Hillingdon Literary Festival

Friday 4 to Sunday 6 October 2019

The Hillingdon Literary Festival is a free weekend of literary festivities hosted by Brunel University London. Now in its fifth year, HiLF continues to offer a plethora of literary events from internationally renowned authors; creative writing workshops; lively debates; industry masterclasses; arts performances; a local creative writing anthology, and so much more!

Book your free tickets HERE


Friday 4th October

An Evening with Ben Okri

7pm –  Drinks Reception and Student Poetry Showcase

Brunel Lecturer and Radio 4 Poet-In-Residence, Daljit Nagra will open the fifth Hillingdon Literary Festival with a complimentary drinks reception and dazzling showcase of the emerging voices in poetry from Brunel’s Creative Writing department.

8pm –  Ben Okri in conversation with Daljit Nagra

Man Booker Prize winning author, poet and playwright Ben Okri will be discussing his new novel The Freedom Artist and answering audience questions over the course of the evening. Ben will be joined in conversation by Daljit Nagra.


Saturday 5th October

1pm –  Journeys of the Self –  Deirdre Shanahan & Matt Wilven

Two captivating novels that explore the self, charting fraught journeys toward a powerful and honest climax. Shanahan’s novel explores the tensions around family and what it means, escape and flight, urban and rural life and the compromises we have to make to survive and love. While Wilven’s novel shows a search for meaning and identity violently colliding, exploring the limit of intimacy, love and our deepest darkest selves.

1pm –   Tales From An Old Hack  – Barbara Fisher

A personal memoir – funny, poignant, sometimes surprising – of how Barbara, a teacher, grew up in Birmingham before she ended up being kissed by a Pitbull, attacked by the BNP, and chasing crashed planes in her second career as a full time journalist in West London.

2pm –   Neglected Voices Workshop – Emma Filtness & Katie Flanagan

A special creative writing workshop inspired by The Neglected Voices archive from Brunel’s Special Collection, featuring Allan Sutherland’s transcription poems and interviews with disabled people discussing their experiences.

2pm –   Writing Historical Fiction [workshop] – Sally O’Reilly

A masterclass, open to all, led by the author of the popular guide How to be a Writer and inspired by her recent historical novel about Shakespeare’s muse, Dark Aemilia. 

3.30pm –   Exploring the Edges of the Universe : Where Sci-Fi Can Take You – F.D. Lee, Kirsten Irving, Andrew Wallace, Suzie Gray

Where can sci-fi take you, and how do you get there? This panel will discuss different ways authors and readers can engage with the Sci-Fi tradition, the advantages and disadvantages of new approaches, and probably quite a lot of geeky sci-fi fun on the side!

4pm –  Wish You Were Here [workshop] – Amanda White

A creative and fun poetry workshop using touchstones and maps focusing on the senses that explores the importance of place in our life – those that we have explored, imagined and experienced.

5pm –  Small Presses and Big Ideas –  Shiromi Pinto & Mark SaFranko with Peter Holland

A candid discussion of the burgeoning importance of small publishing presses and a bold foray into literary fiction. Chaired by Peter Holland – author and founder of Brigand Press – we’ll discover Pinto’s novel based on the true life story of Minneotte de Silva, the first female Sri Lankan architect, and SaFranko’s wacky journey of heartbreaking near-misses through the fringes of the film and theatre industries in New York City.

6pm – Fragmentary Lives [Book Launch] – Philip Tew

 Fragmentary Lives: Three Novellas, Philip Tew’s second book of fiction, charts the nuances and complexities of life at the end of the last millennium. Set in the 1980s and 1990s, each novella concerns a young man struggling with and surviving various relationships, particularly intimate ones with women. Each young protagonist tries hard to make sense of and find their place in an ever-changing world.

6pm –  Brontë Beat – Project Adorno

Brontë Beat is a performance collage weaving the facts of the Brontë Sisters with the myths of their fiction. Comprising original songs, ambient sounds, spoken word and film, it explores the multi-faceted world of the Brontës through an electro-pop lens – from their juvenile ‘scribblemania’ to the success of their novels and the fascinating history of their all-too-brief lives.


Sunday 6th October

1pm –  West London and Black History [workshop] – Akuba, WAPPY Director

Award-winning spoken word artist and WAPPY director, Akuba, will use interactive storytelling, icebreakers, cultural props and audience participation to explore what Black History Month means as well as map out its key themes.

2pm –  The Secrets of Ordinary People – Diana Evans & Dorothy Koomson

Award winning novelists Diana Evans (author of Ordinary People, The Wonder and 26A) and Dorothy Koomson (author of 14 novels including Tell Me Your Secret, My Bestfriend’s Girl and Marshmallows for Breakfast) take to the HiLF stage to discuss their recent novels, exploring the thrilling secrets and extraordinary narratives of everyday life.

3.30pm – Unlocking the Secrets of Slavery and Abolition in Uxbridge – Inge Dornan & Holly Maples

Discover the role of the British and Foreign School Society and nonconformist missionaries in the education of enslaved and freed children in the British Caribbean. Explore how this influential society led the way with the training of Britain’s first black professional teachers, and unlock the global impact of our local history in this creative workshop.

3.30pm –   Approaching New Worlds – Temi Oh & Reni K. Amayo with Onwe Press

We explore the Sci-fi and Fantasy genres with the much anticipated debut novels from Temi Oh (Do You Dream of Terra-Two?) and Reni K. Amayo (Daughters of Nri) hosted by Onwe Press’ Mariam Jimoh.

5pm –   WE ARE HERE – Local Anthology Publication Party

Join us for the grand finale of the festival and the announcement of this year’s anthology winner in a special celebration of the talented and diverse voices of our brilliant Borough.



All queries and submissions can be sent to LiteraryFestival@brunel.ac.uk

Room 221, Quad North,
Brunel University London
Uxbridge
UB8 3PH

Festival Director – Professor Philip Tew
Festival Producer – Seb Jenner
Festival Administrator – Ada Kalu

Communications and Publicity – Chloe Cortes and Dan Parkins