Primadonna festival 'gives prominence' to women's writing

Primadonna festival 'gives prominence' to women's writing

New literary event the Primadonna festival will give "prominence to work by women”, with support from author Kit de Waal and Curtis Brown agent Cathryn Summerhayes.

Staged in Suffolk from August 30th to 1st September, the festival aims to focus on women’s writers to redress the gender inequality in publishing.

Summerhayes told The Bookseller: "I represent the formidable Catherine Mayer [festival founder] and she’s always been keen to put together an amazingly diverse group of people to create a really unique festival that fills a gap in the market.  I’ve long been involved with Port Eliot and Hay and could see that Primadonna had legs so I was on board from the off.

"We want to showcase new talent from the world of books as well as film, music and the arts alongside artists who already have high profiles but want to bring their ideas and writing to a new audience.  It is very clear that readers and viewers are keen to engage directly with the writers – and Primadonna will provide a new platform for talks, debates, readings and conversations with a hugely eclectic group of talented thinkers and authors."  

Summerhayes is urging people from the publishing trade to come along, as well as suggest headliners, promising there is "plenty more news to come in the next few weeks”.

"Tell us who and what you want to hear and see," she said. "We hope to offer up something for everyone and include poetry, work in translation, work in progress, new voices, old voices trying new things, workshops, masterclasses. No idea is too crazy at this stage." 

"Primadonna is a new and inclusive festival celebrating the creative community, giving prominence to work by women and introducing fresh voices alongside famous names in a fun and welcoming environment,” the blurb on the event’s website reads. "Join us in the beautiful surroundings of Suffolk for an entire weekend of eclectic festivities, from interviews, panels, spoken-word performances and workshops, to live music, films and food.”

As well as de Waal and Summerhayes, other participants include broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and former Edinburgh International Festival m.d. Joanna Baker.