Events in the UK and Ireland in 2022

Watch this space!

We will be adding events around the country (and further afield) as we have them confirmed. Meanwhile all participating bookshops will be mounting display of some excellent books, so do keep an eye on their social media and our own Facebook and Twitter accounts.

All participating bookshops are listed on the page tab above and we will be adding to this list all the time.

Scroll down to see events near you.

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Events around the country

Brighton

The Feminist Bookshop, BN1 3FH

Tuesday 7th May 12noon Virago Speakeasy: What I Didn’t Know about Motherhood

Join us at midday on Tuesday May 17th to chat all things parenting with Jessica Cornwell and Kate Maxwell at The Feminist Bookshop.

B.Y.O.B. = Bring Your Own Baby! This event is for everyone, but we especially want to make it accessible to new parents, hence the midday kick-off. Please feel free to attend with babes in arms and toddlers in tow.

There are still many truths, fears and secrets that only hit home at 4 am, alone, doing the third feed of the night. Join us for an afternoon of honesty, love and breaking taboos as authors Jessica Cornwell and Kate Maxwell discuss maternal mental health, miscarriage and solo parenting and you’ll realise: you are not the only one who feels this way. You don’t need to have read their books, or had a child, to enjoy the conversation, and there will be interactive crowdsourcing on advice for new parents.

Booking here

Tuesday 17th May 2022 7pm FIX THE SYSTEM with Laura Bates

This explosive book, by feminist writer and activist Laura Bates, exposes the system prejudice at the heart of our five institutions: education, politics, media, policing, and criminal justice.

Combining stories with shocking evidence, ‘Fix the System, Not the Women’ is a blazing examination of injustice and a rallying cry for reform.

We are delighted to have Laura Bates joining us at The Feminist Bookshop on the 17th May to launch her new book, in a special conversation with Caitlin McCullough, Head of Communications and Public Fundraising at Glitch.

Booking here

Corbridge

Forum Books , NE45 5AW

Thursday 19th May 2022 An Evening with Louise Hare

You are cordially invited to Forum Books on 19th May at 7:30pm for our talk with Ms. Louise Hare about her latest elegant novel, Miss Aldridge Regrets
Miss Aldridge Regrets is an exquisite murder mystery –  it also explores class, race and pre-WWII politics, and will leave readers reeling from the beauty and power of it.
Louise Hare is a bold new talent on the rise, having been selected as one of the Observer’s top 10 debuts of 2020. Her debut novel This Lovely City received widespread acclaim, was short-listed for a number of prizes as well as being a BBC2 Between The Covers pick.

‘This is a cracker. A thoroughly absorbing and thought-provoking historical crime novel that oozes glamour’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

Tickets are a snip at £6 and include a signature cocktail on arrival.

Get tickets here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/forumbooks/an-evening-with-louise-hare/e-ampreg

Crediton

The Bookery, Crediton  EX17 3AH

To celebrate Feminist Book Fortnight 14-28 May 2022 The Bookery is proud to be hosting Rebellious Sounds: exploring one hundred years of women’s activism in the South West.

The Rebellious Sounds Archive of women’s contemporary stories of activism in the South West region.  A mobile listening booth built like a voting booth toured the South West in 2018 to museums and locations to gather and share contemporary stories of women’s activism, whilst also looking back 100 years to discover local stories and connections to the women’s suffrage campaign.  Supported by HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund).

Edinburgh

Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh EH8 9DB

Wednesday May 25th 7pm start Girl Online with Joanna Walsh

In person and on line event. Booking details here

What happens when a woman goes online? She becomes a girl.

Invited to self-construct as “girls online,” vloggers, bloggers and influencers sign a devil’s bargain: a platform on the condition they commodify themselves, eternally youthful, cute and responsibility-free, hiding offline domestic, professional and emotional labour while paying for their online presence with “accounts” of personal “experience.”

A highlight of Feminist Book Fortnight, Joanna Walsh joins us in the bookshop to launch Girl Online, a thought-provoking, playful, and witty exploration of all the above!

Told via the arresting personal narrative of one woman negotiating the (cyber)space between her identities as girl, mother, writer, and commodified online persona, Girl Online is written in a plethora of the online styles, from programming language to the blog/diary, from tweets to lyric prose, taking in selfies, social media, celebrity and Cyberfeminism.

