Women Debut Writers: A must for any aspiring debut novelist

An evening with three debut novelists Running from
Last event: Wednesday 23 November 2022 at 7.30pm
  • £10 / Non-members: £12 (each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee)
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  • Garret Theatre

Part of: Chester Literature Festival 2022

An evening for writers and aspiring writers

Join us for an evening with three debut writers of 2022 as they discuss their latest works (which all feature a strong woman as lead), finding their way in the world and the challenges they faced along the way.

Hosted by Emma Rees
Emma is Professor, and Director of the Institute of Gender Studies, University of Chester. She is author of The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History (Bloomsbury); editor of Palgrave’s (Re)presenting Gender Series; and editor of the Routledge Companion to Gender, Sexuality, and Culture.

Line-up: authors and their debut novels

Bea Setton: Berlin  
Berlin follows Daphne Ferber, who, in an effort to escape her demons back home in London, moves to the city in search of the hedonistic, exciting lifestyle that Berlin is famous for. Of course, she knew she’d need to do the usual: make friends, acquire lovers, grapple with German and a whole new way of life. She even expected the long nights gorging alone on family-sized jars of Nutella, and the pitfalls of online dating in another language. The paranoia, the second-guessing of her every choice, the covert behaviours? Probably come with the territory. But one night, something strange, dangerous and entirely unexpected intervenes – a brick is thrown through her bedroom window in the dead of night. Suddenly, life in bohemian Kreuzberg suddenly doesn’t seem so cool. Just how much trouble is Daphne in, and who – or what – is out to get her? 

Claire Alexander: Meredith, Alone  
Meredith Maggs hasn’t left her house in 1,214 days. But she insists she isn’t alone… 

She has her cat Fred. Her friend Sadie visits when she can. There’s her online support group, Strength In Numbers. She has her jigsaws, favourite recipes, her beloved Emily Dickinson, the internet, the Tesco delivery man and her treacherous memories for company. 

But something’s about to change. Whether Meredith likes it or not, the world is coming to her door… Does she have the courage to overcome what’s been keeping her inside all this time? 

Claire is a debut author and freelance journalist from Troon on the west coast of Scotland. She wrote most of Meredith, Alone before the pandemic – only for most of the world to be plunged into the same situation as her heroine. To guide herself through, she found herself asking: ‘What would Meredith do?’ 

It’s that relatability and comfort that makes this such a hopeful, touching novel for our times: about the power of humanity and connection over isolation, the courage it takes to overcome the past, and how the people we love can save us, no matter what we’ve had to endure. 

Ava Glass: Alias Emma
Alias Emma by Ava Glass is a read-in-one-gulp page-turner – introducing a young spy, codename Emma – who has signed on with a shadowy outfit known as The Agency affiliated to MI6. In the opening pages of the novel she is sent on a mission to ‘bring in’ a man wanted by the Russians and her mission is to get him across the capital city without being spotted on CCTV. 

Emma’s journey takes her via London’s inland waterways – the Regent’s Canal to begin with, underground via London’s hidden Fleet river and finally up the Thames – in a boat chase worthy of James Bond. 


Approx 75 mins

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