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WoWFEST21


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This year WoWFEST celebrated it’s 21st birthday with a month of inspirational writing, debate and discussion? We treated ourselves to the thoughts and ideas of some of the best minds, activists, writers and creatives in the UK and internationally today.

Though the year had been filled with Lockdowns and restrictions, our 21st-anniversary festival offered a window into another world.  One that entertained, let us reflect on the events of the past year, and looked outside to seek answers. It questioned powers, the structural disparities, endemic poverty, institutional racism and sexism, and, most importantly, demanded change.

WoWFest: 21 Years of Radical Writing, was a celebration of what we had achieved over the years, and all we stand for now and what we hope to achieve in the future – a world-class festival with community, creativity, diversity and social justice emblazoned on our banner.

We couldn’t have celebrated without you, our amazing audience and supporters and you rose to the occasion. You joined us for a dynamic festival of guests and events offering the best writing around, with a roster of brilliant high-profile guests, including leading, iconic film-makers, Booker Prize winners, legendary legal minds, musicians, spoken word artists, campaigners and activists and we are so thankful for that.

WoWFEST 21 featured over forty events featuring Ken Loach, Jon Snow, Elif Shafak, Lady Phyll, Michael Rosen, Walter Mosley, Ben Okri, Laura Bates, Douglas Stuart, Kit de Wall, Nikesh Shukla, Hassan Blasim, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many more. We tackled issues like decolonising the curriculum, systematic sexism,  LGBTQ+ rights, prison writing and prison rights. Books were launched from national and local authors– Littlewoods Pools Girls, The Rise and Fall of Princes Park Health Centre, and lots of discussions were had!  We even had

the pleasure of being joined by writers from the acclaimed Small Axe TV series as well as competitions and events for children with Michael Rosen there was lots to get involved with.

All of the books at WoWFest are still available to purchase from our fantastic Independent Liverpool Bookstore News From Nowhere. You’ll be able to find all of the books listed in this year’s lineup with our featured book page through their website here

So thank you all so much for joining us this year it was a festival we will never forget and we couldn’t have done it without you. Now we have to plan what’s next? The Writer’s Bloc returning? Black History Month? Unbeatable projects?…

Proudly supported by The Institute of Creative Enterprise at Edge Hill University’s MA in International Creative Enterprise.

This year WoWFEST celebrated it’s 21st birthday with a month of inspirational writing, debate and discussion? We treated ourselves to the thoughts and ideas of some of the best minds, activists, writers and creatives in the UK and internationally today.

Though the year had been filled with Lockdowns and restrictions, our 21st-anniversary festival offered a window into another world.  One that entertained, let us reflect on the events of the past year, and looked outside to seek answers. It questioned powers, the structural disparities, endemic poverty, institutional racism and sexism, and, most importantly, demanded change.

WoWFest: 21 Years of Radical Writing, was a celebration of what we had achieved over the years, and all we stand for now and what we hope to achieve in the future – a world-class festival with community, creativity, diversity and social justice emblazoned on our banner.

We couldn’t have celebrated without you, our amazing audience and supporters and you rose to the occasion. You joined us for a dynamic festival of guests and events offering the best writing around, with a roster of brilliant high-profile guests, including leading, iconic film-makers, Booker Prize winners, legendary legal minds, musicians, spoken word artists, campaigners and activists and we are so thankful for that.

WoWFEST 21 featured over forty events featuring Ken Loach, Jon Snow, Elif Shafak, Lady Phyll, Michael Rosen, Walter Mosley, Ben Okri, Laura Bates, Douglas Stuart, Kit de Wall, Nikesh Shukla, Hassan Blasim, Maxine Hong Kingston, and many more. We tackled issues like decolonising the curriculum, systematic sexism,  LGBTQ+ rights, prison writing and prison rights. Books were launched from national and local authors– Littlewoods Pools Girls, The Rise and Fall of Princes Park Health Centre, and lots of discussions were had!  We even had the pleasure of being joined by writers from the acclaimed Small Axe TV series as well as competitions and events for children with Michael Rosen there was lots to get involved with.

All of the books at WoWFest are still available to purchase from our fantastic Independent Liverpool Bookstore News From Nowhere. You’ll be able to find all of the books listed in this year’s lineup with our featured book page through their website here

So thank you all so much for joining us this year it was a festival we will never forget and we couldn’t have done it without you. Now we have to plan what’s next? The Writer’s Bloc returning? Black History Month? Unbeatable projects?…

Proudly supported by The Institute of Creative Enterprise at Edge Hill University’s MA in International Creative Enterprise.

Headliners Include

Mayor Joanne Anderson

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Stephen Small

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Ifem ‘Iffy’ Onuroa

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Ngunan Adamu

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Kim Johnson MP

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Blue Saint

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Nazeem

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Leila Hassan

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Natalie Denny

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Ashleigh Nugent

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Professor Erinma Bell, MBE DL

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Lawrence Hoo

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Thank You For Joining Us

Starting in

Schedule

1981 Liverpool 8 Uprisings: 40th Anniversary Exhibition

Writing on the Wall and Liverpool Record Office presents an original exhibition remembering the 1981 Liverpool 8 Uprisings.

