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Stratford Lit Fest, Sun Apr 28-Sun May 5

Girl Power! Feminist geographer Joni Seagar, psychotherapist Philippa Perry, columnists The Midults, Bake-Off judge Pru Leith, Darcey Bussell and Newsnight's Emily Maitlis are all appearing in a female-dominated 2019 line-up.


This year Stratford Literary Festival, Apr 28 – May 5, celebrates feminism in a big way with the brilliantly funny psychotherapist Philippa Perry, US feminist geographer Joni Seager and Daily Telegraph columnists The Midults.


Top Performance Coach Sara Milne Rowe, who has made a career out of teaching business high fliers to achieve their goals, will be explaining how to Rediscover Your Career Mojo based on her SHED Method – that’s Sleep Hydration Exercise and Diet. A late nighter with a free glass of wine at Stratford’s Hotel du Vin on Thur May 2.

And the super-talented Juliet Russell, will be creating a family choir from scratch. Co-founder of Warwickshire’s boutique festival of ideas and feasts, she’s a voice coach and choir leader, who has led choirs for Paloma Faith, alt-J, Glastonbury, the V&A, Latitude and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (the ‘Unexpected Star’ bit). This will take place at Stratford Primary School on Sat May 4 with a performance at 5.25pm.


Voice coach Juliet Russell with one of her Scratch Choirs


Other highlights include C4’s Great British Bake-Off judge Pru Leith, Darcy Bussell, Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis, giving a behind-the-scenes look at her career, Warwickshire-based TV screenwriter Andrew Davies (who’s adapted classics ranging from Pride and Prejudice to War and Peace and most recently Les Miserables for the BBC) and Booker Prize winner Ben Okri. Multi-talented Bake-Off judge Pru – who’s also a restaurateur, businesswoman, Edinburgh University chancellor and author – will be talking about her life, career and new novel, The Lost Son and Other Stories, at Stratford Playhouse on Thur May 2.


Joni Seager (below), Bentley University’s Global Studies Professor in Boston, author of award-winning feminist classic The Women’s Atlas, will be Putting Women on the Map in a conversation with Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey at Stratford Playhouse on Thur May 2.


Philippa Perry (below), who’s married to Grayson Perry the artist, is going to be sharing thoughts on her witty, warm and refreshing parenting guide, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad You Did)  with Also Festival co-founder Helen Bagnall (where she’ll be speaking this summer) at Stratford Playhouse on Wed May 1.


Former Guardian agony aunt Philippa Perry


There’s another Hotel du Vin Late Nighter with The Midults, Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan, who’ve rebranded middle age for the modern woman in their successful Telegraph column – a G&T included, on Sat May 4.


Fantastically creative workshops include the Kidz & Big Kidz Witty Workshop (Sat May 2, Stratford Playhouse) looking at different comedy styles, Researching Your Novel with author Jill Dawson and Writing comedy with performance trainer and comedy coach Maggie Irving.


Tracy Beaker creator Jacqueline Wilson, author of more than 100 books


The Children’s line-up of events, between Sun April 28 and Sun May 5, looks very exciting with lots of lovely things for pre-schoolers including storytelling, creating a giant Elmer the Elephant and a performance of The Rainbow Fish. For slightly older kids there’s Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon, Jacqueline Wilson, illustrators Lydia Monks & Nick Sharratt and a fab How to Draw Star Wars guide for ages 6+, stratfordliteraryfestival

See the full-line up here and children’s events here.

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