That’s What She Said at Edinburgh Fringe 2017

That’s What She Said, shortlisted for Best Regular Spoken Word Night in the 2017 Saboteur Awards and “the biggest spoken word night in London for women” (Evening Standard), comes to Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in August 2017.

For the past two years, our spoken word night That’s What She Said has taken the London literary scene by storm. Now, That’s What She Said will be live in Edinburgh as part of PBH’s Free Fringe, with a free, daily-changing showcase of incredible, irreverent poetry, performance, stand-up and storytelling by women.

Expect fierce, feminist truth and fiction from the best and boldest emerging and established women writers around. Described by attendees as inclusive, empowering, inspiring, That’s What She Said is a safe space, with daily open-mic slots available for women and non-binary identifying performers of all ages and backgrounds, and free entry for all.

What they say...

“To put it bluntly, I’d never come across a spoken word night with such a fantastic lineup. ‘How have I never come across this before?’, I kept asking myself, ‘this is everything I’ve ever wanted from a night out…’

I was blown away by the night. I left feeling inspired, with renewed confidence in my own abilities, and almost missed my tube stop on the way home trying to write down scraps of poetry and prose.

Not only is That’s What She Said a great place to see talented literary performers, for everyone and not just women, but it provides a space for women to shout and scream their anger, their frustrations, their desires; a space without censorship, without objectification and without the dreaded “it must be her time of the month” quip. I think For Books’ Sake is doing some really important work.” SexyVeg


“Truly an evening to celebrate ideas, words and women who you may have never heard of before. It is a chance to experience the undiscovered writers and artists out there who may not be on your radar — offering you insight to many creating works in different styles and literary genres and all of it presented in a truly entertaining format. You’ll laugh, you may wince, you will definitely cheer!” Sophia Walker


Weds 16th August

LEYLA JOSEPHINE (@LeylaJosephine1) Award winning performance artist and writer from Glasgow. Winner of The 2014 Hammer and Tongue UK National Slam, Rally and Broad’s Cultural Commonwealth Slam, The ‘Golden Gun’ at Bang Said The Gun, and The Loud Poets’ 2017 Grand Slam. Catch Leyla’s solo show, Hopeless.


YOLANDA MERCY (@yolandamercy) Underbelly Untapped Award recipient (2017), and winner of the Rich Mix, Small Story Big City Award 2015, Yolanda Mercy is a London based Actor and Playwright, creating highly quality and entertaining work inspired by the contemporary world we inhabit. Catch Yolanda in Quarter Life Crisis.


AJ MCKENNA (@AnathemaJane) Spoken word artist. Creator of poetry film ‘A Letter to a Minnesota Prison‘ commissioned by Apples & Snakes and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation) and 2015 one-woman show ‘Howl of the Bantee‘ at Edinburgh Fringe. A former Deputy Editor at So So Gay magazine, she now writes for Vada and Clarissa Explains Fuck All.

Thurs 17th August

SABRINA MAHFOUZ (@SabrinaMahfouz) Sabrina Mahfouz was raised in London and Cairo. Her work includes the plays Chef, With a Little Bit of Luck, Clean, Battleface and the love i feel is red; the poetry collection How You Might Know Me; the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write and the BBC shows Breaking the Code, Railway Nation: A Journey In Verse and We Are Here. She received a Fringe First Award for Chef and won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award.


LEANNE MODEN (@CrimsonEbolg) Leanne Moden is a poet from Nottingham. She performs at events around the UK, and has been shortlisted in the Camden Roundhouse Slam, the Hammer & Tongue Slam, and Poetry Rivals Competition.


ANNIE GEORGE (@msanniegeorge) Inspiring Scotland Saltire Bursary winner 2016, and author of the poetic, poignant solo show Home Is Not The Place, taking place at the Scottish Storytelling Centre 18th-27th Aug.

STELLA HERVEY BIRRELL (@atinylife140) First novel, How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? published by Crooked Cat Books in 2016. Short pieces have appeared in various places, including: The Guardian, The Ropes Journal, the Lies, Dreaming podcast, and The Dangerous Woman Project. Videos of some short pieces can be found on her YouTube channel, Stella Hervey Birrell.

LYDIA MELVILLE Newbie to the scene – Bristol undergraduate student and amateur poet. A big fan of the city of Edinburgh with a deep-rooted connection to Scottish family who hopes to inspire people with words.

Fri 18th August

DEANNA RODGER (@DeannaRodger) International writer, performer and facilitator. Co-curator of two leading spoken word events: Chill Pill and Come Rhyme With Me. Past commissions include: Under The Skin (St Paul’s Cathedral), Now We Are Here (Young Vic), Women Who Spit (BBC IPlayer) and Buckingham Palace (NYT).


