Catherine Riley

Catherine Riley

General Manager, Primadonna FestivalLondon, United Kingdom
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Laura Richardson
Hannah E. Davies
Catherine Riley

Catherine Riley

General Manager, Primadonna FestivalLondon, United Kingdom
About me
Catherine Riley is a writer. She currently works as general manager for the Primadonna Festival, the first literary festival in the UK to specifically give prominence to work by women, as well as writers of all genders, economic status and ethnicities whose voices are not usually heard. Primadonna tackles the current imbalance in the literary and publishing world while celebrating writing, creativity and ideas around diversity, inclusivity and equality. Catherine is an expert on contemporary feminist publishing in the UK, and has examined the literary and publishing world in depth through her two monographs Feminism and Women’s Writing: An Introduction (with Lynne Pearce) and The Virago Story: Assessing the Impact of a Feminist Publishing Phenomenon. She has also contributed chapters and articles to edited collections on these themes. She has taught English Literature and Gender Studies at Lancaster and Northumbria Universities and Birkbeck College in London, where she completed her doctoral thesis on the feminist publisher Virago. She worked for two years as Head of Communications at the Women’s Equality Party, the UK’s first feminist political party, helping build it from the ground up before leaving at the conclusion of the 2017 general election, and has broad experience of comms, PR and journalism, having worked in the media for many years.
  • Spirited
    SpiritedThe Spirited exhibition was held in Manchester in 2018 to mark 100 years since some women won the right to vote. It was designed as a positive, youth-focused celebration of gender equality, as well as a provocation to people young and old to think about the effects of social activism, and to embrace the opportunities that exist to make change. Spirited told the stories of some of the young women and girls who fought for the vote 100 years ago, centring on Manchester as the birthplace of the su
Projects credited in
    WOMEN'S EQUALITY | #WEcountA campaign in collaboration with the Women's Equality Party (WE), with the aim of empowering women who had experienced sexual harassment, assault and violence to raise their voices and reclaim their streets. Website:
  • Women's Equality Party Election Campaign
    Women's Equality Party Election CampaignThe Women's Equality Party were running for seats in 9 constituencies across Britain during the 2017 General Election. We created billboards for them which ran across these constituencies. Because they wanted bigger political parties to adopt their policies, we also created the 'Nickable Policies' campaign on social media, encouraging other parties to steal them.
Work history
    Primadonna Festival logo
    Primadonna Festival logo
    General ManagerPrimadonna Festival
    London, United KingdomFull Time
    Head of CommunicationsSpirit of 2012
    Strand, London WC2R 1LA, UKFull Time
    I head up the comms function for this Olympic legacy charity which awards funds to arts, sports and cultural programmes aimed at building happier and healthier individuals and communities. I lead on brand management, strategy and planning, media relations, internal and external messaging and influencing work across the third and public sectors.
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  • Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Writing
  • Copywriting
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Media Relations
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Festival
  • Editoral Experience