London

The Bookseller Crow, London SE19 3AF

Thursday 26th May 7.30-9pm THE PEANUT FACTORY: LIFE OF COUNTERCULTURE AND SQUATS IN 70S CRYSTAL PALACE WITH AUTHOR DEBORAH PRICE

The Peanut Factory by Deborah Price – the true story of a young woman living in squats in South London (Crystal Palace) in the late 70s during the emerging counterculture scene. Squat life was sex, drugs, and punk rock, but it wasn’t all fun and games. The Peanut Factory shows Deborah navigating a male-dominated scene, moving every few months and living with drug dealers, sex workers, and working-class kids like her. Despite the chaos, the squatters were a family. They were kids creating their own rules. Making art. Living life on the fly. The Peanut Factory is an ode to the youthful rebellion of the 1970s and to London itself.

“A beautifully grungy coming-of-age memoir set in the squats of 1970s London. Deborah Price is a gifted storyteller whose formative years will remind readers how it feels to be young, broke, uncomfortable and marginalised, but gloriously hopeful and madly in love with life. A must-read for anyone who was there or wishes they had been. — Nikki Sheehan, author of Goodnight, Boy

Booking here

Malton

Kemps Bookshop, MaltonYO17 7LP

Wednesday May 25th7.30-9pm Rebel Women Between the Wars – Talk by Sarah Lonsdale

Women in the interwar years faced enormous obstacles to fulfilling their dreams. They had only just won the vote, they faced discrimination in education, the workplace and sexist attitudes generally that assumed women were less able than men. But some women did manage to break into the masculine world of politics, activism, engineering, mountaineering and journalism.

Who were they and how did they do it?

In this talk Sarah Lonsdale tells you of the struggles, and the triumphs of a group of women who refused to bury their dreams, from the ‘lady’ driver who drove around the world, to the mountaineer who pioneered ‘manless’ climbing, to the Jamaican who would become the first black woman producer at the BBC.

Tickets available via Eventbrite.

General admission: £10 Book & Ticket: £25

Nottingham

Five Leaves Bookshop, NG1 2DH

Tuesday 10th May 7pm Feminist Book Fortnight: A Short History

Join us for this launch event just before Feminist Book Fortnight kicks off.

In 2018, Feminist Book Fortnight was held in the UK and abroad for the first time in twenty-seven years. But where did the idea to hold a Feminist Book Fortnight come from? The original Fortnight, which ran from 1984-1991, was an annual British book trade promotion which grew out of the flourishing women’s movements of the time. Join radical bookseller Jane Anger, who participated in the original Fortnight and led its revival in the 21st century, and Dr. Eleanor Careless, author of Feminist Book Fortnight: A Short History for a discussion of the Fortnight’s history, its activist aims, distinctive regionalism, and relationship with the capitalist literary marketplace.

Eleanor’s groundbreaking research and tonight’s event couldn’t have happened without the funding and enthusiasm of the Business of Women’s Words project (BOWW), led by Margaretta Jolly. BOWW explores the dramatic story of the feminist publishing revolution that unfolded during the UK Women’s Movements [WLM] of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, and their legacies for social movement inspired creative industries today.

The evening will take place both in the shop and online. You must register via Eventbrite to attend.

Register for the in-person event at the bookshop here.

Register for the online livestream here.

Tuesday 17th May

Speculative Fiction and Feminism

Speculative fiction/sci-fi/fantasy – whatever you call it, there has been a huge upsurge of interest in books that challenge norms using this genre of writing.  Here at Five Leaves we have gone from one shelf in the shop to a whole bay devoted to speculative fiction.

Books dealing with feminism, social justice issues, written by a diverse range of writers and featuring an equally diverse range of characters are driving discussion of social issues for our readers.  Modern feminist retellings of older myths (Madeleine Miller, Natalie Haynes) also fall in to this area of interest for our customers.so are included too.

Come along and join us for a chat about books in this genre.  Bring your favourite book!

Tickets £3.  Booking essential as space will be limited. Register here via Eventbrite

Wednesday 18th May

Kim Slater and Helen Cooper in conversation

A free event in the bookshop, in association with Nottingham Creative Writing Hub

Advance booking please, to ensure your seat – register via Eventbrite

Kim Slater’s debut multi-award-winning Young Adult novel, Smart, which began life as a short story for her MA Creative Writing at NTU, was published in 2014. Thus far, this has been followed by three other hugely successful books: A Seven-Letter Word, 928 Miles from Home, and The Boy Who Lied. Kim has also written 15 bestselling psychological thrillers.