MARA MENZIES (@MaraMenzies) One of Scotland’s best loved performance storytellers with a powerful, dynamic and physical style that captures the imagination of any audience. She has performed and led workshops around the world including Kenya, Singapore, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, the USA and across the UK.


LISA LUXX (@lisaluxx_) British Syrian writer, performer and activist. Published by Tate Britain, New River Press, The International Times, Tribe de Mama (US), The Numinous (US), i-D, The Sunday Times and more. Celebrated in the press for her “revolutionary writing” from BBC Arts through to Well + Good NYC. Shortlisted for Peace Poetry Prize and Saboteur Awards Best Spoken Word Performer. Poetry and essay collection The 4th Brain published in 2017 by Prowl House Books.

Plus more still to be confirmed!

Sat 19th August

LAURA DOCKRILL (@Laura Dockrill) Performance poet and novelist whose wonderfully inventive and creative approach to life is reflected in the rich and vividly imagined worlds she creates. Author of novels Aurabel and Lorali, published by Hot Key Books.


CHARLOTTE SOUTER (@charthesouter) Uses unique and quirky words to voice the issues she feels strongly about. She has performed at Bestival, Camp Bestival, The Big Noise Festival, Last Word and Camden Lock Live. She has slammed at the Royal Albert Hall and published in Mud Presses W O M A N anthology. She is based in the South West of England. 


KATIE WATSON (@kwatsonwriter) Member of the Worker Bee collective. Writer of short fiction, poetry and spoken-word, on themes such as mental health, identity, and intersectional feminism. Obsessed with avocados.


ADELE DOUGLAS Member of Worker Bees collective. (@workerbeesmcr), obsessive of all things trashy and 1990s. Expect swearing and feminism.


Plus more still to be confirmed!

Sun 20th August

SOPHIA WALKER (@PoetWalker) Internationally renowned poet, playwright and educator, author of Opposite the Tourbus (Burning Eye Books) and BBC Slam Champion. 2015 UK representative for the World Slam Championships, 2015 London Slam Champion, winner of the 2012 Poetry Olympics, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival Improv Slam. Host and organiser of the annual BBC Slam Championship, Sophia has performed everywhere from Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, to Royal Holloway Prison.


IMANI ALEXANDER (@imaniangeleno) Los Angeles native Imani G Alexander studied directing and physical theatre in London, earning an MA in Text and Performance from RADA and Birkbeck College. A performer, choreographer, singer-songwriter and storyteller, Imani recently debuted her solo show Bone Woman at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Bone Woman appears nightly at Greenside @ Infirmary St throughout this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.


RUTH BRANDON (@_RuthBrandon) Driven to write by her -sometimes less than fortunate- experiences with “romantic” relationships, friendships and balancing her real job (performing), with her day job (the one that currently pays the bills) and going to the pub and playing roller derby (which some people may refer to as a social life). August 2017 is her first time performing any of her spoken word publicly, so please be nice.


Plus more still to be confirmed!

Mon 21st August

CHERYL MARTIN (@CherylAlaska) Co-Artistic Director of Manchester’s Black Gold Arts Festival, and a Slate Enabler for Sheffield’s Eclipse Theatre, Cheryl’s worked as a poet, playwright and director, Her first solo collection of poetry, Alaska, was longlisted for the 2015 Polari Prize and adapted into a one-woman stage show, premiering at Contact’s 2015 Flying Solo Festival before a national tour including, and comes to Liverpool’s Unity Theatre in Autumn 2017.

CARMINA MASOLIVER (@CarminaPoetry) Founder of
She Grrrowls, a Feminist arts night based in London, Carmina Masoliver’s poetry blurs boundaries between the personal and political, and seeks to get the audience to identify with her words. Her first pamphlet was published by Nasty Little Press in 2014. She Grrowls takes place daily 9-10pm during August as part of the PBH Free Fringe!


ELIZABETH MCGEOWN (@candyseyes) Current All-Ulster/Northern Ireland Poetry Slam Champion, taking part in both the All-Ireland finals and the Farrago UK Slam Championships 2017. Chosen by judges from Dublin: UNESCO City Of Literature to take part in the Lingo Slam, placing third in 2016. For International Women’s Day 2016 she was included with six other local women to record their work as part of a playlist released by Lagan Press. At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016 she was a featured artist at Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret as well as the first reserve for the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Slam.


VERONIQUE KOOTSTRA (@vkootstra) Flash fiction stories featured in online publications as well as in print including The 404 Ink Literary Magazine. She won a highly commended writing award from the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, was shortlisted for the Zeist Literary Prize in her native Netherlands, and was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award. She is currently working on her first novel.


