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A selection of bookshop readings, performances, literary lunches, salons, festivals and other writerly goings-on are listed here and regularly updated. Please send details of any forthcoming events you’d like us to feature to events @ bookanista . com

While the Covid pandemic has decimated traditional book tours and public events, a wide range of bookshops, cultural organisations and publishers have stepped up to the plate with a series of virtual panels and discussions. For your literary and wider cultural fix, check out the blogs, videos and podcasts on offer from the British Library, the London Review Bookshop, Waterstones, English PEN, the Southbank Centre, publisher and author websites and social media streams, as well as those of your local organisations and venues.

Here are a few standout dates for your diary:


Arvon courses and retreats
Arvon’s Winter Season sees the return of Arvon mainstays as well as brand new voices across the Arvon at Home programme. New tutors include Will Harris, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Jessica J. Lee, along with returning writers Raymond AntrobusKirsty Logan and Clare Shaw, while Cathy Rentzenbrink hosts the Craft of Writing series, in discussion with Kit De WaalJulia Samuel and Francesca Main.
More info


Tuesday 25 May
In the Company of Men: The Ebola Tales book launch
Online event
7 to 8:30pm

“A powerful poetic ode to life in a country of ancient customs, ravaged by death. A magnificent and essential text.” Le Figaro

In a series of moving snapshots, Véronique Tadjo illustrates the terrible extent of the Ebola epidemic: the doctor who tirelessly treats patients day after day in a sweltering tent, protected from the virus only by a plastic suit; the student who volunteers to work as a gravedigger while universities are closed, helping the teams overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies; the grandmother who agrees to take in an orphaned young boy cast out of his village for fear of infection. And watching over them all is the ancient and wise Baobab tree, mourning the dire state of the earth yet providing a sense of hope for the future.

Acutely relevant to our times in light of the coronavirus pandemic, In The Company of Men explores critical questions about how we cope with a global crisis and how we can combat fear and prejudice. The launch will include a conversation between the author and poet and publisher Nii Ayikwei Parkes and an opportunity for guests to ask the author questions. Hosted by HopeRoad Publishing and Renaissance One.
More info and register

Read our interview with Véronique


Sunday 30 May
International Booker Prize 2021 shortlist readings
Join the shortlisted authors and translators for readings in both English and the books’ original languages. The event is chaired by British writer, editor and podcaster Derek Owusu, whose 2019 debut novel That Reminds Me won the Desmond Elliott Prize. The winner is announced on Wednesday 2 June.
A Southbank Centre Literature & Poetry virtual event via TicketCo.

From 7:30 pm, Sunday 30 May
£7.50 for 7-day access
More info and book


to Saturday 5 June
Claire Fuller: Unsettled Ground virtual tour
Claire Fuller’s fourth novel, which is longlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, tells the story of 51-year-old twins Jeanie and Julius, who still live with their mother Dot in rural isolation. When Dot dies, they have to negotiate the outside world for the first time, only to find it cruel and unyielding. It’s an unconventional and captivating story of resilience and hope, homelessness and hardship, love and survival, in which two marginalised but remarkable people take centre stage.
Claire is doing events with bookshops and organisations around the UK and the US from March to June.
Unsettled Ground is published by Fig Tree/Penguin in the UK, Tin House in the US, and House of Anansi in Canada.
More info and book


April to June
Spread the Word’s summer season of workshops and events

Spread the Word’s rich programme of accessible activities for writers is made up of 12 different opportunities designed to support writers of all levels to learn, be part of a community, and create new work. Seven of the sessions are totally free, two have bursary places available, and others are low-cost.

Highlights include Fiction Surgery and Getting You To Where You Want To Be with Eva Lewin; Finding the Centre – A Life Writing Masterclass with Colin Grant; Write Together with Jessica J. Lee; Your Life as Art with Marta Bausells; Nature Poetry Without the Gannets with Helen Bowell; Plot Holes: What they are and how to fix them with Emma Grundy Haigh; Writing Fantasy for Children and YA with Davina Tijani; It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to write about complicated relationships with Maame Blue; and Writing Speculative Historical Fiction with Sharlene Teo.
More info and book