with Leo Benedictus, Jacob Ross and Louise Welsh

Saturday 15 September, 1.30pm
National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall
£8 (conc £7 / students £6)

In such a well-established genre, how do you create something exciting and cutting edge? Meet Leo Benedictus, Jacob Ross and Louise Welsh, writers who are breaking rules and pushing the boundaries in stories that range from post-apocalyptic Britain, to the chilling world of a stalker, to the bone readers of a Caribbean island. 

Winner of multiple awards including a CWA New Blood Dagger for The Cutting Room, Louise Welsh is here with No Dominion, a riveting read full of complex characters, set in post-apocalyptic Britain. Leo Benedictus conjures up the chilling world of a stalker in Consent, described by Sophie Hannah as ‘a fascinating, disturbing and original thriller that erases the boundaries of the genre’. Jacob Ross won the prestigious Jhalak Prize for The Bone Readers, which vividly evokes the Caribbean in a compelling story about missing persons, long-held secrets, and the truths that are etched on our bones.

Chairing this panel is acclaimed novelist Naomi Wood.

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About the authors

Leo Benedictus is a freelance feature writer for the Guardian, and other publications. His experimental thriller novel, Consent, was described by the Sunday Times as ‘an ingeniously nasty exercise reminiscent of Vladimir Nabokov and Patricia Highsmith.’ His first novel, The Afterparty, was published in 2011 by Jonathan Cape. Website / Twitter

‘Queasily compelling… Perhaps most unsettling is the narrator’s voice… There is no denying the ingenuity with which Benedictus constructs his tale.’ – Barry Forshaw, The Financial Times (on Consent)

Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and creative writing tutor. His Caribbean-based crime thriller, The Bone Readers, won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017. His literary novel Pynter Bender was published to much critical literary acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize and chosen as one of the British Authors Club’s top three Best First Novels.His latest book is Tell No-One About This, a collection of stories written over a span of forty years. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Olive Cook, Scott Moncrieff and Tom-Gallon Literary Awards. Jacob is Associate Fiction Editor at Peepal Tree Press, and the editor of Closure, Contemporary Black British short stories.

‘Ross’s characters are always powerfully delineated through brilliant visual descriptions, dialogue that trips off the tongue, and keenly observed behaviour.’ – The Guardian

Louise Welsh is the author of eight novels including The Cutting Room, A Lovely Way to Burn and Death is a Welcome Guest. Her ‘Plague Times’ trilogy mixes detective thriller elements with a plague apocalypse. She has received numerous awards and international fellowships, including an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Edinburgh Napier University and an honorary fellowship from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. Louise Welsh is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Twitter

‘Terrifying and touching in equal measure, the novel is a love story, an adventure, a road movie, a family drama and a murder mystery rolled into one’ – The Times Scotland (on No Dominion)

Naomi Wood (chair) is the author of The Godless Boys, which is currently being adapted for the screen, and Mrs. Hemingway, which has been published in more than ten countries around the world. Naomi studied at Cambridge and has a Masters degree and Doctorate from the University of East Anglia. Her research for Mrs. Hemingway took her from the British Library to the Library of Congress, and to Ernest Hemingway’s homes and old haunts in Chicago, Paris, Antibes, Key West and Cuba. She now lives in London.

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