Winterson, Braithwaite and Buchanan headline first Evening Standard Stories Festival

Winterson, Braithwaite and Buchanan headline first Evening Standard Stories Festival

Jeanette Winterson, Candice Brathwaite and Daisy Buchanan are headlining the Evening Standard's inaugural Stories Festival.

Other authors on the line-up include Geek Girl author Holly Smale, Naoise Dolan of bestselling debut novel Exciting Times and presenter and author Anita Rani.

The festival, which was launched in May in association with Netflix, seeks to "inspire a new generation of storytelling" and runs from 24th to 26th September at Picturehouse Central in central London. 

The programme feature a showcase from Stormzy’s #MerkyBooks imprint featuring young writers and a “proof party” from Dialogue Books. Three Dialogue authors will appear — Betty Trask Award-winning Okechukwu Nzelu joined by Ione Gamble and Polari First Novel Award winner Angela Chadwick — to discuss their new titles for 2022 and their writing journeys. Each ticket will come with a goody bag featuring a proof of Nzelu’s new novel, Here Again Now, and Chadwick’s new novel Ungrateful (both published by Dialogue).

On the Friday, Insatiable author Buchanan will appear on a panel with Dolan and Megan Nolan, presenting their observations on sex in the age of Instagram. Winterson will appear in conversation with Brian Christian, discussing her essay collection 12 Bytes: How We Got Here, Where We Might Go Next (Jonathan Cape) examining the uses and abuses of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The pair will also discuss Christian's book, The Alignment Problem: How Machines Learn Human Values?(Atlantic Books) looks at the collision between ethics and AI. Author and illustrator Rob Biddulph will celebrate the launch of the first book in his new middle-grade series for children.

On the Saturday evening there will be sesson entitled 'Black British Writing Now' featuring Kadija Sesay, poet, editor and founder of SABLELit magazine, which publishes emerging writers of colour, joined by Brathwaite, author of I Am Not Your Baby Mother (Quercus). The discussion will address the issues facing Black writing today.

The festival will feature readings, talks and workshops from others including Ashley Walters, actor from Netflix series "Top Boy", former chancellor and author Ed Balls, writer Jack Guinness and author and podcaster Nikesh Shukla. Previously announced highlights also include conversations with “Line of Duty” creator Jed Mercurio, politician and author Rabina Khan, and musician and writer Will Young. The festival's story competition winners will also be announced. 

Emily Sheffield, editor at Evening Standard, said the festival "showcases some of the best and brightest young creative talent that our capital and the UK has to offer".

Anne Mensah, vice-president of Original Series at Netflix, commented: “What an incredible line-up of speakers and guests! I’m thrilled that, together with the Evening Standard, we’ve been able to build a festival programme that explores storytelling in all its many guises. A great story can come from anywhere, so we are incredibly excited to be able to support a forum which brings together the next generation of young emerging talent with established authors and screenwriters.”

Tickets for the festival are available here.