10.30 -11. 00 am    KEYNOTE: Alison Moore

We’re delighted to open the first face-to-face States in three years with a keynote speech from award-winning novelist Alison Moore. As a champion of the small presses, Alison’s talk will discuss the values of community, access, diversity, and perseverance that continue to sustain creative communities as well as the independent publishing industry. Room Clephan 3.01

11.15 am – 12 pm      

Finding My Voice: a Spoken Word panel with Rob Gee and Cathi Rae

WORD! is a 20-year-old voluntary poetry and spoken word organisation that hosts one of the longest running spoken word nights in the UK. But what makes Spoken Word such a vibrant art form? Come and join mental health nurse turned stand-up poet Rob Gee, and spoken word artist and body positivity model Cathi Rae as they discuss and demonstrate the craft. Room: Clephan 3.02

Folklore, Fiction and Old Wives’ Tales

Join poet Deborah Tyler-Bennett, and fiction writer Charlene Lee for an excursion into Folklore. Deborah will read and discuss poems inspired by British, Celtic and Roma folklore; and Charlene will bring a contemporary – and fun – twist to the Old Wives’ Tale. Room: Clephan 3.08

Writing through the pandemic

For some writers, lockdown sapped creative energies – while others published in this strangest period of living memory. Join writers Laura Besley, Emma Lee and Gregory Woods, to discuss writing and publishing new work in the pandemic. Room: Clephan 2.33

Poetry in Translation with Alan Baker, Joanne Dixon and Maria Taylor 

We all know the famous quip that what gets lost in translation is the poetry – but come and hear a panel of poet-translators talk about the realities, intricacies and fascinations of this little-understood art. Room: Clephan 2.35

12.15 – 1 pm  

Panel: Survive or Thrive in small press publishing with Five Leaves Bookshop, Inspired Quill, Louise Walters and Bearded Badger Books           

Recent years have proved intensely challenging for the small presses; so what can be learned from the experience, and what rebuilt? Our panel of independent publishers share their wisdom – and scars! Expect tales and talk on a knife-edge between desperation and innovation. Room: Clephan 3.02

16th and 17th century Werewolves

We’re all fascinated by the lycanthrope; so, come and join historian Professor Elizabeth Tingle as she takes us on a moonlit romp through werewolves in the archives. Having recently uncovered some exciting sources, she’ll tell us some wolfish tales, and give us insight into what they tell us about the mindset of people from the 16th and 17th centuries. Room: Clephan 3.08

Demon Crew
The annual States of Independence reading by students of creative writing at De Montfort launching (and selling!) their publications. Come and share the excitement, the triumph, and the sheer diversity of creative work. Room: Clephan 3.01

Craft: Writing Place in Poetry with Joanne Dixon

This workshop with poet Joanne Dixon will give you a practical opportunity to explore preoccupations with locale, setting, and ideas of the poem as its own place. Come prepared to travel-by-pen-and-paper! Room: Clephan 2.33

True crime: Why are we so obsessed?

Researcher and writer Megan Lupton asks why we’re so fascinated by True Crime, where that fascination started historically – and where it might be going as a genre. Can, and should, there be an ethics to True Crime? Come along and help us debate such things. Room: Clephan 2.35

1 – 1.40  pm      Lunch & Browse the Stalls

1.45 – 2.30 pm

The role of the small press with Republic of Consciousness

Neil Griffiths, founder of the Republic of Consciousness, will be chairing a panel of three small presses. They will be discussing the role of a small press in the wider publishing world, their contribution and travails and how literary prizes are essential in helping them find a readership for their books. Speakers: Elizabeth McSkeane, Turas Press; Sean Campbell, Epoque Press; Nasser Al Badri, Dar Arab. Room: Clephan 3.02

Panel: Zine culture with Sabrina Smith and Quinn Greytryx

The fanzine is a bastion of subculture, and a vibrant art form with its own history and aesthetics. Join writer Sabrina Smith and performance artist and Drag King Quinn Greytryx for a discussion of the energies of zines past and present, and the scenes they both celebrate and create. Room: Clephan 3.08

Craft: So, you want to be a freelance journalist? with Caroline Butterwick

If you’ve ever held ambitions to write successful freelance journalism, you’ll want to attend this session. Caroline Butterwick is a writer and researcher who has written for the Guardian, Mslexia, the Wellcome Collection, National Geographic Traveller and Psychologies. What makes a good article? How do you pitch topics and get commissioned? How can you use journalism to diversify writing about lived experience? Come along and get some answers! Room: Clephan 3.07

Talk: Literary landscapes in the Peak District

A virtual walk in the Peak District National Park, visiting settings believed to have inspired Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, with associated readings from this much-loved novel. Anne Goodwin will also lead you on the Peak District walk featured in her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, which was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. Room: Clephan 2.33

Readings: Four poets with new collections from award winning Indigo Dreams Publishing

Join Indigo Dreams poets, Claire Booker (author of The Bone That Sang), Isabelle Kenyon (Growing Pains), Terry Quinn (Notes on the Causes of The Third World War, by JC Dunne) and Teika Marija Smits (Russian Doll) for readings from their pamphlets which cover topics as niche as nude modelling for Eton boys and playground battles over earthworms, to themes as universal as growing up, falling in love and living through grief. Room: Clephan 2.35

2.45 – 3.30 pm

Craft: What I learnt from self-publishing with Rod Duncan and alumni

Novelist Rod Duncan hosts a conversation with student alumni on their journeys into self-publishing. As technology makes high quality publication an accessibly exciting reality, what does the aspiring writer need to consider? What are the creative opportunities, and practicalities? This conversation will tackle the challenges and liberating benefits of going it alone. Room: Clephan 3.02

Readings: Shoestring Poetry: a celebration with Kathy Bell, Neil Fulwood and others

Four Shoestring poets with recent collections read poems by themselves and others in celebration of a well-established poetry press with an international reach. Room: Clephan 3.08

Launch: Kezia and Rosie by Rebecca Burns

Join us for the launch of Rebecca Burns’ latest short story collection, Kezia and Rosie published by Dahlia Books. Rebecca will be in conversation with short fiction writer Laura Besley. Room: Clephan 3.07

Talk: Teen Saviours and Teen mental health with Joe Gardner

You all know Luke Skywalker and Greta Thunberg – but how do they embody our culture’s fascination with the cult of the Teen Saviour; and what does this cult tell us about the crisis in teen mental health and the changing experiences of teenagers? Join researcher and TV Script writer Joe Gardner to find out more. Room: Clephan 2.33

Black, British, and Writing with Anthony Joseph, Kimberly Redway and Renée Landell         

How has mainstream acceptance of Black British writing developed since the Windrush generation? And how is it beginning to define its own canon and aesthetic? Come and join poet Anthony Joseph, Caribbean literature scholar Renée Landell, and YA novelist Kimberly Redway as they discuss current and future directions for Black British Writing. Room: Clephan 2.35

 3.45 – 4.30 pm    CLOSING EVENT: Republic of Consciousness Prize Shortlist Announcement

End your day with excitement: we bring you the exclusive announcement of the Republic of Consciousness Prize shortlist – complete with readings. Republic of Consciousness shares States’ devotion to celebrate the role small presses play in ‘the biodiversity of the UK’s literature culture’. This prize is unique in being awarded to independent publishers – hear the announcement; and dash off to buy the books! Room: Clephan 3.01

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States 2022 is brought to you by the Leicester Centre for Creative Writing at DMU

Credit: Dahlia Books

and our industry partner, Dahlia Books.

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