UEA Live: writers’ festival launches free autumn line-up

Published by  Communications

On 6th Aug 2020

Authors at the UEA Live festival
Pictured l-r: Lee Child (photo credit: Brian Aris-Littlebrown); Ian McEwan (credit Getty Images); Bernardine Evaristo (credit Jennie Scott USE).

Mass gatherings may be out of the question, but that hasn’t stopped UEA Live from launching its eclectic autumn 2020 event series online – featuring the literary legends of Lee Child, Ian McEwan and Bernardine Evaristo. For this season and spring 2021, the festival’s focus celebrates 50 years of Creative Writing at UEA.

What’s more, for the first time, all the autumn events will be available to watch for free from the comfort of home. The festival runs from Wednesday 7 October to Wednesday 18 November.

The full line-up has now been revealed, completed by this morning’s announcement that Bernardine Evaristo would be a part of the festival, with online booking opening today (Thursday 6 August).

Here’s a taste of what’s in-store at UEA Live this autumn:

  • Jack Reacher’s creator and bestselling author Lee Child will join his biographer Heather Martin for a special discussion based around her authorised biography, The Reacher Guy.

  • Inaugural UEA Creative Writing MA graduate Ian McEwan returns to his alma mater to share his experiences as an award-winning, world-renowned writer.

  • 2019’s Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo explores her career, works, and recent success with Girl, Woman, Other.

  • Trinidad and Tobago’s Bocas Literary Festival unite Caribbean writers Ayanna Gillian Lloyd, Tessa McWatt and Ingrid Persaud for a conversation about their varied works.

  • Join journalist, critic and author Diana Evans as she discusses her bestselling novels, including Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted novel Ordinary People.

  • Creative Writing alumnus and author Joe Dunthorne and 2020 UNESCO Fellow for Poetry at UEA Raymond Antrobus get together to talk all things poetry.

  • Apple Tree Yard author Louise Doughty commemorates the 20th anniversary of Lorna Sage’s seminal memoir Bad Blood with Sage’s former husband and daughter.

UEA Live is the new name and direction of the renowned UEA Literary Festival. It ushers in an exciting era of broad, energetic programmes.

Prof Henry Sutton, UEA Director of Creative Writing, said: “True to our innovative, inclusive and progressive “do different” philosophy, the literary festival has been relaunched as UEA Live, with dynamic programming, fantastic speakers, and enhanced physical and virtual audience experiences. We want you to be a part of our future.”

This new chapter coincides with the CW50 celebrations, marking 50 years of the university’s renowned Creative Writing MA. This year’s impressive line-up of writers all have a connection to the course.

Prof Sutton said: “UEA was one of the key UK cultural organisations that pioneered live literature discussions nearly three decades ago. We are immensely proud to have hosted many of the leading international writers and thinkers of the modern era, some of who are of course our illustrious alumni.”

For more information, please visit uealive.com or newwriting.net/cw50


How to book

Due to COVID-19 concerns surrounding large gatherings, all UEA Live: Autumn 2020 events will be online only and available for free.

To secure an event place, register for free via the UEA Store.

Members of the public will receive a URL link and time to access the broadcast. What’s more, all the events will be available for three months to enjoy at your convenience.


Autumn 2020 line-up

Wednesday 7 October – Lee Child: The Reacher Guy with Lee Child and Heather Martin

Wednesday 14 October – Bocas Lit Fest Celebrates Caribbean Women’s Writing: Ayanna Gillian Lloyd, Tessa McWatt and Ingrid Persaud

Wednesday 21 October – Diana Evans

Wednesday 28 October – Ian McEwan

Wednesday 4 November – Poems, Perseverance and Positivity: Raymond Antrobus and Joe Dunthorne

Wednesday 11 November – Lorna Sage: 20th Anniversary of Bad Blood with Louise Doughty, Victor Sage and Sharon Tolaini-Sage

Wednesday 18 November – Bernardine Evaristo

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