Sanatorium) and Allie Reynolds (Shiver) as they discuss their debut novels with Lisa Howells


Author Bio

Sarah Pearse

Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy - remote spaces and abandoned places - so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes.

Allie Reynolds

Allie Reynolds is a former freestyle snowboarder who spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. For those five years, snowboarding was Allie’s life. She competed in the British Championships and was once in the UK top ten. British-born from Lincoln, Allie now lives by the beach in Queensland, Australia. Her short fiction has been published in women’s magazines worldwide. TV rights for a chilling drama series based on her debut novel, Shiver, were snapped up by the commissioners of Bodyguard, Luther and The Cry.

Ben Dorain, a Conversation with a Mountain

Event Time: 6:00 pm

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Garry Mackenzie reads from book-length poem Ben Dorian: A Conversation with a Mountain. The poem combines a modern English translation of Duncan Ban Macintyre's 18th-century Gaelic poem about a Highland mountain. Ben Dorain was published Irish Pages Press in March 2021.


Author Bio

Garry MacKenzie is a poet and non-fiction writer based in Fife. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies including Antlers of Water, Dark Mountain, and The Glasgow Review of Books. He is a recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and was shortlisted for an Arts Foundation Environmental Writing Fellowship in 2021. He has won the Robert McLellan Poetry Competition and the Wigtown Poetry Competition and his book Scotland: A Literary Guide for Travellers is published by Bloomsbury.

His book-length poem Ben Dorain: a Conversation with a Mountain is just out with The Irish Pages Press. Ben Dorain explores the ecology of a Scottish Highland mountain and its herd of red deer. Drawn in part from Garry’s translation of an eighteenth-century Gaelic poem, and incorporating contemporary environmental knowledge, Ben Dorain is a conversation between Scotland's Celtic heritage and the modern, Anthropocene world.

Writing a Second Novel

Event Time: 7:00 pm

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Five best selling authors discuss the process of writing the tricky second novel. Is this a myth or is this reputation deserved?


Author Bio

Nikki Smith

Nikki Smith studied English Literature at Birmingham University, before pursuing a career in finance. Following a ‘now or never’ moment, she applied for a Curtis Brown Creative course where she started writing her debut novel, All In Her Head. She lives near Guildford with her family and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. Her second novel, Look What You Made Me Do was published on 1 April 2021 in hardback, ebook and audio with a paperback to follow.

Trevor Wood

Trevor Wood has lived in Newcastle for 25 years and considers himself an adopted Geordie, though he still can’t speak the language. He's a successful playwright who has also worked as a journalist and spin-doctor for the City Council. Prior to that he served in the Royal Navy for 16 years joining, presciently, as a Writer. Trevor holds an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) from UEA. His first novel, The Man on the Street, which is set in his home city, was published by Quercus in March 2020. He is represented by Oli Munson at AM Heath.

Philippa East

Philippa East grew up in Scotland and originally studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Oxford. After graduating, she moved to London to train as a Clinical Psychologist and worked in NHS mental health services for over ten years. Her debut novel Little White Lies was longlisted for the Guardian's 'Not The Booker' prize and shortlisted for the CWA 'New Blood' Award. Her second novel, Safe and Sound, was released in February 2021. Philippa now lives in the Lincolnshire countryside with her husband and cat. Alongside her writing, she continues to work as a psychologist and therapist.

Emily Koch

Emily Koch is an award-winning journalist and writer living in Bristol with her husband and daughters. Her debut novel - If I Die Before I Wake - was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award, longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award, and selected as a Waterstones Thriller of the Month. Her second novel, Keep Him Close, was described by The Sunday Times as ‘a tense drama’ and The Sun said it was ‘Twisty, emotional and addictive’. Waterstones have said it: ‘cements Koch’s place as one of the most exciting new crime writers of our day.’

Tom Benjamin

Tom Benjamin grew up in the suburbs of north London and began his working life as a journalist before becoming a spokesman for Scotland Yard. He later moved into public health, where he developed Britain's first national campaign against alcohol abuse, Know Your Limits, and led drugs awareness programme FRANK. He now lives in Bologna.

Lauren North

Lauren writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren's love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what's the worst thing that could happen in every situation. Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. Lauren, alongside fellow author Lesley Kara, co-hosts In Suspense, a pod/vodcast for fans and writers of crime fiction.

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