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A revised edition of the publisher’s inaugural publication in 1990, which won the Pandora Award from Women-in-Publishing. Inspirational in its original format, this new edition features poems, stories, essays and interviews with over 30 women writers, both emerging authors and luminaries of contemporary literature such as:
A.S. Byatt, Saskia Calliste, April De Angelis, Kit de Waal, Carol Ann Duffy, Sian Evans, Philippa Gregory, Mary Hamer, Jackie Kay, Shuchi Kothari, Bryony Lavery, Annee Lawrence, Roseanne Liang, Suchen Christine Lim, Jackie McCarrick, Laura Miles, Raman Mundair, Magda Oldziejewska, Kaite O’Reilly, Jacqueline Pepall, Gabi Reigh,
Djamila Ribeiro, Fiona Rintoul, Jasvinder Sanghera, Anne Sebba, Kalista Sy, Debbie Taylor,
Madeleine Thien, Claire Tomalin, Ida Vitale, Sarah Waters and the great-niece of Virginia Woolf -Emma Woolf.
Together with the original writing workshops plus black and white illustrations. Guest editor Ann Sandham has compiled the new collection to celebrate Aurora Metro’s 30th anniversary as an independent publisher; 20% of profits will to go to the Virginia Woolf statue campaign in the UK.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781912430338
Publisher: Aurora Metro Books
Publication date: 09/08/2020
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)
Age Range: 15 Years

About the Author

A. S. Byatt is renowned internationally for her novels and short stories. Her novels include the Booker Prize-winning Possession, The Biographer’s Tale and the quartet, The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman. Her most recent novel, The Children’s Book was published in 2009.
Her highly acclaimed collections of short stories include Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, Elementals and Little Black Book of Stories. A distinguished critic as well as a writer of fiction, A S Byatt was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.

Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a childminder and foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for 15 years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption, foster care and judgecraft for members of the judiciary.
She was named Future Book Person of the Year in 2020. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader’s Choice Prize 2014 and the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year.
My Name Is Leon, her first novel was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. She has two children and lives in the West Midlands.

In 2012, Lim was named the Singapore recipient of the South East Asia Write Award. Her most recent novel, The River’s Song, was published by Aurora Metro Books (2014) and was named ‘Best Books of 2015’ by Kirkus Reviews. Her novel Fistful of Colours (1992) was awarded the Inaugural Singapore Literature Prize. A short story from Lim’s The Lies That Build A Marriage, was made into a film. Her work is also featured in Writing The City, commissioned by British Council, Singapore.
She has received a Fulbright grant, and is also a Fellow and former International Writer-in-Residence of the International Writers’ Program, University of Iowa. She was the Arvon Foundation writer-in-residence, at Moniack Mhaor, in 2005. She has participated in the Edinburgh Book Festival and the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, among many others. Lim has also held writing residencies in the Philippines, Myanmar, South Korea, Australia and the United Kingdom.

A historian and writer, she has written many novels based on the Tudor period, notably The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a major film and The White Queen which has been dramatised for TV by the BBC.
She founded the charity ‘Gardens for The Gambia’ which sinks wells to enable market gardening in Gambian schools. She is also a patron of the UK Chagos Support Association, which supports the Chagos islanders in their struggle against the British injustice of being displaced from their homes in the 1960s and 70s for the building of an American airbase.

After graduating from Newnham College, Cambridge, Claire Tomalin worked in publishing before becoming literary editor of both the New Statesman magazine and the Sunday Times newspaper.
Her first book, The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, won the Whitbread First Book Award, and she has since written a number of highly acclaimed and bestselling biographies. They include Jane Austen: A Life, The Invisible Woman, a definitive account of Dickens’ relationship with the actress Ellen Ternan, which won three major literary awards, and Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self was Whitbread Book of the Year in 2002. Her biography Charles Dickens: A Life, provides an in-depth biography of the author. She is a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Wordsworth Trust, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Vice-President of English PEN.
She is married to the writer Michael Frayn.

