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The Women’s Prize at Latitude Festival 2021

After nearly two years without festivals, we were delighted to be able to return to the 2020 Latitude Festival for our fifth year, with an amazing set of literary events, from 24-27 July.

Kicking us off at 11am on Friday – with one of the first events of the festival – was our Founder-Director Kate Mosse, who led a writing workshop and talk at The Outpost, drawing a crowd of 350 festival goers who left feeling inspired to write their own novel. Following a series of group writing tasks, Kate shared her expert writing tips (character development, writing dialogue, researching locations) and inside knowledge about how to get published (how to get an agent, writing a cover letter, what publishers are looking for). Ultimately what attendees left with was a confidence to own their story and have “self-belief”.

Later on the Friday afternoon was our panel discussion with stand-up comedian Shazia Mirza and author, campaigner and former Women’s Prize judge Laura Bates, who shared their favourite Women’s Prize-winning books, and other recommended reads with Kate Mosse. Despite the blazing sunshine outside, over 300 guests joined us in The Listening Post.

Laura Bates recommended our first ever Women’s Prize winner A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore and My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem.

Shazia Mirza talked about her love of Eimear McBride’s 2014 Women’s Prize winner A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and Oyinkan Braithwaite’s Women’s Prize shortlisted debut My Sister, The Serial Killer.

Kate then recommended Lionel Shriver’s bold and unflinching Women’s Prize winner We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Finally, we rounded off our Latitude events with a live Bookshelfie podcast recording with stand-up comedian and author Katherine Ryan, hosted by Yomi Adegoke, in front of a full crowd in The Listening Post. Katherine discussed the five books by women that have informed her career, and her relationships with some of the authors. With characteristic charm, Katherine discussed her “sisterly” relationship with her 12-year-old daughter and her upbringing in rural Canada; encouraged the audience to “be more audacious”, and shared some insights into navigating the male-dominated worlds of stand-up comedy and television writing. Pre-order The Audacity, Katherine Ryan’s first book ahead of publication on 30 September.

Make sure you subscribe to the Women’s Prize Podcast here to listen to the episode when it’s released in September.

Thanks to Latitude for including us in a really special weekend. The festival was brilliantly organised as a Government test event (more info here), and we were blown away by the production team’s skill, kindness and determination. Tickets for Latitude 2022 are on sale now.

The Women's Prize Podcast


Tune into host Zawe Ashton and a host of inspiring guests on our weekly podcast full of book recommendations.