Writers Ben Okri, David Hare and Samira Ahmed consider walls in literature and in our lives; physical, political, societal and spiritual. This event was livestreamed from the British Library on 23 September 2019 to public libraries across the UK as part of Banned Books Week, the celebration of the freedom to read. This event took place in partnership with the British Library, The Royal Society of Literature, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, Media Diversified and The Publisher’s Association.
Join us here live: Thursday 24 June, 17:00 - 18:30.
A stellar line-up celebrates the publication of ten new children’s stories.
Join children’s writers and illustrators Philip Ardagh, Sita Bramachari, Alexis Deacon, Laura Dockrill, Jamila Gavin, Jay Hulme, Jane Ray, Chris Riddell, David Roberts, Marcus Sedgwick and others, for an exhilarating mixed-bill of performances, readings, illustration and conversation to celebrate the publication of 10 Stories to Make a Difference.
10 Stories is a limited edition collection of 10 inclusion-led illustrated titles for young readers of all ages, giving a platform to diverse new writers and illustrators and untold stories by well-known authors. The stories feature characters of colour, with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ themes. The event includes a panel conversation on LGBTQ+ visibility in children's books.
Published by national children’s literature development agency Pop Up, 10 Stories involved collaborations with 12 publishers and 20 writers and illustrators – nine making their debut, alongside established names who donated their work.
Pop up is a not-for-profit community interest company with a mission to transform lives through literature, especially through working with people in deprived places and challenging circumstances. Pop Up produces transformative programmes with schools, communities and writers and illustrators at every stage in their careers.
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This event took place on: 10 November 2020.
This discussion illuminates and contextualises stories featured in the exhibition Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights. This includes:
- ground-breaking feminist magazine Urania which celebrated the lives of sex rebels and gender outlaws in the early 20th century
- the 1930s media fascination with people described as ‘medical curiosities’ or sexually ‘anti-typical’ who today would be likely to identify as intersex or transgender
- the legal struggles which led to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act
- the striking visual iconography of contemporary non-binary artist of colour Travis Alabanza.
Our expert panel will show that Trans people, in various forms and often with different names to those used today, have always been part of feminist history and the struggle for women’s rights, and will continue to be so in the future.
This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.
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This event took place on: 10 October 2020.
'What is the use of a book,' thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversations?'
This event has both: live illustration from the multi-award winning writer and illustrator Chris Riddell, conversation and performances of iconic scenes from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, like the tea party, by an amazing selection of actors.
Passionate Wonderland fan Chris Riddell launches this new edition, a richly illustrated reimagining of the classic children’s story. Watch Chris illustrate characters live and hear him talk about why this book still captivates him today. This event will be filmed on location in the British Library, which holds the original manuscript of Lewis Carroll’s world famous story.
Macmillan Children’s Books is presenting this brand new edition in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir John Tenniel, the original illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
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+.
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This event took place on: 28 October 2020.
‘There are years that ask questions and years that answer.’ – Zora Neale Hurston
Over a career that spanned more than 30 years, Zora Neale Hurston published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles and plays. Today, her work unites readers across the world, yet she died penniless, buried in an unmarked grave.
Black Girl’s Book Club co-founders Natalie Carter and Melissa Cummings-Quarry – who cite Neale Hurston as the ‘the patron saint of Black women’ – chair a conversation with poets Jackie Kay and Salena Godden about Hurston’s writing life, and how she has become regarded one of the most significant Black woman writers of the 20th century.
Presented in association with the Royal Society of Literature. This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.