Friday, 3 September 2021

Sweet Septemberry: dates and book news for early autumn 2021

Hello there,

How are you all? 

I am definitely starting to feel autumnal now, are you? 

It is September and we are gearing up for conker fights, kicking yellow leaves, sweet Septemberry pie and pumpkin orange faces, but before I race ahead I just want to say thank you Edinburgh Book Festival it was so much fun to be up and out in Edinburgh again. And it was a dream come true to read my debut novel actually in person on stage at EIBF 2021. Thank you to Paula Akpan for a beautiful interview and warm conversation about the work. I had such a wonderful week and want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone I met and talked to at the festival and everyone in the audience there in the theatre and all that tuned in online too. I had such a blast that week: I did three events and when on radio to chat about my book with Sally Magnusson on BBC Radio Scotland. Thank you to Sally Magnusson, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Angela Robertson, Iona Lee, Isy Suttie and Jenni Fagan too.

Big thank you to my amazing book shop tour guide Dan Richards, together we visited seven beautiful indie bookshops, we met brilliant book shop keepers, and signed piles of books. I also went to lots of jolly pubs and cocktail bars. We even fitted in a pilgrimage to Greyfriars, the cemetery where some of my family ancestors are buried, and there lies the bones of the inspiration for the Lord Willeford character in Mrs Death Misses Death, a blur of fact and fiction, the past, my history, and the here and now. 

Above all when I was up in Edinburgh I realised how much I have missed people, giggling and gigging, exploring and touring, it was exciting to be out and about again, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. 

I have some incredible events coming up in the autumn: 

To kick off this new season, I'm live and lively on stage contributing to the filming of Series 2 of Life & Rhymes hosted by the legendary Professor Benjamin Zephania for Sky Arts - Tuesday 7th September - Come along! It's being filmed in Battersea Park, it is a FREE gig, you can book now for a seat in the audience and cheer with us on the telly. I think this one will be a lot of fun and big energy. 

I'm also doing a FREE gig for my friends down at Rough Trade East with excellent author and poet Nikita Gill on Saturday September 11th. This will be a great Saturday night out, book and chat and beers. We are going to interview each other and read from our debut novels together. I love Nikita's work and I am very excited to see her face again. Also so much of Mrs Death Misses Death is set in and around Brick Lane, East London, so it is going to be a good and eerie feeling to be reading the book there where the action happens and so much inspiration was born.

I'm also thrilled to have some new poetry published in a new anthology edited by beautiful poet Cecelia Knapp: Everything Is Going To Be All Right  - Poems for when you need them. I have been dipping into this book all week, this is a glorious collection, so many excellent poets are contained in these pages, it is out NOW, published by Trapeze Books, so, buy it, read it, gift it, share the hope!

You can book now to catch 'Mrs Death Misses Death' on tour, on stage and online. I'm looking forward to contributing to some brilliant book festivals, lively poetry gigs and hybrid events you can watch anytime or watch live in real life and in person. Please scroll down now for all tickets and catch up links.

You can also find all my links on:

See you here and there and everywhere...  

Keep it burning!

Thank you! sgxx 💫

Watch: Mrs Death Misses Death at EIBF, Edinburgh

September & October

September 7: Sky Arts, Life & Rhymes

September 11: Salena & Nikita, Rough Trade East, London


Friday, 13 August 2021

Mrs Death Misses Death shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2021


🎉 Wow! 'Mrs Death Misses Death'
has been shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize!

Thank you to New Writing North, Canongate and Own It! 
Thank you judges, Derek Owusu, Irenosen Okojie, Sian Cain and Denise Mina

Congratulations to all other authors: Sam Byers, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, 
Hanif Abdurraqib, Jenni Fagan and Tabitha Lasley!
Very exciting! Thank you! Xx

"The shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize 2021 has been announced, as selected by chair of the judges, author Denise Mina; writer and poet Derek Owusu; novelist and short story writer Irenosen Okojie; and literary journalist and editor Sian Cain. The prize is run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and Durham Book Festival. The winner will be announced at Durham Book Festival on 14 October 2021." 

