The New Writing South Statement 2020

 In News & Features

We are delighted to welcome writer, activist and Common People editor Kit De Waal to deliver the New Writing South 2020 Statement on democracy and the literary landscape at the Brighton Festival on 17 May, 2020.

Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother and Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, for Social Services and the Crown Prosecution Service. She is a founding member of Leather Lane Writers and Oxford Narrative Group and has won numerous awards for her short stories and flash fiction. My Name is Leon, her debut novel won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2017 and was shortlisted for numerous other awards including the Costa First Book Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Trick to Time, her second novel, was published in 2018 and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Becoming Dinah, her first YA novel, was published in 2019.

Democracy is all about representation, having a voice and having our voices heard. The best books tell us how people think and feel, what we hope for and what we fear but there are still those in literature with no voice, people that can’t access books or the world of literature. We owe it to one another to read widely, read books in translation, read beyond our own experience and our own lives. And write too, all of us from the margins and beyond, write our stories, our real and our imagined lives.

– Kit de Waal

Book your place on the Brighton Festival website.


This event has been specially commissioned by New Writing South for the Brighton Festival.

The New Writing South Statement provides a platform for an eminent writer to share ideas, articulate passions, and initiate debate on aspects of the power and position of literature in the world.  Previous guest speakers have included Jeanette WintersonNikesh Shukla, and Alain de Botton.