26 April - 9 May 2021

Wednesday 5th 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.

UK Young Adult Panel

Event Time: 12:00 pm

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‘Young adult’ is a vast and varied genre, and it’s going from strength to strength. Join six British YA authors – Alexandra Christo, Ciannon Smart, Holly Race, Kat Ellis, Matt Killeen and Yasmin Rahman – as they discuss their stories and writing practices, while celebrating the immense appeal of contemporary young adult literature.


Author Bio

Alexandra Christo

Alexandra Christo decided to write books when she was four and her teacher told her she couldn't be a fairy. Her debut novel To Kill a Kingdom is an international bestseller and her Young Adult fantasy books have been translated into over a dozen languages worldwide. Twitter: @alliechristo

Ciannon Smart

Of Jamaican heritage, Ciannon Smart grew up in a small town in the south-east of England. She loves her heroines exactly as she loves her villains: wilful, wily, and unpredictable. Her debut novel, Witches Steeped in Gold, was published in April.

Holly Race

Holly wrote her debut novel, urban fantasy Midnight’s Twins, as part of the Faber Academy course. It was published in summer 2020 during lockdown. The sequel, A Gathering Midnight, will be released in June 2021.

Kat Ellis

Kat Ellis is the author of young adult thrillers including Harrow Lake, Purge, Breaker, and Blackfin Sky, as well as a novella within the Three Strikes collection titled The Twins of Blackfin. Her fifth novel, Wicked Little Deeds, will be published in August by Penguin Random House Children’s.

Matt Killeen

Matt Killeen’s first novel Orphan Monster Spy was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards and the Branford Boase Award, as well as winning the 2019 SCBWI Crystal Kite. The sequel, Devil Darling Spy, was published in spring 2020, just as the world ended.

Yasmin Rahman

Yasmin Rahman is a British Muslim born and raised in Hertfordshire. Her first novel, All The Things We Never Said, was the runner-up YA book in the inaugural Diversity Book Awards. This Is My Truth will be publishing in July 2021.

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#MeToo / #UsTogether

Event Time: 1:00 pm

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Three years after the emergence of the global #MeToo movement, we revisit the poems (and poets) behind the #MeToo Women's Poetry Anthology. Poets Jill Abram, Deborah Alma, Kim Moore, Wendy Pratt, Victoria Bennett, and Jhilmil Breckenridge discuss breaking the silence, whether there is still hope for change, and what needs to happen next for survivors to be heard. Any donations contributed during this event will be given to Women's Aid.


Author Bio

Jill Abram

Jill Abram is Director of Malika's Poetry Kitchen, a collective encouraging craft, community and development. Publications include The Rialto, Magma, Under the Radar, Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, and Harana.

Deborah Alma

Deborah Alma is a UK poet and teacher. Deborah is editor of #MeToo: A Women’s Poetry Anthology. Her first full collection, Dirty Laundry, is published by Nine Arches Press and she now runs the Poetry Pharmacy in Shropshire.

Kim Moore

Kim Moore’s first collection The Art of Falling (Seren, 2015) won the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second collection All The Men I Never Married will be published by Seren in October 2021.

Wendy Pratt

Wendy Pratt's latest collection When I Think of My Body as a Horse won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet award. She is a poet, author and workshop facilitator and the creator and editor of Spelt magazine.

Victoria Bennett

Her most recent poetry pamphlet, To Start The Year From Its Quiet Centre, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2020, and is an invitation to witness to the intimate moments of dying, telling the story of a relationship between women that is transformed through grief.

Jhilmil Breckenridge

Jhilmil Breckenridge is a poet, writer and activist. She is the founder of Bhor Foundation, an Indian charity, which is active in mental health advocacy. Her debut poetry collection is Reclamation Song.

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When Pain Doesn’t Define Your Story

Event Time: 4:00 pm

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Explore the ways fiction writing can be used as a powerful distraction to help manage chronic pain in this one-hour workshop led by Gillian Shirreffs, a writer who lives with multiple sclerosis.


