• Journalist-in-Residence - Durham Book Festival (October 2017)

    It is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and this Autumn brings with it not only burnished leaves pirouetting from the trees in an astonishment of coppery colour, but also the Durham Book Festival and I’m delighted to be the festival’s first Journalist in Residence. My fellow residents include Festival Laureate, poet Andrew McMillan, Reader in Residence, the writer Andy Miller, and the Cuckoo Review.

    By night I’ll be residing in a castle part of which was built in the 13th century, and when not sleeping in the castle at night, and by day and evening I’ll be chairing a host a host of exciting events and conducting a special masterclass for Cuckoo Young Writers.

    Events I’m chairing include:

    Friday 13 October, 6.15pm–7.30pm (Durham Town Hall) - The News as Novel

    With Petina Gappah, Benjamin Myers, Alexei Sayle, Lionel Shriver


    "Ten years ago, the late Gordon Burn took the events of 2007 and during that year wrote and published Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel, an ambitious and experimental novel about the way news is made, and the way the media creates and manipulates the stories we see before us.

    In the spirit of this fine literary experiment with fact and fiction, we have commissioned four outstanding writers to produce a piece of work in response to the extraordinary unfolding news cycle of 2017"

    Harriet Harman: A Woman’s Work,

    Saturday 14 October,


    Durham Town Hall

    "We are thrilled to welcome one of Britain’s most prominent campaigning politicians and the country’s longest-serving female MP to Durham Book Festival.

    Her groundbreaking memoir A Woman’s Work tells the story of her efforts to bring women’s issues to the heart of the Labour Party and of a life dedicated to fighting for equality and respect. Written with great warmth and refreshing humility, this is a frank and inspiring work that offers a crucial insider’s account of the last 30 years of British politics: the progress and the setbacks"

    Chibundu Onuzo and Sarah Winman: Fantastic Fiction

    Sunday 15 October,


    Durham Town Hall (Burlison Gallery)

    "Discover some exciting new fiction as two award-winning novelists discuss their latest books.

    When a Nigerian army officer is ordered to kill civilians, he knows he must leave. Travelling towards Lagos, he becomes leader of a band of runaways who share his desire for a better life. As moving as it is mesmerising, Chibundu Onuzo’s Welcome to Lagos is a provocative portrait of contemporary Nigeria.

    Tin Man is a touching coming-of-age story by the best-selling author of When God Was a Rabbit. Sarah Winman’s novel follows two inseparable boys, Ellis and Michael, through friendship, adulthood, marriage and loss."

    June Sarpong: Diversify

    Is it possible to live without prejudice?

    Sunday 15 October,


    Durham Town Hall

    Through inspiring stories, up-to-the-minute evidence, and case studies from around the globe, Diversify explores the value we place on packaging, and how the way we see others affects who we ourselves become.

    In this event, author and broadcaster June Sarpong offers a fierce, accessible and comprehensive guide to how we can beat social division, and reach our potential as a society.

    June Sarpong has interviewed everyone from Nelson Mandela to Tony Blair to 50 Cent. In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for her services to broadcasting, philanthropy and charity, making her one of the youngest people to receive the honour.

    Hope to see some of you there!




  The National Travel section
  April 2012

writing, broadcasting, speaking