Vitale was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1923. She is a literary critic, translator and author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including La luz de esta memoria (The Light of this Remembrance) (1949), Palabra dada (Expectant Words) (1953), Cada uno en su noche (Each in His Own Night) (1960), Jardín de sílice (Garden of Silica) (1978), Procura de lo imposible (Procurement of the Impossible) (1998), Reducción del infinito (Reduction of the Infinite) (2002), El Abc de Byobú (Byobú’s ABC) (2005) and most recently Plantas y animales (Plants and Animals) (2003). Vitale is the recipient of international literary prizes such as the Octavio Paz Prize for Poetry and Essay (2009), the Alfonso Reyes International Prize (2015), the Reina Sofia Prize for Ibero-American Poetry (2015) and the Cervantes Prize. Vitale collaborated closely with Latin American literary magazines such as Asir, Clinamen, Época, Jaque, Maldoror, Marcha, Uno más uno and Vuelta. In 1973, she and her husband, the poet Enrique Fierro, sought exile in Mexico, where they lived until 1984. In 1989 they moved to Austin, Texas.Vitale now lives in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Brazilian human rights activist and author Djamila Ribeiro was born in the port city of Santos. She went on to study political philosophy at UNIFESP, one of the best universities in Brazil. Djamila is now one of the most popular writers and public figures in the Afro-Brazilian women’s rights movement. Her blog has hundreds of thousands of followers and she regularly makes public appearances to discuss the lives of women in Brazil, a country in which people of colour experience exceptional levels of violence and prejudice. Her most recent book is Nos, Madelenas: uma palavra pelo feminismo (trans: We Magdalenes: a word for feminism).
In 2016, Djamila was appointed sub-secretary of Human Rights for the City of Sao Paulo, a position which she continues to hold. Ribeiro was awarded a Master in Political Philosophy from the Federal University of São Paulo. She is the author of Lugar de Fala, Quem tem medo do Feminismo Negro? and Pequeno Manual Antirracista, (still without translation into German). She is the Coordinator of the Plural Feminisms Collection, which fosters titles written by black people at an affordable price. A Laureate of the Prince Claus Award 2019 she was named one of the 100 most influential women in the world by the BBC.

Sarah Waters was born in Wales. She is the author of six novels, Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith, The Night Watch, The Little Stranger and The Paying Guests, which have been adapted for stage, television and feature film in the UK and US. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and she has won the Betty Trask Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the South Bank Show Award for Literature and the CWA Historical Dagger. She has been named Author of the Year four times: by the British Book Awards, the Booksellers’ Association, Waterstones Booksellers, Stonewall’s Writer of the Decade in 2015, Diva Magazine Author of the Year Award and The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in 2017, which is given in recognition of a writer’s entire body of work. Waters was awarded an OBE in 2019 for services to literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She lives in London.

Dame Carol Ann Duffy is a British poet and playwright. Duffy first had her poetry published in magazines as a 14-year-old. She went to Liverpool University, graduating with a degree in philosophy in 1977. She worked as a poetry critic for The Guardian and as an editor for the poetry magazine Ambit. In 1996 she took a post lecturing in poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she later became creative director of the Writing School
She was the first woman Poet Laureate of Great Britain, serving from 2009-2019.

Writer, critic, journalist, former columnist for the Times and Newsweek, and TV presenter on Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny. Often heard debating and reviewing on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Ulster. Bestselling books include: An Apple a Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia, The Ministry of Thin: How the Pursuit of Perfection Got Out of Control, Letting Go: How To Heal Your Hurt, Love Your Body & Transform Your Life, Positively Primal: Finding Health & Happiness in a Hectic World, The A-Z of Eating Disorders, Wellbeing: Body Confidence, Health & Happiness, Ways of Escape, England’s Lane.