Helen Cooper is a writer of psychological thrillers. Her debut novel, The Downstairs Neighbour, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in February 2021. It tells the story of three families sharing a converted Georgian townhouse in south-west London, whose lives drastically unravel after the disappearance of the 17-year-old girl from the top floor flat. Her second novel is due later this year. She has also written two books on academic writing for students, and is a graduate of NTU’s MA Creative Writing.

Support will come from two of our exceptional current NTU Creative Writing students, including MA student Rebekah Hemmens. The readings will be followed by an audience-led Q&A. The event is chaired by David Belbin, novelist and Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at NTU, who taught Kim and Helen when they were students on NTU’s MA Creative Writing.

Tuesday 24th May

The Tide Comes In: Feminist Magazines, Past and Present 

A joint event with Nottingham Trent University (Print Culture Research Group). 

What does it mean to be a feminist magazine? What role have feminist magazines played in the remaking of feminism for successive generations? And what are the origins of the feminist magazines – online and in print – we read today? 

To discuss these questions, we welcome Dr Laurel Forster (University of Portsmouth) and Dr Joanne Hollows (writer and researcher) in conversation with Dr Catherine Clay (Nottingham Trent University), editor of Five Leaves publication, Time and Tide: Centenary Issue (2020). Looking back to this iconic feminist magazine, founded in May 1920 in the wake of the women’s suffrage movement, this event will explore the role of feminist magazines in the making of feminism through the ‘second wave’ to the present, focusing on titles showcased in the recent volume co-edited by Forster and Hollows, Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1940s-2000s (EUP 2020). Ranging from 1970s publications including Spare Rib (1972-93) and Womens Voice (1973-81) to more recent magazines including The Vagenda (2012-15) and The Feminist Times (2013-14) this conversation will invite reflection upon the changing face of feminism over the decades and feminist agendas today. 

£3 entry. Booking essential as spaces will be limited. Register via Eventbrite here for the in shop event and here for the livestream event

Machynlleth

Pen’rallt Gallery Bookshop, SY20 8AJ

18th May 6 for 6.30pm Menna Elfyn reads from her new poetry collection Tosturi,

 

Menna will be performing in Welsh from her latest book of poetry at Siop Lyfrau’r Senedd-dy, Machynlleth

In her new book of poetry, Tosturi, Menna responds with elegies and eulogies, to transgressions against women over the centuries. With striking illustrations by artist Meinir Mathias, and featuring an imagined portrait of Catrin Gwyndŵr on its cover, the collection comprises poems that challenge and poems of compassion; autobiographical, political and nature poems and poems inspired by Covid lockdowns.

Tosturi is published by Barddas, 07/04/22

/ Cyfrol newydd o gerddi gan y bardd Menna Elfyn. Casgliad o gerddi sy’n marwnadu ac yn moli, yn herio ac yn tosturio yw’r gyfrol hon wrth i’r bardd ymateb i’r camweddau a wnaed yn erbyn menywod dros y canrifoedd. Mae yma gerddi hunangofiannol, cerddi wedi’u hysgogi gan y cyfnodau clo diweddar, cerddi gwleidyddol a cherddi am fyd natur. Ceir hefyd ddarluniau trawiadol gan Meinir Mathias.

https://www.penralltgallerybookshop.co.uk/events-/-digwyddiadau-mai-/-may-2022

tickets: £3 in advance https://www.penralltgallerybookshop.co.uk/contact

or email: penralltbooks@gmail.com or sioplyfrau2.senedd.dy@gmail.com

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25th May 6pm for 6.30pm

Caryl Lewis talks about her latest book Drift ,  her first written in English.

Early on in her writing, Caryl Lewis’s aim was to create strong women characters, finding them lacking in literature in Welsh. Now, from this acclaimed Welsh author comes, Drift; a hauntingly atmospheric English-language début: a love story between a young Welsh woman and a Syrian mapmaker, rich with magic, mystery and the wonder of the sea. Moving between the wild Welsh coast and war-torn Syria, Drift is a love story with a difference, a hypnotic tale of lost identity, the quest for home and the wondrous resilience of the human spirit.

