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Events Listing 2017


Nationality, identity and belonging are among the most powerful and divisive concepts of our times and also lie close to the heart of our humanity.

In 2017 these themes will be the common Word Factory threads bringing together writers with the voice and language to unravel art from artifice in a programme of salon readings, events, discussions and classes culminating in a two-day festival at the end of the year.
We will explore – and if necessary transgress – the boundaries of culture, politics, identity and citizenship in the literary imagination. What is the writers’ responsibility to liberty and justice? How do writers help shape culture and understanding? What do fiction and non-fiction authors have to learn from each other in the “post-truth” world? And what can writers from diverse cultures offer each other and contemporary literature?

Some of the writers featuring in 2017 are listed here… there will be others. Please join us: Tessa Hadley, Nikesh Shukla, Jo Unwin, Carrie Kania, Paul McVeigh, Alexander Masters, Alexei Sayle, Dave Lordan, Kit De Waal, K.J. ORR, David Morley and Louise Doughty.

To support us and enjoy priority booking and discounts BECOME A MEMBER?


Our masterclasses are designed to inspire your creativity with the knowledge we have gained as writers working with writers over many years. You will work with leading authors in an intimate setting with support from the Word Factory team. To make the most of our superb classes, BECOME A MEMBER. Members enjoy priority booking (most classes sell out) and a discount. There are also opportunities to read your work at open-mic sessions during the year and to join our FREE short story reading club.

Venue: Most classes are held at Waterstones Piccadilly – but we do use other venues so please check the venue carefully.

Concessions Policy: Due to the demands of small class sizes our concessions are limited. We save free places for the winners of the apprentice award and our dedicated Word Factory volunteers. We want to support people who have financial difficulties. If you need to know more, please contact us in confidence: alison@thewordfactory.tv

Masterclasses & Talks

Paul McVeigh

Everything a debut author needs to know

Saturday, 25 March 2017 from 13:00 to 15:30 (GMT)


Alexander Masters

Non-fiction and the truth masterclass

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 from 18:30 to 20:30 (BST)


Dave Lordan

First Impressions: the basics of multimedia for writers

Saturday, 20 May 2017 from 10:00 to 12:00 (BST)



Metaphor and the imagination

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 from 18:30 to 21:00 (BST)


David Morley

Narrative magic

Saturday, 24 June 2017 from 13:00 to 16:00 (BST)


David Mitchell

David Mitchell Unpublished

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 from 17:00 to 20:30 (GMT)


Louise Doughty

Where the narrative leads

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 from 18:30 to 20:30 (BST)


Word Factory Salons

Join us throughout the year at our intimate salons for stories and literary conversation. We guarantee a warm welcome and a glass of wine. All salons are at Waterstones Piccadilly unless otherwise stated.

Salon #51

Four Voices: Shukla, Otoo, Guo & Hisayo Buchanan

Saturday, 25 February 2017 from 18:00 to 20:00 (GMT)


Salon #52

Post-truth: explore the art of getting to the truth with Paul McVeigh, Alison MacLeod, Andrew Williams and Christine Toomey

Saturday, 25 March 2017 from 18:00 to 20:00 (GMT)


Salon #53

Watch your language...four radical writers respond to their sense of belonging - with Rob Doyle, Lisa Blower, Stephen Morrison-Burke and Dave Lordan.

Saturday, 20 May 2017 from 18:00 to 20:00 (GMT)


Salon #54

Not The Election: hosted by Sophie Haydock and Zoe Gilbert with guest readers Rowena Macdonald and Tamsin Cottis.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 from 19:00 to 21:00 (GMT)


Salon #55

Protest, Poetry & Prose: an evening exploring the narrative of change with Kate Clanchy, Gerard Woodward and David Morley.

Saturday, 24 June 2017 from 18:00 to 20:00 (GMT)


Salon dates for your diary…

Full booking details coming soon.

September Salon

Word Factory Showcase: an evening with our 2017 apprentices and mentors: Fergus Evans and Jarred McGinnis; Zoe Gilbert and Melissa Fu; Alexei Sayle and Durre Shahwar; Nikesh Shukla and Avani Shah. With special guest David Almond.

Saturday, 9 September 2017 from 18.00 to 20.00 (GMT)

Look out for: a pop-up with Kevin Barry and an end of year Word Factory Citizen Festival from November 17th-19th and our Christmas party on December 6th!