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The Writer’s Art

Saturday 9 April 2016

Full Day


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£40 - £70

Ticket price

Join leading writers Jem Poster, Louis de Bernières, Joanne Harris and D J Taylor for a full-day or half-day masterclass in the writer’s art.

This event is for aspiring writers and curious readers. Perhaps you want to know more about the process of writing in order to enhance your own creative work; or perhaps you are simply curious about the thoughts and working lives of writers. You will be able to hear and question practising authors on matters relating to their complex and fascinating vocation.

The day will consist of four 75-minute sessions, chaired by Jem Poster, who will also contribute one of the talks. The other three talks will be given by Louis de Bernières, Joanne Harris and D J Taylor, who will all provide insights into their own writing lives and, in the process, clarify issues of interest to anyone who wants to understand the writer’s art.

Festival-goers can book the whole day or the morning or afternoon session. The cost includes coffee/tea in the morning and afternoon breaks. Lunch is available to buy at Worcester College Buttery.

Morning sessions

9.00-10.15 - Jem Poster

coffee break

11.00-12.15 - Louis de Bernières

lunch break

Afternoon sessions

2.00- 3.15 - Joanne Harris

coffee break

4.00-5.15 - D J Taylor

Poster is the author of two novels, Courting Shadows and Rifling Paradise, as well as a collection of poetry, Brought to Light. He is a former professor of creative writing at Aberystwyth University, is currently programme advisor to the Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education’s MSt in creative writing and director of its International Summer Programme in Creative Writing; he is an affiliated lecturer of the institute. Poster is director of academic programmes for the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

de Bernières published his first novel in 1990 and was selected by Granta magazine as one of the 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 1993. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Novel and A Partisan’s Daughter was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Notwithstanding: Stories from an English Village was published in 2009. His first collection of poetry, Imagining Alexandria: Poems in Memory of Constantinos Cavafis, was published in 2013 and his latest novel, The Dust That Falls From Dreams, appeared in 2015.

Harris’s third novel, Chocolat, was made into an Oscar-nominated film, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Since then she has written 15 more novels (including Blackberry Wine,

Five Quarters of the Orange

, The Coastliners, Holy Fools, Gentlemen and Players, The Lollipop Shoes and Runelight) two collections of short stories and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. 

D J Taylor is the author of two acclaimed biographies,  Thackeray , and Orwell: The Life, which won the Whitbread Biography Prize in 2003.  He has written 11 novels, the most recent being The Windsor Faction, joint winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, Derby Day, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, At the Chime of a City Clock, Ask Alice and Kept: A Victorian Mystery. His journalism appears in The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, The Guardian, The Tablet, The Spectator and The Wall Street Journal.