Caryl Lewis is a multi-award-winning Welsh novelist, children’s writer, playwright and screenwriter. Her breakthrough novel Martha, Jac a Sianco (2004) is widely regarded as a modern classic of Welsh literature, and sits on the Welsh curriculum. The film adaptation – with a screenplay by Lewis herself – went on to win six Welsh BAFTAS and the Spirit of the Festival Award at the 2010 Celtic Media Festival. Lewis’s other screenwriting work includes BBC/S4C thrillers Hinterland and Hidden. Lewis is a visiting lecturer in Creative Writing at Cardiff University, and lives with her family on a farm near Aberystwyth.

https://www.penralltgallerybookshop.co.uk/events-/-digwyddiadau-mai-/-may-2022

tickets: £3 in advance https://www.penralltgallerybookshop.co.uk/contact

or email: penralltbooks@gmail.com or sioplyfrau2.senedd.dy@gmail.com

Manchester

The Portico Library & Gallery, M2 3FF

Thursday 19th May The Empress and the Doctor 6.30 – 8pm, £4 or free with pre-ordered book £20. £5 on door. This event will have live BSL interpretation.

Join Lucy Ward to hear about her new book on Catherine the Great, vaccination and smallpox – history with contemporary resonance for Feminist Book Fortnight.

Lucy Ward tells the story of how Catherine II of Russia (the Great) summoned a physician from Hertford, Thomas Dimsdale, to inoculate herself and her son against smallpox, then promoted inoculation (the forerunner of vaccination) across her empire. Catherine and many others saw inoculation not only as a lifesaving procedure but as a symbol of the triumph of reason and scientific observation over superstition. 

The empress’s inoculation took place in 1768, but the book tracks back to the arrival of inoculation in Britain some 50 years previously, thanks to another extraordinary woman, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and the beginnings of anti-inoculation sentiment (the term ‘anti-inoculators’ came into use 300 years ago this year). Lucy draws on the example set by yet another visionary woman, Princess Caroline of Ansbach (the Princess of Wales), in having her daughters inoculated and publicising their safe recovery, again 300 years ago this year.

Catherine and Thomas became close friends and maintained their friendship till the end of their lives, but were never lovers. Their relationship was remarkable: it was founded on mutual intellectual respect and trust.

Lucy Ward is a writer and journalist. Growing up near Manchester, she studied Early and Middle English at university, before training as a journalist with the Bradford Telegraph & Argus. Moving south, she covered education for the Independent before becoming a Lobby correspondent for the Guardian during Tony Blair’s premiership. Despite an attempt by Peter Mandelson to sack her, she spent over five years at Westminster, campaigning for greater female representation. Lucy lived in Moscow from 2010-2012. A chance meeting led her to a barely-known story combining eighteenth century Russian history, female political leadership and public understanding of science. That story is the subject of her first book.

Booking here via Eventbrite Venue not fully accessible. Contact organiser for details

Smethwick

Bear Bookshop, Smethwick B66 4BW

Friday 27th May Everything You Really Need to Know about Politics  with Jess Phillips 12noon

We are excited to announce that Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley and Shadow Minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, will be joining us for a special event as part of Feminist Book Fortnight.
Jess is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and bestselling author of 3 books. She will be reading from her entertainingly honest book “Everything You Need to Know About Politics: My Life as an MP” and taking audience questions. 

Booking here

Southampton

October Books, Portswood, Southampton SO17 2NF

Saturday 14th May   Held In Contempt with Hannah White 3pm

As part of Feminist Book Fortnight, join Hannah White in the shop to hear a perceptive critique of the shortcomings of the House of Commons.

From attending parties during the Covid-19 lockdown to taking payment for lobbying, MPs undermine their credibility by acting as if the rules they set for others should not apply to them. Still far from representative of the country they govern from the ancient and crumbling Palace of Westminster, MPs appear detached from the lives led by their constituents – conducting their business according to rules and procedures that have become too complex for many of them to understand.

In this timely book, Hannah White offers a perceptive critique of the shortcomings of the House of Commons, arguing that the reputation of the Commons is in a downward spiral – compounded by government attempts to side-line parliament during Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. At a time of populist challenge to representative democracy, this book is an essential rallying cry – for MPs to reform the House of Commons – equipping it to fulfil its important role as a cornerstone of our democracy – or see it fade into irrelevance.