KARYN MILLAR (@karyn_millar) Writer, editor and member of Write Like a Grrrl. Winner of the Jupiter Artland Inspired to Write competition and shortlisted for The Fiction Desk’s Ghost Story award. Writes about women and weirdness. Work has been described as ‘dark – very dark’ and ‘grotesquely erotic’. There will be blood.

Tues 22nd August

ROSIE GARLAND (@rosieauthor) Novelist, poet and singer with post-punk band The March Violets. ‘One of the country’s finest performance poets’ (Apples & Snakes), with latest collection As In Judy out now from Flapjack Press. Author of novels The Night Brother, Vixen and The Palace of Curiosities (winner of Book of the Year in the Co-op Respect Awards 2013 and nominated for both The Desmond Elliott and the Polari First Book Prize).


CLAIRE ASKEW (@onenightstanzas) Debut poetry collection, This changes things, published in 2016 by Bloodaxe Books, shortlisted for a Saltire Award for Best First Book. Winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and 2016 Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion. Debut novel forthcoming from Hodder in 2018.


SASHA DE BUYL-PISCO (@sashadebuyl) Writer and comics maker based in Edinburgh. Her work has been feature on BBC’s The Social, The Dangerous Women Project and The Common Weal.


BECCA INGLIS (@becca_inglis) Creative non-fiction writer and reviewer based in Edinburgh. Her essay “Love in a Time of Melancholia” appeared in 404 Ink’s collection Nasty Women, and her article “When Women Steal the Patriarchy’s Toys: Feminism as Terrorism” was published by the Dangerous Women Project. Her work has also been featured in The Skinny, The Wee Review, and in a live performance at Interrobang.

Plus more still to be confirmed!

Weds 23rd August

JENNY LINDSAY (@msjlindsay) Performs all over Scotland and beyond with a blend of dry humour, social-commentary and story-telling. She has been variously described as “a distinctive voice, full of fire and passion,” (Scottish Review of Books), as writing “poems of confidence and substance,” (Poetry Scotland) and as “full of hope, humanity and humour.” (Andrew Eaton-Lewis,The Scotsman). She was the ‘Rally’ of acclaimed literary cabaret Rally & Broad (2012 – 2016), BBC Slam Champion in 2012, and is the director of Flint & Pitch Productions.


NADINE AISHA JASSAT (@nadineaishaj) Author of Still, a feminist poetry pamphlet. Solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Just Festival, and the Audacious Women Festival. She was the first ever Writer in Residence for YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement, and features in 404 Ink’s Nasty Women. Her work has been published both online and in print. Her piece ‘Hopscotch’ was recently made into a filmpoem by award winning filmmaker Roxana Vilk, and is part of the official selection for the Howling Wolf International Short Film Festival 2017. You can catch her in person this August performing at the Just Festival and speaking at Edinburgh International Book Festival.


MOIRA CORMACK (@CormackMoira) Poems, flash fiction, short stories and novels. Her work has appeared in the Tyne and Esk anthology, Tapesandtales, in a pamphlet celebrating Alice in Wonderland and on BBC Radio Scotland. Her first novel ‘The Witch of land and sea’ was published in August 2016. She is working on her second novel.


ANJELICA ETWERTH (@anjelicaetwerth) Anagram who trained in music and linguistics in Grahamstown, South Africa. Her work has appeared in Aerial and she is an alumna of Write Like A Grrrl . She plays hopscotch between music and writing, exploring a keen interest in the relationship between meaning and sound.


ERIN BLAIR (@erinblairwrites) Member of the Worker Bees Collective (@WorkerBeesMcr) and a writer of the gothic, fantastical and the damn right creepy.

Thurs 24th August

DENISE MINA (@DameDeniseMina) Author of 12 novels as well as as short stories, plays and graphic novels. Inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2014, Denise regularly appears at literary festivals in the UK and abroad, leads masterclasses on writing and was a judge for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction 2014.


RACHEL MCCRUM (@KickingParis) Author of two pamphlets published by Stewed Rhubarb Press: The Glassblower Dances (2012) and Do Not Alight Here Again (2015). She lived in Edinburgh, Scotland from 2010 to 2016 where she was the Broad of cult spoken word cabaret Rally &Broad, the inaugural BBC Scotland Poet in Residence and a recipient of an RLS Fellowship in 2016. Her first book The First Blast To Awaken Women Degenerate was published by Freight Books in summer 2017.