Jackie Kay was born to a Scottish mother and Nigerian father in Edinburgh on 9 November 1961, and was adopted as a baby by Helen and John Kay, who had already adopted a boy, Maxwell. The family lived in Bishopbriggs (Glasgow); John worked full time for the Communist Party of Great Britain, and Helen was the Scottish secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Kay has drawn on her unconventional upbringing in her poetry, and described it with humour and great affection in her autobiographical account of the search for her birth parents, Red Dust Road (2010), which she has called a ‘love letter’ to her white adoptive parents.

Sanghera was born and brought up in Derby. A survivor of a forced marriage, she is the founder of Karma Nirvana, an award winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour-based abuse and forced marriages. Jasvinder’s memoir Shame was described in the House of Lords as a ‘political weapon’ and, along with Daughters of Shame are Sunday Times Top 10 Bestsellers.
In 2018, she was awarded Honorary Doctor of Law by De Montfort University, Leicester, and Woman of the Year by Leeds City Council and in 2019, she was awarded the Robert Burns Humanitarian of the Year Award and also the Sikh Woman of Substance Award. Jasvinder is recognised as bringing the issue of forced marriage into the public domain and Prime Minister David Cameron stated that her work ‘turned my head on the issue of forced marriage’.

Laura is the author of Transgender Resistance: Socialism and the Fight for Trans Liberation, (Bookmarks) She was a lecturer at Bradford College and a leading member of the lecturers’ unions Natfhe and UCU.


London, England; France

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1936

Place of Birth:

Sheffield, England


B.A., Newnham College, Cambridge, 1957; graduate study at Bryn Mawr College and Somerville College

Table of Contents

Foreword by Cheryl Robson 9
Women’s Voices
- Choices: The Writing of Possession by A.S. Byatt 15
- Becoming a Writer by Saskia Calliste 21
- Jenny – a song by April de Angelis 29
- Interview with Kit de Waal 33
- Anne Hathaway by Carol Ann Duffy 41
- Let the World Burn through you by Sian Evans 43
- Early Women Writers by Philippa Gregory 50
- The Creative Process by Mary Hamer 55
- The Writing Life by Jackie Kay 60
- Screen Diversity by Shuchi Kothari 63
- Writing Plays by Bryony Lavery 68
- The Novelist as Wanderer by Annee Lawrence 71
- Interview with Roseanne Liang 77
- Mei Kwei, I love you by Suchen Christine Lim 81
- The Badminton Court by Jaki McCarrick 98
- Interview with Laura Miles 104
- The Motherload by Raman Mundair 110
- The Feminist Library by Magda Oldziejewska 113
- Fortune Favours The Brave... by Kaite O’Reilly 116
- Interview with Jacqueline Pepall 120
- The Art of Translation by Gabi Reigh 128
- Conditions of Amefricanity by Djamila Ribeiro 132
- Inspiration: Where does it come from? by Fiona Rintoul 142
- Interview with Jasvinder Sanghera 145
- A Room of One’s Own ...or Not? by Anne Sebba 152
- Being a Feminist Writer by Kalista Sy 158
- Mslexia by Debbie Taylor 161
- My Mother, Reading a Novel by Madeleine Thien 166
- Interview with Claire Tomalin 175
- Fortune by Ida Vitale, transl. Tanya Huntington 181
- Interview with Sarah Waters 183
- Virginia Woolf...100 years on by Emma Woolf 189
Writing Workshops
- How to run one 200
Workshop sessions:
- Self-Assessment 201
- Becoming a Writer 202
- A Room of One’s own 204
- Developing Complex Characters 205
- Clichés, Lies and Exaggerations 206
- Mothers/Fathers 208
- Fear of Failure 209
- Self-censorship 211
- Subverting Fairytales 212
- Conflict/Violence 214
- Voice 215
- The Personal and the Political 216
- Resolutions 217
Resource Directory Compiled by Saskia Calliste 219
Quiz 224

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