Hannah White is the Deputy Director of the London-based think tank the Institute for Government. She is a regular commentator on Westminster and Whitehall for radio and television in the UK and internationally, and writes for publications including The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and Prospect. She received an OBE in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to the Constitution.

Please register via Eventbrite if you wish to attend so we can manage numbers on the day.

This is a free entry event, but if you’d like to sling October Books a donation, please do.

Sat 21st May  12-1.30pm Once A Mother, Always A Mother with Annette Byford at October Books

Becoming a mother is not just a question of learning how to bring up a child – it brings a profound change of identity. The same happens years later, when children grow up and leave home and the mother’s job is, supposedly, ‘done.’ Yet this phase of motherhood rarely gets attention.

This book focuses on the practical and emotional challenges and tasks of being a mother of adult children, from the experience of the empty nest through being a mother-in-law, grandmother and negotiating growing old. The author uses interview material, case studies and short stories and draws on her own experiences, both as a mother, a grandmother and as a psychotherapist, to discuss how mothers navigate the twists and turns of this journey. Also included is an exploration of images and depictions of mothers-in-law, grandmothers etc in literature and media.

Annette Byford has worked as a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice for the last 25 years and as a lecturer and clinical supervisor in NHS, University and the voluntary sector. She is a chartered counselling psychologist and a senior practitioner on the Register for Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy. Annette is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren. She is the author of ‘A Wedding in the Family. Mothers tell their stories of joy, conflict and loss’.

Please register via Eventbrite if you wish to attend so we can manage numbers on the day.

This is a free entry event, but if you’d like to sling October Books a donation, please do.

Sat. 21st May 3pm-4.30pm Talk with Ethel Carnie Holdsworth with Jenny Harper

As part of Feminist Book Fortnight, join Jenny Harper in the shop to learn about Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.

Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, was one of the first British working-class women to be published. Born in 1886 and despite a prolific career as a poet, novelist and journalist, and having even produced a best-seller (Helen of Four Gates), she died in 1962 almost entirely forgotten. Not only a great writer, but also a fierce social activist who campaigned for the equal rights of women, against British involvement in WW1, and against compulsory conscription as a staunch pacifist. In the 1920s she edited an anti-fascist journal The Clear Light. Through her powerful writing she sought to change opinion when it came to important issues such as poverty, class and gender prejudice and the poor conditions that workers laboured under in the cotton mills at the time.

Jenny Harper is a University of Southampton alumna, and recently completed her English MA at the university, before embarking on a collaborative PhD project at the University of Reading. This is a SWW DTP-funded PhD project in conjunction with Pendle Radicals and Mid Pennine Arts to recover, research, and celebrate this great writer who is of both literary and historical significance. Jenny has lived in Southampton for 25 years, although her Lancashire ancestors were working-class millworkers like Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.

Please register via Eventbrite if you wish to attend so we can manage numbers on the shop floor.

This is a free entry event, but if you’d like to sling October Books a donation, please do so here

Stockton on Tees

Drake, The Bookshop, TS18 1SX

Thursday 19th May   I, Mona Lisa with Natasha Solomons  6pm 

‘[A] lively, tender tale . . . In her zingy new novel [Solomons] gives the Mona Lisa . . . power, casting her as the fanciful narrator of her own story’ THE TIMES

Over the centuries, few could hear her voice, but now she is ready to tell her own story, in her own words – a tale of rivalry, murder and heartbreak. Weaving through the years, she takes us from the dazzling world of Florentine studios to the French courts at Fontainebleau and Versailles, and into the Twentieth Century. I, Mona Lisa is a deliciously vivid, compulsive and illuminating story about the lost and forgotten women throughout history.

Do join us! Tickets are £5.00 and copies of I, Mona Lisa will be available to be purchased and signed on the night, tickets also allow 15% off all book purchases on the evening.
Please Note: this is a ticketless event – remember to select ‘collect from shop’ at the checkout – you will receive an email receipt to confirm your payment and event booking.

More details here: https://www.drakethebookshop.co.uk/product/an-evening-with-natasha-solomons-feminist-book-fortnight/