Date: Monday, November 1, 2021

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Blue Saint at TATE Liverpool: WoW Young Writers 1-2-1 Session

Join WoW in partnership with TATE Liverpool and Artist Blue Saint for the first of our FREE WoW Young Writers TATE Socials as part of Black History Month. In this event, we will be joined by Liverpool Artist Blue Saint for a discussion on two Collections featured at TATE ‘Whose Tradition?’ and ‘Democracies’. There will be …

Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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Blue Saint at TATE Liverpool: WoW Young Writers Workshop (11-15yrs)

Join WoW in partnership with TATE Liverpool and Artist Blue Saint for the first of our FREE WoW Young Writers TATE Socials as part of Black History Month. In this event, we will be joined by Liverpool Artist Blue Saint for a discussion on two Collections featured at TATE ‘Whose Tradition?’ and ‘Democracies’. There will be …

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Buy tickets

Blue Saint at TATE Liverpool: WoW Young Writers 1-2-1 Session

Join WoW in partnership with TATE Liverpool and Artist Blue Saint for the first of our FREE WoW Young Writers TATE Socials as part of Black History Month. In this event, we will be joined by Liverpool Artist Blue Saint for a discussion on two Collections featured at TATE ‘Whose Tradition?’ and ‘Democracies’. There will be …

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021

Buy tickets

Speakers

Stephen Small

Stephen Small is a Professor in the Department of African American Studies and African Diaspora Studies where he has taught since 1995; and he is Director of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (since June 2020). He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley…

September 30, 2021

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Mayor Joanne Anderson

Mayor Joanne Anderson is the City Mayor of Liverpool. She was elected after serving as a councillor two years and is Liverpool’s first female Mayor and the first black woman to be directly elected as a Mayor in the UK. Joanne has nearly three decades of experience as an equality,…

October 13, 2021

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Ifem ‘Iffy’ Onuroa

Ifem “Iffy” Onuora (born 28 July 1967) is a Scottish former professional footballer, manager and current equalities coach for the Professional Footballers Association.As a player he was a forward from 1988 until 2004. He notably had spells with Swindon Town and Gillingham and spent his entire career playing in England. He also played in the…

September 30, 2021

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Ngunan Adamu

Ngunan Adamu is a producer and presenter for BBC Radio Merseyside and a BBC International multi-platform trainer. Adamu is also the founder and CEO of iWoman Academy. iWoman Academy is a 12-week empowerment course set up by women to empower and upskill participants using radio production techniques as a wellbeing tool to better enable women to gain employment, return to…

September 30, 2021

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Kim Johnson MP

Kim Johnson was elected as the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside in December 2019. She won with 41,170 votes and 70.2% majority. Johnson, a former adult social care worker, became Liverpool’s first black MP. A Unison shop steward and anti-racism campaigner, she was deputy chair of the union’s National Black Members…

September 30, 2021

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Blue Saint

Daniel Sebuyange, known professionally as Blue Saint, is a Congolese and British rapper, singer-songwriter, spoken word poet, actor, producer and designer. Over his music career he has developed an eclectic musical style that draws on a range of influences and genres, often combining and blending elements of hip-hop, RnB and electronic…

September 30, 2021

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Nazeem

Nazeem is a prolific singer-songwriter and guitarist from Gambia. He is also a peace ambassador and founding director of his NGO, Dole Ndawi. He uses the transformative power of music to build resilience and positive change within communities and amongst young people. His music is widely available on digital music…

September 30, 2021

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Leila Hassan

Leila Hassan was employed by Institute of Race Relations from 1970. Hassan went on to become a member of the Race Today Collective. She also co-organised the Black Peoples Day of Action march in 1981 that saw up to a reported 20,000 participants. Hassan was the deputy editor of Race Today…

September 30, 2021

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Natalie Denny

Natalie Denny is the force behind Skywriters. Her roles include writer, activist and Programme Manager for Anthony Walker Foundation.  Natalie is chair of The Period Project Merseyside, a voluntary led initiative providing women and people who have periods with menstrual items and campaigning to #endperiodpoverty and, Merseyside Together Against Racism and…

September 30, 2021

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Ashleigh Nugent

Ashleigh Nugent is a writer, performer, and Creative Director at RiseUp CiC. He has written for poetry anthologies, academic journals, magazines, blogs and theatre. His latest work, ‘LOCKS’, is a novel based on the time he spent his 17th birthday in a Jamaican detention centre. ‘LOCKS’ won the 2013 Commonword…

September 30, 2021

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Professor Erinma Bell, MBE DL

In 2003 Erinma became a co-founder and CEO of her own formidable charity known as CARISMA - Community Alliance for Renewal Inner South Manchester Area. Known in short as CARISMA Services. This is a front-line community-based group set up to offer life-chances for people in the community by giving them positive alternatives other than violent street, gun and gang crimes www.carisma.me.uk. Erinma employs successful models, which ‘build social capital’; educate…

September 30, 2021

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Lawrence Hoo

Lawrence Hoo is a Bristol-based poet and educator whose work throws light upon the life experiences of Britain’s marginalised communities.  After a youth spent in and out of the care system, Lawrence has engaged with disadvantaged children of all age groups in schools as well as within the United Nations…

September 30, 2021

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