Free workshop at Coventry Book Festival

Posted: May 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: authors, courses, The Game is Altered, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I’m running a FREE writing workshop at Coventry Book Festival on June 16th at 11am. The workshop, ‘Finding Your Voice’, is two hours long and is being held in Coventry Central Library. Bring pens, paper and an open mind. For ages 16 and above. Use the link to book your place: http://literallycoventry.eventbrite.co.uk/

I’ll also be taking part in a panel discussion with other local authors on June 14th at Sidney Stringer Academy Theatre. You can book for this on the same link.


Coventry LitFest

Posted: February 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: authors, events | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

On Wednesday February 17th I will, once again, be joining the novelist Amanda Smyth at Coventry University to give a talk entitled “How I Write”.

Ours is the first talk in a 3-day series for Coventry Conversations. This time however, the formula has been extended to create a mini Literature Festival. The speakers during the week include Mr Golden Pen himself – Andrew Davies (screenwriter of films such as Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, Vanity Fair, Wives and Daughters and Tipping the Velvet) and Nick Walker – whose novel Black Box was considered one of the year’s outstanding debuts in 2005.

All the talks are free and open to all, and take place at 13.00pm in Room ETG34, Ellen Terry Building, Coventry University, Jordan Well, Coventry.

  • 17th February: Mez Packer and Amanda Smyth
  • 18th February: Andrew Davies
  • 19th February: Nick Walker

Coventry Conversation

Posted: May 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: events, writing | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

I was joined by Amanda Smyth at Coventry University yesterday. We read from our novels (Black Rock, Among Thieves) and answered questions about discipline, process, how much a new writer makes (fuck all), how much we have invested in our creativity (stupid amounts) etc. My answers in parentheses not Amanda’s. We had a good audience and I enjoyed myself, sold some books etc. I’d gone skidding across Coventry looking for copies of our respective books to sell as Amanda’s publisher had cocked up – or someone had – and no books had arrived at the venue – to find that Waterstones in Coventry had precisely one copy of each of our novels. How sad. But it all worked out fine.

Amanda was great fun and we had coffee afterwards with a friend of my daughter’s who turned up out of the blue. I think he was rather overwhelmed as me and Amanda lit gossiped. Between us we demonstrated the six degrees of separation theory. I know one or two people of note but Amanda knows tons of people and I know people who know other people so within a couple of minutes, at two degrees of separation only, we had got to  – Andrew Motion, Catherine O’Flynn, Ali Smith and Salman Rushdie. I danced with a man who danced with a girl – you know the song?

Thanks to John Mair for organising the event – and Coventry University for a free lunch.

Podcast to follow shortly.


Coventry Literature Festival

Posted: April 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: events, writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Saturday 9 May

The Coventry Literature Festival: Reading by local author Mez Packer
Central Library 1pm

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Reading by local author Mez Packer, author of Among Thieves: a countercultural thriller based in 2 Tone Coventry in the early 1980s. A new novelist showcases her gripping tale of drug-smuggling, racism, friendship and revenge, written with great energy and sharp humour.
“Coventry 1983. As the city skanks to the 2 Tone beat, wildly divergent characters look to smash the system and get rich quick on the music’s narcotic spur: hashish… an often comical, sometimes profound journey across continents, psyches and the minutiae of the drugs trade” (The Guardian).

The Coventry Literature Festival: Poetry reading by Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair


Central Library 2pm
Sinclair has lived in (and written about) Hackney, East London, since 1969. His novels include Downriver (Winner of the James Tait Black Prize & the Encore Prize for the Year’s Best Second Novel), Radon Daughters, Landor’s Tower and, most recently, Dining on Stones (which was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize). Non-fiction books include Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and Edge of the Orison. In the ’90s, Iain wrote and presented a number of films for BBC2’s Late Show and has, subsequently, co-directed with Chris Petit four documentaries for Channel 4; one of which, Asylum, won the short film prize at the Montreal Festival. He edited London, City of Disappearances, which was published in October 2006. His most recent book is Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire, published in February 2009.

“ORBITAL will be read 50 years from now. This account of his walk around the M25 is on one level a journey into the heart of darkness, that terrain of golf courses, retail parks and industrial estates which is Blair’s Britain. It’s a fascinating snapshot of who we are, lit by Sinclair’s vivid prose, and on another level a warning that the mythological England of village greens and cycling aunts has been buried under the rush of a million radial tyres” – J. G. Ballard.