Online - London, United Kingdom
With Molly Flatt, Goretti Kyomuhendo, Claire Mabey and Chris Gribble (chair)

What might innovation and entrepreneurship look like in literature?

Join us for a discussion of the current practices, opportunities and challenges for innovation and entrepreneurship across the literature sector. Our panellists have experience across commercial, non-profit, and freelance capacities, and will speak about their experiences of founding and the support they needed and/or received for innovative publishing, writer development and festival programmes.

Molly Flatt co-founded Big Book Weekend as a response to festival cancellations during the Covid-19 pandemic and is the organiser of The Booksellers’ FutureBook conference. Goretti Kyomuhendo founded the African Writers’ Trust, which seeks to build bridges between African and diaspora writers and publishing professionals. Claire Mabey co-founded Verb Wellington, a year-round programme of literature events, festivals, residencies, commissions and more in Wellington, NZ.

The discussion will be chaired by Chris Gribble, CEO of the National Centre for Writing.

About the speakers

Molly Flatt is an author and journalist living in London. She is Comment Editor of The Bookseller where she also runs FutureBook, the biggest books conference in the UK. She is co-founder with Kit de Waal of the Big Book Weekend: a free virtual book festival accessible to all, supported by BBC Arts and Arts Council England. Her ‘utterly original’ (Stylist), ‘deeply delicious’ (SFX) debut novel, The Charmed Life of Alex Moore, is out now. Website / Twitter

Goretti Kyomuhendo is one of Uganda’s leading novelists. She is the founder and director of the African Writers Trust, which promotes synergies and collaborative learning between African writers on the continent and in the Diaspora. Goretti was appointed Chair of judges for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing 2021.

The first Ugandan woman writer to receive the International Writing Program Fellowship at the University of Iowa, Goretti has been recognised for her work as a writer and literary activist nationally and internationally and has participated in numerous forums worldwide. In 2019, Goretti was featured among the 100 Most Influential Africans by the UK- based, bestselling Pan African Magazine, New African. In 2020, she was appointed a member of the Commonwealth Foundation’s Civil Society Advisory Governors representing Africa.

Her novels include The First Daughter (1996); Secrets No More (1999), which won the Uganda National Literary Award for Best Novel in the same year; and Waiting (2007), published by The Feminist Press in New York. In 2014, she published the Essential Handbook for African Creative Writers. She has also published several children’s books and short stories, including ‘Lost and Found’, published in New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent edited by Margaret Busby (2019).

Goretti is a founding member of FEMRITE – Uganda Women Writers’ Association and Publishing House – and worked as its first Director for ten years (1997-2007). She lives in Kampala and London.

Claire Mabey is a literary programmer and writer from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Claire is the founder of Verb Wellington, an organisation committed to supporting writers and readers through events, residencies, and publishing. Twitter

Chris Gribble is NCW’s CEO and in charge of the overall strategic direction of the organisation and its artistic, social, and place-making impact. He is Chair of the International Cities of Refuge Network and sits on the board of Carcanet Press and Modern Poetry in Translation and both the New Anglia LEP Culture Board and its Skills Advisory Panel. He has a PhD in German poetry and philosophy from Manchester University, swims enthusiastically, runs slowly and reads constantly.


Attendees — 5

Innovation & Enterprise in the Literature Sector with authors Molly Flatt & Goretti KyomuhendoLondon, United Kingdom