The Writers' Hub has become MIROnline. The site remains for archival purposes but will no longer be updated. Head over to our new website to see weekly short stories, poems and creative non-fiction from Birkbeck and beyond.
writers' hub
Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall

Carmel Shortall lives in London but grew up in Northern Ireland. She is currently doing the Certificate of Higher Education in Creative Writing at Birkbeck having previously studied Journalism there and she has a degree in Humanities from Middlesex University. Carmel is writing her first novel and hopes to progress to the MA Creative Writing when she has finished it. Once a year in August she goes crazy and tries to see and review 28 shows in 28 days during the Camden Fringe Festival.

Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2013

This year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival (3-9 June) promises to be the best ever. So much more than a literary festival – there’s music, food, love, drink, politics, journalism, ethical fashion, film, history, comics, and events for teens and tiddlypeeps as well as more traditional literary and publishing events


It will take place mainly over the three days of the weekend of 7-9 June (although Irvine Walsh appears on 3rd June) and in a variety of venues sprinkled around Stoke Newington Church Street and High Street.


Authors include Irvine Walsh, Elif Shafik, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Paul Mason, Alison Moore, Nicholas Royle, John Hegley, Sally Gardner, Dave Gibbons, Tariq Ali, Owen Jones, Ben Aaronovitch, George Mann, Suzanne Moore, Caitlin Moran, Kim Newman, Freda Warrington, Cory Doctorow and, on Sunday at 7pm there’s a showing of Patience, Grant Gee’s documentary based on WG Sebald’s best-selling novel The Rings Of Saturn followed by a discussion with Iain Sinclair and Gareth Evans. Oh, and there’s a guest appearance by Paddington Bear – on both Saturday and Sunday – got to get some wear out of the bear!


Highlights for children and teens include a Craft Workshop with Clare Beaton, The Science of Doctor Who, two comics events from The Walker Comics Panel and The Phoenix Comic. Sally Gardner talks about Maggot Moon and Maureen Johnson (#coverflip) will be in discussion with Sarah Rees Brennan (Demon’s Lexicon trilogy). See the programme for details.


On Saturday at 3pm, there’s a free Business Workshop (run by Tim Wells of MBS) for Poets and Authors which looks at how to make a living as a writer and performer, and covers survival budgets, profile, social media, in work benefits and marketing. On Sunday, Emily Benet (Shopgirl Diaries) is joined by leading commentators for a Literary Platform Magazine discussion on Writing in the Digital Age.


Alex Clark Rising Stars promises to be a highlight of the Festival and is free. On Saturday, 2pm, Alex Clark, literary critic for The Guardian and former editor of Granta brings together “some of the rising stars of the literary world” including Gabriel Roth, Evie Wyld, Stuart Evers and others to be announced.


Another highlight must surely be Man-Booker-shortlisted Alison Moore in discussion with her editor at Salt Publishing. They will be talking about getting published and the difficulty of the first novel.


Genre fiction is not ignored – Horror aficionado and novelist, Kim Newman discusses vampires, fantasy and the supernatural with fantasy author, Freda Warrington (Dracula the Undead and the wonderful Blackbird series) on Sunday at 5pm. Then there’s Cory Doctorow in conversation with Padraic Reidy at 7pm.


At 3pm on Saturday, Paul Mason discusses Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere with Laurie Penny and there’s a discussion on Multiculturalism & the Rise of the Far Right on Sunday at 5pm.


There’s a Literary Death Match on Saturday and on Sunday, Juke Box Fury is hosted by The World’s Coolest Librarian™ Richard Boon (formerly manager of The Buzzcocks) and features Alexis Petridis, Jude Rogers, Peter Paphides and Dorian Lynskey.


And if you’re thirsty, pop along at 4pm on Saturday to hear Beer Writer of the year, Pete Brown talking to fellow beer writer Will Hawkes and a selection of London’s new brewers who will be discussing the explosion of independent brewers in London over the past few years. There will be samples.


For details of these events and so much more, check out the website and programme.



Reading for Pleasure: A Visit to a School Library in Haringey
Carmel Shortall

Literary Festival Round-Up
Maggie Womersley


The Writers' Hub becomes MIROnline
Melanie Jones

Student/Alumni News & Achievements
Hub Editor

Stoke Newington Literary Festival: 6-8 June
Carmel Shortall