Hillingdon Literary Festival

The weekend of the 5th – 7th October 2018 sees the return of the Hillingdon Literary Festival (HiLF) for its fourth year at Brunel University London – a free weekend of literary events that this year refocuses its attention on new writing and the very many voices that deserve and demand attention from the literary community.

 Hillingdon Literary Festival Programme


Friday 5 October
6pm to 9pm



An evening with Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage is an award-winning poet who also writes extensively for theatre, television and radio. During the evening, he will read from a range of his work and answer questions from the audience.




Drinks Reception & Gypsy Rose Poetry

 Created by published poet, poetry tutor and creative producer Charlotte Baldwin, this enchanting poetry experience combines the romantic traditions of travelling shows with a contemporary literary twist. Join Gypsy Rose Poetry at her table for a cup of tea, a chat about your life and a trip into a vanishing world. Ten minutes later, you will leave with a unique poetic fortune to keep forever. 



Saturday 6 October
12pm to 6pm



12pm – ’16 Ways of Writing a Poem’ with Mario Petrucci


This hands-on-trawl of the major pathways into new writing includes observations, the senses, personal memory, reflection, imagination and other people’s work – indeed, everything from the ‘found poem’ to Larkin’s pickles.


Publishing Clinics

Drop-in sessions with our publishing careers coach are available all day –



1pm – Horror, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

The exciting launch of an anthology of new genre writing.



1pm – ‘What Happen’s Next?’ with Amanda White

A short fiction and scriptwriting workshop with Amanda White looking at innovative and diverse ways to create compelling narratives. Participants engage in creative activities that include the use of natural and manmade objects, as well as images, to inspire a range of viewpoints and voices.


2pm – How (and how not) to Self Publish

Hear about the pros, cons, and mechanics of self-publishing with F.D. Lee – an author who’s actually done it!



 4pm – Slam Poetry Party

Rachel Long (poet and founder of the Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour) and Wayne Holloway-Smith (ex-Brunel, prizing winning poet) co-host a slam party with brilliant new writers from the area.




5.30 – BEFORE 30

Back from another successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe, locally grown talent –
Tom Hartwell – offers us a new play that is a window on to turning 30…
when every innocent flirtation becomes a prospect for a shared mortgage. 




Sunday 7 October
1pm to 6pm


1pm – Skimming Stones – Poetry Workshop with Amanda White

An accessible and fun Workshop that focuses on the senses through the use of touchstones and abstract word games. This immersive creative process allows the participant to explore their responses and ideas, individually and as a group, leading towards the creation of short poems.


1pm – Sulaiman S.M.Y. Addonia

A conversation with Sulaiman S.M.Y Addonia on his new novel – Silence is My Mother Tongue – from a writer who spent his early life in a refugee camp, after fleeing Eritrea, and later arrived in London as an underage unaccompanied refugee. His first novel, The Consequences of Love was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.




2.30pm – Hillingdon Life Writing

A workshop inspired by Brunel’s Special Collections archive of working class life-writing, this facilitated session will explore what writing about the self can mean for ourselves and for the community.

2.30pm – Debut Novelist and their Stories

Helen Cullen, Emma Flint and Rhiannon L. Cosslett are three of the most exciting debut novelists working across genres today. Join them for a conversation about their work and hear about their paths to success.




4pm – Will Self

 We are delighted to welcome back  Brunel’s Professor of Contemporary Thought – Will Self – for a foray into the relationship between Fact and Fiction in writing, and in the life and mind of the writer himself.





5pm – Festival Anthology Party

We’ll draw a close to this year’s festival by announcing the £250 winner of our Outer Limits : Hidden Lives creative writing competition and hearing excerpts from this dazzling free anthology of local writing, on top of a complimentary drinks reception!


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