Black British Book Festival, Southbank Centre
By Maria Sadek and Fernanda de Madariaga
27 and 28 October
This festival is Europe’s largest celebration of Black literature and aims to champion emerging talent while hearing from accomplished and leading voices. The festival has been running since 2021 and attracts upwards of 4,000 visitors each year. The event aims to directly engage with underrepresented communities within the publishing industry, democratising literature and making it more accessible than ever before. Read on to find out what exciting events can be expected at this incredible festival.
Leigh-Anne Pinnock: Believe
27 October, 7:30 p.m.
In her first public reading of her new book, Believe, join Leigh-Anne Pinnock as she discusses the emotional journey she took as a member of Little Mix and the power she gained through self-discovery. The book sees Leigh-Anne opening up about her struggles and triumphs as a Black woman navigating fame, love and self-acceptance, whilst becoming a trailblazer in the music industry. After the reading, there will be a discussion with a special guest and her experiences and challenges, followed by a Q&A and a meet-and-greet where you will have the chance to purchase a signed copy of the book. For more information on how to buy your tickets, click here.
Literature Powerhouses: Shaping the Future Panel
28 October, 10:30 a.m.
The Black British Book Festival is hosting an exciting event at the Southbank Centre this weekend that will see a panel of industry experts discussing the future of the publishing industry. Sponsored by Pan Macmillan and Audible, join this esteemed panel as they discuss topics such as diversity within the industry, the creation of regional offices and the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the book community. The panellists will include influential voices such as Clive Herbert, Zain Mahmood, Molly Rosenberg, Gaby Wood and Crystal Mahey-Morgan. For tickets to this free event, click here.
Black Book Marketplace
28 October, 11:00 a.m.
While at the festival, do not forget to pop along to the Clore Ballroom where there will be a Black Book Marketplace filled with hidden gems and thrilling novels. Here, there will be the opportunity to browse, mingle, shop and discuss with other book enthusiasts who share your passion. For more information on the vendors who will be at the marketplace, click here.
Craft, Create, Cash in!
28 October, 11:30 a.m.
Besides events meant to entertain, the weekend will also include interactive activities for those interested in the literary world as readers and writers! The Society of Authors, the leading trade union in the UK, will be joining the festival along with their contract advisors to let you in on their biggest secrets and counselling about making money out of your writing talents. The Society of Authors prides itself in its over-a-century experience in the literary market, whilst representing a wide range of authors, their diversity and expertise make them a perfect candidate to give you the advice you need to succeed. For more information about the event, details and purchasing tickets, click here.
Marvyn Harrison: I Love Me!
28 October, 12:30 p.m.
Marvyn Harrison will be joining the festival in his most upbeat style. Consultant in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, author of I Love Me and founder of Dope Black Dads, Harrison assures an afternoon of self-love and enjoyment for the younger ones in the family and the adults accompanying them. Harrison brings to the festival the crucial and much-needed tools to raise our younger ones in the healthiest and most self-assuring mindset. Harrison has expertise in the field of diversity, making it easier and empowering those who from a young age might feel they do not fit in with society’s set standards. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, click here.
The Art of Writing Engaging Dialogue
28 October, 1:00 p.m.
Join the festival’s workshop that will dive deeply into the intricacies of writing dialogue. Hosted by seasonal authors, this workshop will allow you to explore new and advised techniques to make the dialogue in your storytelling as engaging and compelling as possible. This experience will enrich your writing skills invaluably, making your stories vibrant and page-turning. For more information on this event and to purchase tickets, click here.
View the full festival page here.