Ricky Gervais and Julia Quinn amongst writers appearing in new storytelling festival this September

A new festival starts this September, celebrating inspirational storytelling from authors, poets, screenwriters and comedians.

Ricky Gervais and Julia Quinn, the author of Bridgerton, are among the writers set to appear at Stories Festival, which will be held at Picturehouse Central in Shaftesbury Avenue from September 24 to 26.

Following the success of the TV show of Bridgerton, the festival will host a discussion on how the series made it from novel to the small screen.

Joining the conversation will be the author, Ms Quinn, executive producer of Bridgerton, Betsy Beers, Bridgerton director, Tom Verica and Queen Charlotte herself, Golda Rosheuvel.

Also discussing the process from script to screen is Ricky Gervais and the cast of After Life.

The panel session will explore the comedian’s approach to writing and directing as well as how the cast came together to bring the script to life during filming.

Model and activist Jack Guinness will presents insights into his book The Queer Bible, based on the website QueerBible.com.

The book is a collection of essays from queer icons ranging for Sir Elton John to Graham Norton who talk about the figures who have given them their creative inspiration.

He will be joined on stage by journalist Paula Akpan.

Julia Quinn Picture: Roberto Pilho

Love and lust, vulnerability and obsession are some of the themes covered in Daisy Buchanan’s Insatiable, Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Time and Megan Nolan’s Acts of Desperation.

The three novelists will present their frank, raucous and humorous observations on sex in the age of Instagram in a talk.

Mark Freestone, the expert who created Killing Eve’s notorious Villanelle, will appear at the festival.

The psychiatrist will be joined by forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes to discuss his book Making a Psychopath with insights into seven complex and disturbing cases he has worked with.

Some talks will be discussing political concerns of today.

Nikesh Shukla, author of The Good Immigrant and Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home, will chair a discussion on the struggles facing Asian women in Britain today.

Kadija Sesay, poet, editor and founder of Sable LitMag, which publishes emerging writers of colour, will join Candice Brathwaite, author of I Am Not Your Baby Mother and her new book, Sista Sister, to address the complex issues facing black writing today.

Three young and influential climate and environmental activists, Scarlett Westbrook, Izzy Warren and Mya-Rose Craig join forces to discuss the impact of climate change and the steps they are taking to not only draw attention to it, but to actively make a difference.

For those more interested in television, Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio and Top Boy star Ashley Walters are also on the bill.

Jed Mercurio and Prasanna Puwanarajah are staging an event based on Sleeper, the first in their new series of graphic science fiction novels.

Ashley Walters, and the producers of Top Boy, will be joined by previously-undiscovered actors from the streets of Hackney and graduates of the Top Boy mentorship scheme.

They will discuss how they turned a story of urban gangland warfare into a defining piece of social commentary through complex characters and multi-dimensional narratives.



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