Fiction Mistressclass with Bernardine Evaristo


The Women’s Prize for Fiction presented a Fiction Mistressclass with Bernardine Evaristo at Latitude festival in Suffolk over the summer. Bernardine is an award-winning author and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University, so was the ideal person to lead festival-goers through our creative writing workshop. Congratulations to Bernardine on her recent Booker Prize win!

The workshop was designed for anyone who is currently writing fiction and who wants to learn more about how to make their work visible and their voice heard. However, there were lots of people who signed up at various stages of their writing journey, including those who have have wanted to write for a long time but never seem to get around to it, people actively writing who want to meet and talk with other writers, and a husband-and wife-combo who thought it would be interesting to try putting pen to paper!

Bernardine talked the intimate group through a couple of writing activities to get their creative juices going, and the group shared their work. One writer remarked that being able to share their writing with others in a safe and supportive space with no judgment was the best part of the session. Bernardine then gave some advice on different to get your writing published and practical tips on how to navigate the world of publishing, drawing on from her own experience.

One participant commented that it was great to just ‘dive in and have a go’ and others remarked on Bernardine’s wisdom and warmth as an experienced and successful author.

And the Fiction Mistressclass isn’t all we were doing at Latitude. You can catch up on what else was going by listening to the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast. Host Zing Tsjeng chatted with some of the top female performers from across the weekend, including The Guilty Feminist’s Deborah Frances-White, psychotherapist Philippa Perry, The Griefcast’s Cariad Lloyd, comedian Felicity Ward and writer and broadcaster Dr Hannah Critchlow. Plus, live recordings from the Women’s Prize for Fiction’s Women Writers Revisited panel event featuring Professor Kate Williams, Scarlett Curtis, Viv Groskop and Bernadine Evaristo. Tune in for their perspectives on a subject that we refuse to overlook – the current state of equality in the arts, plus some fantastic recommended reads from women writers, some well-known and some in danger of being forgotten.