Over three days, we’ll champion writing by women and celebrate the women writers we love with a diverse, amazing programme of practical talks, workshops and advice.
Aimed at emerging women writers of all levels, Grrrl Con – presented by Write Like a Grrrl and For Books’ Sake – will provide attendees with the opportunity to connect and collaborate with a nationwide community, while delivering all the essential tools, insight and inspiration to revolutionise your writing craft and confidence.
Grrrl Con will combine exciting, inspirational talks from established women writers and literary influencers with practical, interactive workshops aimed at equipping attendees with new tools, insights and approaches.
Each day will feature talks from the UK’s most innovative and original women writers, along with a range of workshops, with attendees able to tailor their individual itineraries to best suit their own personal writing aims and ambitions. There will be optional evening activities throughout the weekend.
Scarlett Thomas: Author of nine novels for adults including PopCo (2004), The End of Mr. Y (2006), Our Tragic Universe (2010) and The Seed Collectors (2015), and a non-fiction book about writing, Monkeys with Typewriters. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Kent. Her latest book, Dragon’s Green (2017), is the first in a series of novels for children.
Jenn Ashworth: Author of A Kind of Intimacy (winner of the 2010 Betty Trask Award), Cold Light (2011), The Friday Gospels (2013), and Fell (2017), as well as numerous short stories. She lectures in Creative Writing at Lancaster University and is a co-founder of the independent publishing collective, Curious Tales.
Patience Agbabi: Patience’s poetry has been featured on radio and TV worldwide and she has spent over 20 years celebrating the written and spoken word. The author of four books, her latest, Telling Tales (Canongate, 2014), is a vivid retelling of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales for the 21st century and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry 2014 and Wales Book of the Year 2015.
Monique Roffey: Author of five novels (The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, 2009, shortlisted for the Orange Prize; Archipelago, 2013, winner of the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature; House of Ashes, 2014, shortlisted for the Costa Fiction Award; and The Tryst, forthcoming from Dodo Ink in 2017), and a novel, With the Kisses of His Mouth (2011). She is a Lecturer at the Manchester Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University, and a Writer in Residence for First Story.
Sara Hunt: Founder of Saraband. After gaining experience with London publishers including Octopus and Penguin, Sara founded Saraband in 1994, initially based in the New York area. Since relocating to the UK they’ve continued to work with publishers internationally, in North America, Europe and Asia, receiving the inaugural Saltire Society Publisher of the Year award in 2013.
Leone Ross: Novelist, short story writer, editor and lecturer in fiction writing. She is the author of three novels (All the Blood, 1996; Orange Laughter, 1999; and This One Sky Day, forthcoming), and a collection of short fiction, Come Let Us Sing Anyway, forthcoming from Peepal Tress in 2017.
Desiree Reynolds: Author of numerous short stories and a novel, Seduce (2013). She is a broadcaster, journalist, creative writing workshop facilitator and mentor, currently working on a collection of short stories, based on growing up in South London, and a novel about the collapse of the plantation system in the Caribbean.
Rosie Garland: “One of the country’s finest performance poets” (Apples & Snakes), and the author of three novels (The Palace of Curiosities, 2013; Vixen, 2014; and The Night Brother, forthcoming in 2017), and six solo poetry collections. She has has received the DaDa Award for Performance Artist of the Year, the Diva Award for Solo Performer, and a Poetry Award from the People’s Café, New York.
Cheryl Martin: Theatre writer and director, poet and jazz singer. She has had over twenty stage and radio productions as a writer, and has won numerous awards for her work in theatre. Her debut poetry collection, Alaska, was longlisted for the Polari Book Prize, and adapted into a acclaimed one-woman show. She is the Artistic Co-Director of Black Gold Arts Festival and an Enabler for Eclipse Theatre, creating opportunities for BAME theatre-makers to develop their careers and create new work.
Theresa Munoz: Teresa’s debut collection of poetry, Settle (Vagabond Voices, 2016),was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry prize. Her poetry has been published in various journals including Poetry Review, Scottish Review of Books and The Scotsman. She has a PhD in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow, where she was an Overseas Research Scholar and Faculty of Arts Award holder.
