Former Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman, reflected on her writing career and how her work has been adapted into graphic fiction, plays and TV series, ahead of the release of the 2020 TV adaptation of her award-winning YA series 'Noughts and Crosses'. She was joined by 'Noughts and Crosses' scriptwriter Nathaniel Price and journalist Nicolette Jones. This event was programmed to coincide with the British Library's exhibition on rebels in children’s literature, in partnership with The Royal Society of Literature.
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a classic example of defied convention. It presented a new voice, fully convinced of her defiance and standing up against adult tyranny. Acclaimed author Sara Collins, producer of the 2011 film adaptation Alison Owen, Victorian Literature expert Professor Sally Shuttleworth and critic Alex Clark discuss the spirit of rebellion found in its pages and what it is to be a child. This event was livestreamed from the British Library on 14 January 2020 to public libraries across the UK. This event contains discussion of sexual harassment within the novel so parental discretion is advised.
Much-loved author Jacqueline Wilson talks about writing rebel girls who stand up for friendship, justice, and what they believe in. This event coincided with the British Library's Marvellous and Mischievous exhibition and celebrated the release of the Tracy Beaker book We Are The Beaker Girls. This event was livestreamed from the British Library on 11 November 2019 to public libraries across the UK. This event is recommended for ages 8+.
Join us here live: 1 October 2020. 19.30 - 20.45.
Live from the Union Chapel, London.
In this special event in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Royal Society for Literature, actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry talks to comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi about writing across forms – from sketch comedy to poetry, independently and in collaboration, written and performed – that has elevated him to the status of national treasure.
Stephen grew up in a house with colossal bookcases filled with classic works of literature, and would use them as medicine cabinets to treat his childhood. He has remarked that writing is a ‘newer technology – only five or six thousand years old’ by which ‘we can change utterance into permanence’, and when once asked for writing advice, he responded: ‘the important thing to do for those who want to liberate their writing is to be able to let go of their self-consciousness, to allow the words to write for them.’
Presented in Partnership with the Royal Society of Literature and the British Library. This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
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This event took place on: 12 October. 19.30 - 20.30. Linton Kwesi Johnson is presented with the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize.
The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature. In memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter, the prize is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit resident in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize in Literature speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’.
Linton Kwesi Johnson was chosen by this year’s judges; The Guardian’s Associate Editor for Culture Claire Armitstead; Dialogue Books Publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove, and author Max Porter. The judges said of Johnson: ‘Linton Kwesi Johnson is a poet, reggae icon, academic and campaigner, whose impact on the cultural landscape over the last half century has been colossal and multi-generational. His political ferocity and his tireless scrutiny of history are truly Pinteresque, as is the humour with which he pursues them.’
The prize will be shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty, selected by Linton Kwesi Johnson from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. The co-winner will be announced at the event, where they will accept their prize alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson.
This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
How do you tell the story of a recipe? A recipe is so much more than a set of instructions; it is a story, an experience waiting to happen. We explore the role of voice, narrative and storytelling in cookery books with three fantastic food writers; Nigella Lawson, Ella Risbridger and Bee Wilson. This event was livestreamed from the British Library on 8 April 2019 to public libraries across the UK.
We bring world-class speakers, emerging voices and inspirational debate to public libraries and the people who use them. We livestream compelling cultural events with libraries across the UK, so you can get a front-row seat for free no matter where you live.
As libraries have had to pause public events for now we’ve launched this website to keep bringing you captivating live events for free and showcase the highlights from our events archive. Here we can keep sharing knowledge and encouraging creativity, until we can get together again in person.
More information about the Living Knowledge Network and the British Library can be found here