Author Bio

Gillian is a Glasgow-based writer with a doctorate in Creative Writing and a background in teaching. She uses fiction to explore the world of illness and the essay form to examine hidden medical places and spaces. Her work has appeared in The Interpreter’s House literary journal, thi wurd fiction magazine, the anthology, Tales from a Cancelled Country, and the medical humanities journal, The Polyphony, amongst others. She’s led workshops that explore the way fiction writing can be used as a distraction to help manage chronic pain for Glasgow Women’s Library and The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.

Dare to Write? On Tour at The Stay-At-Home! Literary Festival

Event Time: 5:00 pm

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Dare to Write? On Tour is a series of two fun and insightful creative writing workshops, tailor-made to help you build confidence and find freedom in your writing.

It doesn’t matter what point you are at in your writing career, feeling demotivated or stuck can happen to us all. Dare To Write? workshops focus on what motivates people to write so that you can tap into an endless source of inspiration.


Author Bio

Jacqueline Bishop

Jacqueline Bishop is an award-winning photographer, painter and writer born and raised in Jamaica, who now lives and works in New York City. Her work exhibits widely in North America, Europe and North Africa.

Ronnie McGrath

Ronnie McGrath is a writer, poet and Creative Writing Lecturer. Amongst many other things, Ronnie draws on a neo-surrealist, postmodern aesthetic to look at what ‘Blackness’ is and what it can become.

Naomi Knox

Naomi has been working as an Event Manager for Paper Nations since September 2020. Most recently, she managed the Follow the Sun Conference - an international online writing summit. She is also an actor and writer particularly interested in bringing the two together as performance poetry.

Terri White, Coming Undone

Event Time: 6:00 pm

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'BREATHTAKING' Dolly Alderton, 'REMARKABLE' Marian Keyes, 'LIFE-CHANGING' Emma Jane Unsworth, 'COMPELLING' Amy Liptrot, 'EXTRAORDINARY' Sali Hughes

To everyone else, Terri White appeared to be living the dream – living in New York City, with a top job editing a major magazine. In reality, she was struggling with the trauma of an abusive childhood and rapidly skidding towards a mental health crisis that would land her in a psychiatric ward.

Coming Undone is Terri's story of her unravelling, and her precarious journey back from a life in pieces.


Author Bio

Terri White, Writer

Terri White is a writer, broadcaster and the Editor-in-Chief of Empire magazine, for which she was named Entertainment Magazine Editor of the Year (British Society of Magazine Editors). She previously edited some of the biggest publications in the UK and US, including Time Out New York and ShortList, and has also written for the Guardian, Grazia and the Big Issue.

Margie Orford, Chair

Margie Orford is an internationally acclaimed writer, best known for her Clare Hart novels including, most recently, Water Music (2013). She is also an award-winning journalist, who writes regularly about crime, gender violence, politics and freedom of expression, and literature. She is also the patron of Rape Crisis, a member of the executive board of PEN International, the president of PEN South Africa and of the children’s book charity, the Little Hands Trust.

The Unheard: Stories from Forgotten Voices of the Past

Event Time: 7:00 pm

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Join historical fiction writers Louise Fein, Frances Quinn, Louise Hare, Caroline Bishop and Polly Crosby as they discuss what drew them to write about those least remembered in history. Hear about how one goes about researching and digging deep to find information about the forgotten voices of the past, the trials and satisfactions of writing such stories, and any surprises along the way!


Author Bio

Louise Fein

Louise Fein is the author of People Like Us, which has been published in thirteen territories, was longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize 2020 and shortlisted for the RNA Historical Novel of the Year award 2021. Her second novel, The Hidden Child will be published later this year.

Frances Quinn

Frances Quinn grew up in Forest Gate, East London, and studied English Literature at King’s College Cambridge. Her debut novel is The Smallest Man, about a boy who becomes a ‘court dwarf’ at the time of Charles I.

Louise Hare

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common.

Caroline Bishop

Caroline Bishop is a British freelance writer currently living in Switzerland. She has written for many publications, including, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Independent. The Other Daughter is her debut novel.

Polly Crosby

Polly Crosby’s debut novel, The Illustrated Child, is a dark, coming of age story set in the twentieth century, about a young girl immortalised in her father’s ‘Treasure Hunt’ picture books. Polly’s second novel, The Unravelling, will be published in hardback in September.

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