Steph Pike: Feminist socialist activist and a committee member of Manchester People’s Assembly, part of the national movement against cuts and austerity. She has been featured in numerous anthologies and her pamphlet, All of the Deep Bits, was published by KFS Press in 2010. Her poetry collection Pétroleuse was published by Flapjack Press in 2016.
Hannah Kate: Poet, author and editor, and co-founder of Hic Dragones, a Manchester-based small press specialising in the weird, dark and strange. She is the author of a poetry collection, Variant Spelling, and editor of anthologies including Wolf-Girls (2012), Impossible Spaces (2014), Hauntings (2014) and Into the Woods (2017)
Date: Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June 2017
Venue: We will be using two venues in the city centre of Manchester: Mad Lab and Ziferblat. We’ll send more details about which events are at which venues to our attendees in due course.
Timings: Arrival from 9.30am for a 10am start on each day. Friday and Saturday will finish by 6pm, Sunday by 4.30pm.
Cost: A weekend ticket costs £120. There’s also an option to sponsor a place for a grrrl who would otherwise be unable to attend.
For Books’ Sake and Write Like a Grrrl operate on a non-profit basis, and all revenue from ticket sales will be used to bring you the best speakers and workshop facilitators in the UK.
Your ticket fees will go directly to covering costs and ensuring fair payment for the women writers involved, ensuring the programme for the weekender is as powerful, practical and inspirational as possible.
You can book your place at Grrrl Con via Paypal using the form below. If you have any questions or need any help, please get in touch.
“Before Grrrl Con I thought I’d never have a book but now apparently I’ve got two to finish. It showed me the ability I have, and how not to shy away from it!”
“I love you all for putting this together. I needed to boost my confidence, and you’ve given me self-belief. For someone with none, that’s an unforgettable feeling. Thank you.”
“I love you all! I’ve said before that Write Like a Grrrl has changed my life for the better; that has been echoed over and over again from other people I’ve spoken to this weekend. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done.”
“I’ve gained confidence, new techniques and ways to improve my writing, a list of women writers I want to read, and a fantastic community. An amazingly useful weekend that has motivated and inspired.”
“I’ve learnt to trust my instincts and gained confidence, as well as a clear idea for a novel and an almost complete synopsis. I am very inspired and also want to acknowledge how friendly, helpful and motivational the Grrrl Con organisers and volunteers were throughout the weekend.”
“The talks were incredibly amazing, engaging, life affirming, practical, inspiring and empowering.”
“Wonderful weekend. I feel overwhelmed and in awe of all the talented women writers at the event. I look forward to continuing to learn and develop with such a fantastic support network.”
“I feel so inspired, so supported and so lucky to be in this nurturing environment.”
“Realistic but encouraging – makes everything feel more reachable. Each session had knowledge, encouragement and inspiration to offer. Thank you for all your help and understanding, for us as people as well as writers. It’s done so much for my confidence and motivation, and makes my pursuits feel legitimate and feasible.”
See photos, tweets and more from Grrrl Con 2016
All attendees must take responsibility for coordinating their own travel and accommodation, and these are not included in the ticket cost.
But we will be providing links, suggestions and advice on how to get here and where to stay. We’ll also coordinating an online space where attendees can connect with each other before, during and after the weekender, exchanging knowledge, contacts and advice.
Similarly, while we will be providing drinks and light refreshments during the breaks, lunch is not provided. In order to ensure the weekender is as affordable as possible, we’re keeping costs to a minimum.
And we know these kinds of environments have the potential to be overwhelming, so we’ll be allocating an hour each day for attendees to do their own thing for lunch and get some space if required.
As with the travel and accommodation, we’ll be providing some suggested options nearer the time of nearby places our attendees may wish to investigate.
Delivered by Write Like a Grrrl and For Books’ Sake, Grrrl Con is open to self-identifying women of all backgrounds, abilities and ages over eighteen.
Accessibility: We will aim to accommodate any access requirements to the best of our abilities. If you’re concerned or have questions about accessibility, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve done everything we can to make Grrrl Con as affordable as possible. In 2016, we were able to offer free and discount to those on low-income, and wanted to do the same in 2017. However, after being turned down for funding and not reaching our planned crowdfunder target, this is sadly no longer practical. So instead, we’re offering the option for those who can afford to to sponsor a place for someone who can’t afford to come using the ticket purchase dropdown below. If you’re interested in being considered for one of these places please get in touch.