Festival Season

It’s that time of year when the festivals come thick and fast.

Over the next couple of months I will be taking part in a number of SE London events, so I thought I’d just mention them, in case you felt like coming along.

Hither Green Festival

I will be talking, with Katy Darby (fellow editor and author at Arachne Press)
about Women, Science Fiction and Fantasy
at Manor House Library 34 Old Road SE13 5SY
Friday May 18th 19:00-21:00 FREE




Brockley Max Festival 

I will be reading alongside my WOOA mates at Strange Brew, on Saturday 3rd June at 4pm at the Talbot Tyrwhitt Road SE4 1QG

Join us for

Strange stories including (probably) spells potions and drinking. Bring your own (story!) to read, and join in the writing relay.


Bellingham Festival

I am judging the children’s poetry competition! Winners will be announced on 16th June.

On 20th June I will be presenting authors from Arachne Press’ Dusk anthology, reading their contributions – stories and poems inspired by the in-between of no sun but not dark – yet.


St John’s Church on Bromley Road, opposite Homebase.



The Historical Birthday-Tea Party 15th February

Right, back to the history (and as an aside I’ve realised what I’ve been doing here – echoing Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, a play in which various female icons from history and myth – Isabella Bird, Pope Joan, Lady Nijo, Dull Gret, Patient Griselda – gather together for a meal.)

Today’s birthday belongs to Susan B Anthony, February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906, campaigner for women’s rights, abolition of slavery, temperance and suffrage for all in the USA.

Gloriously she was arrested and tried for voting!

This somewhat backfired on the government despite a completely unfair trial, as it gave her an unrivalled platform for her views. She was fined $100, which she refused to pay.

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union … The true republic: men, their rights and nothing more: women, their rights and nothing less.

Susan was too busy campaigning to have much of a private life but seems like a good sort, with lots of women friends.

I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand

Obviously she wouldn’t want to get in with some of the rowdy drinkers I’ve invited, but we could always have a genteel pre-yard-arm version with tea and lemon slices, and a nice madeira cake.

Failure is Impossible

The Historical Birthday-Tea Party 13th January

Today’s birthday girl is the ‘Last of the Red Hot Mamas’ – Sophie Tucker 1884-1966

A Vaudeville and Broadway star of her time, who started out (not her idea) blacked up, Sophie ‘came out’ as a nice jewish girl when her makeup box was stolen on the way to a gig. The audience was delighted and so was she.

Sophie sang joyfully about being a fat girl who loved to be loved, not taking nonsense from men, and was raunchy, outrageous and fun. She had quite a voice too, landing a $1000 recording deal with Edison.

Any party Sophie was invited to would need to have cocktails I suspect. I have a cocktail shaker somewhere – haven’t used it since… well, a loooong time. I can do a G&T by eye, who needs a shaker? Come on over Sophie, let’s let our back hair down and have a good laugh.