Showcasing talent: free public event to discuss raising the profile of Leicester and Leicestershire’s literary scene

Posted by ew205 at Dec 13, 2017 09:48 AM |
Michaela Butter MBE, Director of the University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, will be chairing the event on 13 December

Raising the roof on Leicester’s literary talent will be a subject up for discussion between members of the public and key figures from the city and county’s literary scene on Wednesday 13 December.

The free public event, hosted by the Leicester Writers’ Showcase, is entitled ‘Leicester & Leicestershire: City and County of Literature’, and will take place from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm at the Bishop Street Methodist Church, 10a Bishop Street, Leicester.

Chaired by Michaela Butter MBE, Director of the University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, a number of guest speakers will give their views on the literary scene in Leicester/shire, what they see happening in future, and what can be done to raise the profile of the scene locally, nationally and internationally.

Guests will take part in a Q&A with those present. In addition to presentations, there will be a display of books by local writers.

Speaking at the event are:

● Henderson Mullin, Chief Executive Officer, Writing East Midlands (WEM)

● James Urquhart, Relationship Manager for Literature in the Midlands, Arts Council England

● Cllr Sarah Russell, Deputy City Mayor with responsibilities for Children, Young People's Services, Leicester City Council

● Farhana Shaikh, Dahlia Publishing / Leicester Writes Short Story Prize / The Asian Writer

● Matthew Pegg, Mantle Arts / Mantle Lane Press

● Emma Lee, President, Leicester Writers Club; and

● Bobba Cass, Pinggg...k!

At the University of Leicester, there are a number of projects that both preserve Leicester’s past and shine a light on current literary talent. The Grassroutes project fosters local, national and international appreciation, as well as critical recognition, for the high-quality transcultural writing by Leicestershire-based writers from 1980 to the present.

The annual Literary Leicester festival celebrates writing in all forms, and often features local authors. Previous guests have included prominent YA author and Leicester’s own Bali Rai, and this year’s programme saw alumni Adele ParksRory Waterman and local poet Lydia Towsey in attendance.

A number of events featuring local talent were held at Attenborough Arts Centre, including a unique tribute to the celebrated works of local playwright Joe Orton.

The University’s Centre for New Writing was established to diversify literary voices beyond the metropolitan mainstream, and is dedicated to creating dynamic and innovative writing environments which benefit writers and communities alike.

Students can also access a wealth of original texts from the Library’s Special Collections.

Attenborough Arts Centre work with local, regional, national and international artists and communities of artists involved in a range of fields, forms and media.

Leicester Librarian Matthew Vaughan said: “The Leicester Writers’ Showcase started in January 2017 and hosts a literary event once a month at the Central Library on Bishop Street. The Showcase aims to create space for conversations between readers, writers, spoken word artists, publishers, booksellers, and venues.

"The event we are hosting at the Bishop Street Methodist Church is part of the conversation people in the city and county need to have about the literary activity that takes place here and what can be done to increase its visibility."

Events that have been held as part of the Leicester Writers’ Showcase include launch-style events; readings, talks, and Q&A sessions; and, the Leicester and Leicestershire Writers’ Fair that was held during Everybody’s Reading 2017 and which is going to become a regular feature of the literary scene in Leicester.

Other Showcase plans include a Local Writers' Corner Corner featuring books by local writers that will be hosted by the Leicester Central Library.

Tickets for the event, Leicester & Leicestershire: City and County of Literature, are available at:


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