Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Author event: Kit de Waal in conversation – in person/hybrid event

Author Kit de Waal sat in front of some books

In conversation with Shelley Harris, Creative Writing programme director, Kit will be discussing her writings – both fiction and memoir – and the impact she’s had in making publishing a better place for working-class writers. This is an in person/hybrid event.

Kit de Waal is a multi-award-winning author of short stories, novels, and an autobiography. My Name is Leon (2016), her first novel, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award. It was recently televised by the BBC, with a cast including Christopher Eccleston and Sir Lenny Henry, who also voiced the audiobook.

Kit has a passion for getting diverse voices heard. She used some of her author advance to set up the Kit de Waal Creative Writing Scholarship at Birkbeck to help improve working-class representation in the arts. It is dedicated to supporting a budding writer from a low-income household or other marginalized backgrounds. In its first year it attracted 138 applicants: this in turn, attracted other donations which has enabled the funding of additional scholarships.

She is the editor of Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers (2019), the result of a project with Unbound and regional writing development organisations to feature working-class writers: this also involved mentoring and supporting new writers.

Her autobiography Without Warning & Only Sometimes – Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood published in 2022 and was a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4. The Guardian described it as ‘A richly observed portrait of a working-class childhood and adolescence that finds magic in the mundane’.

This is a free in person/hybrid event but everyone attending (whether in person or online) will require a ticket from Eventbrite: click here for in person; click here for online.

Questions for Kit are welcome but we request they are submitted in advance by email to cbcp@reading.ac.uk by Monday 24th April, please. This will allow Kit sufficient time to consider her answers.


3 May 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing


Edith Morley Building, Van Emden Lecture Theatre
Edith Morley Building, University of Reading
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6UR United Kingdom
View Venue Website