Read all about it at New Writing North 

Read all about it in The Bookseller  & The Guardian

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Mrs Death Misses Death: Edinburgh August 2021 + New essays published by Writers Mosaic



Gordon Burn Prize Longlist, Waterstones

Really enjoyed being live on stage again and reading Mrs Death Misses Death. 
Huge thanks and love to all of you @charlestontrust and all who made it out 
to see the show. Here I am on stage and in the Charleston studio. Love this place!

This month I have been having some lovely times down at The Social.
Book conversations and laughs and beautiful people, all very exciting.
Thanks to Deadly Women, Heidi James, Octavia Bright.
Thanks to Baxter Dury, check out his memoir Chaise Longue, out now!
Also such a bonus to meet Wendy Erskine in real life.
Thank you everyone at The Social, see you all again soon!


NEW: this week we launched my shiny new writers profile for Writers Mosaic. 
Head over to the website now and check out my three new commissioned essay pieces: ‘Hope Is’ and ‘Finding Ideas’ and ‘Dawn Flowers’ all three are now available to read as text and to listen to as audio too. The themes discussed are hope and planting flowers, nurturing your new ideas, authenticity, temerity, integrity and the magic power of writing. Plus this we share a warm and friendly chat with the brilliant John Siddique - I enjoyed making all of this and I have been so looking forward to sharing it. So excellent! Thank you John Siddique and all at Writers Mosaic!!






Thursday, 8 July 2021

Mrs Death Misses Death: LIVE shows, summer 2021

Portrait by Justin Westover


Hello there, you beautiful people -  

I'm SO very excited to announce these 3 exciting LIVE shows. My first LIVE gigs in a very long time + first LIVE readings of Mrs Death Misses Death. Do come along and say hello, it'll be amazing to be on stage again and see your eyes. I will probably cry-laugh and find it all quite overwhelming to be honest. When I visualise gigs I reckon I have forgotten what I used to do ... so yeah, I am hoping it is like riding a bike, wish me luck!

I hope to get back on tour eventually and will share autumn-winter dates later. Lots in the pipeline, lots of festivals and events being booked tentatively, cautiously. It all feels like an awfully big adventure to leave my cocoon to do live shows. So fingers crossed all can go ahead. Take it one day at a time, one gig at a time, as safely as possible of course!!

In the meantime.. I've been making lots of beautiful radio and audio: Check out the latest Roaring 20s Radio Show with special guest Gemma Rogers. Plus a spectacular new piece of audio made with Alternative Stories out this month. It includes an interview plus dramatisations of excerpts of Mrs Death Misses Death! And coming up I'm a guest on Lunar Poetry Podcast with stunning Repeat Beat Poet.

You can treat your ears to any of that anytime and anywhere! Hoping to see some of your ace faces soon IRL! IRL! Wow! What a concept ... 

Thanks and BIGlove, 


ps: 'Mrs Death Misses Death' is a July BorrowBox Book Club pick - Woop! 

Check out your local library, download the app, join in with your local book club!

July 15th 

Solo show, Charleston House

The Yard, outdoor stage, Lewes, Sussex 


July 26th 

Deadly Women, The Social, London

with Heidi James and Octavia Bright


August 17th 

Baillie Gifford Theatre

Edinburgh International Book Festival 


NEW! Coming soon, follow @stories.alt for details

Very excited to hear this, thank you @stories.alt 

Love poetry? Love audio drama? 

Check out Alternative Stories

LISTEN BACK to the latest episode of Roaring 20s Radio 

Now available to stream back in full as a podcast. 

We are joined live @sohoradio studio by @whichgemrogers

Available wherever you usually listen to your podcasts or via @anchor


Are you a member of your local library? 

Download the @borrowbox app 

And get free ebooks and audiobooks

Check it out + Support your local libraries!