BETH COCHRANE (@literature_wine) Graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing in 2015, and has since gone on to co-create her spoken word night Interrobang – winner of Saboteur Review’s Best Regular Spoken Word Night, 2017. She won the University of Edinburgh’s Sloan Prize in 2015 for her fiction work in Scots vernacular, and was a participant in Edinburgh City of Literature’s Story Shop Programme, 2016. Beth currently works in Edinburgh City Library’s Art & Design Library, where she mainly takes care of the plants (which are flourishing).
KAITE WELSH (@kaitewelsh) is an author and journalist. She writes feminist historical crime novels set in Victorian Edinburgh and featuring Sarah Gilchrist – pioneering female medical student. fallen woman and amateur detective. The Wages of Sin is out now from Tinder Press and The Unquiet Heart will be released next summer. She has a sporadic column on LGBT issues for the Daily Telegraph, is Books Editor at DIVA Magazine and frequently goes on the radio to dismantle the patriarchy one patronising presenter at a time. Yes, Andrew Neil, she does mean you.

SIOBHAN SHIELDS (@Siobhan_Shields) Writer and filmmaker. She read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2016 as part of Story Shop and has contributed to the Dangerous Women Project. Her flash fiction will be published in edition #2.5 of Word-o-Mat, an independent zine distributed via a vintage vending machine. Her award winning Twin Peaks themed film ‘Diane’ has been screened at the US Twin Peaks Festival and festivals in London and Malta.

Fri 25th August

CECILIA KNAPP (@ceciliaknapp) Writer, performer and poet. Her poetry has been played on XFM, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4, 5 LIVE and 1Xtra and she was recently commissioned by BBCiplayer and the TATE Britain. Cecilia has been published in several anthologies and has recently received a substantial Arts Council grant to write and develop her own one woman spoken word theatre show ‘Finding Home’, directed by Stef O’Driscoll ( Kate Tempest’s ‘Hopelessly Devoted’). This has recently been published by Burning Eye Books. She writes for theatre and is currently working on a devised experimental theatre piece ‘Rear View’ with Yorkshire based company I.O.U.


JEMIMA FOXTROT (@JemimaFoxtrot) Writer, theatre-maker, performer and musician. Commissioned by the Tate Britain, the BBC, the Tate Modern and Latitude Festival. Her poetry film Mirror, commissioned by BBC Arts as part of their Women who Spit series, was available on iplayer for over a year. Shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Spoken Word Fellowship. All Damn Day, Jemima’s first collection of poetry, is published by Burning Eye Books. Above the Mealy-Mouthed Sea, performed daily during Edinburgh Fringe.


SPARKLECHOPS (@sparklechops3) is a spoken word artist and comedian who runs the Speakin’ Weird spoken word night in Aberdeen. Her poetic ramblings provide an honest and exposing glimpse of everyday triumphs and tragedies. Her work is are often bizarre, always funny, simultaneously profound and tapping into heart wrenching universals. She will break your heart, piece it back together and present it to you in a small ornate origami box.


SOPHIA BLACKWELL (@SophiaBlackwell) Performance poet and author. Her most recent collection, The Fire Eater’s Lover, was published in May 2016 by Burning Eye Books.She is also the author of one novel, After My Own Heart. Her short stories have been included in the anthologies Boys & Girls and Men & Women and her poetry has been anthologised by Bloodaxe, Nine Arches, and The Emma Press. She hosts Below Stairs, the monthly literary salon at Blacks Club, Soho.

Plus more still to be confirmed!

Sat 26th August

MAZ HEDGEHOG (@mazhedgehog) History grad and spoken word poet and performer. When she’s not writing about power, agency and the other (via faeries) shes probably on twitter or thinking about fashion.


JONATHA KOTTLER (@jonatha_kottler) Happy member of Edinburgh’s Write Like A Grrrl community and runs a reading and writing group for the local charity ECAS. She read a piece at Story Shop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2016, has an essay in 404 Ink’s collection Nasty Women, and has written for The Guardian. She is currently completing her first novel.


JESS GLAISHER (@jglaisher) Writer, performer and lighting designer living in London. She is a queer feminist and activist, whose writing focuses on LGBTQ+ character representation, mental health visibility, and the lives of women. Her story ‘Destiny’ appears in For Books’ Sake’s anthology (Re)Sisters. Her work has also appeared in Novelty Magazine and on Dear Damsels. She is currently working on a novel, Dear Lina, a speculative piece on the subject of inheritance.


CHARLOTTE CHRISTIE (@cchristietweet) First gained public notoriety after being cast as Casey Shaw in Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe. Since then she attended Goldsmiths University where she began writing her own comedic material. She wants her work to be like a life jacket to women in their early 20s.


FELICITY ANDERSON-NATHAN (@flick_writes) Writer, tutor and freelancer. She’s a proud Write Like a Grrrl-er and spoke at the Edinburgh Book Trust Story Shop this year

Plus more still to be confirmed!