Skip to Content


Monday 24 June: Writing Our World


The Festival begins with a day showing how writers reflect the world we live in with an emphasis on diversity, heritage and inclusivity.


10.30am Mal Peet Memorial LectureJames McDermott

A UEA alumnus, James started writing plays about growing up gay in Norfolk because he felt rural LGBTQ stories were rarely represented. His plays include the widely-acclaimed Rubber Ring, Time and Tide, set in a cafe on Cromer Pier, and Street Life, a verbatim play exploring homelessness in Norwich. James was nominated for the Diversity Award at the 2018 Norfolk Arts Awards, and runs popular scriptwriting workshops for theatres in East Anglia. 

"McDermott holds the audience in the palm of his hand." Auditorium Magazine.


12.30pm Creative writing workshops

An exciting range of workshops including a workshop by the celebrated playwrite Steve Waters on writing plays inspired by the world we live in, and Sufiya Ahmed and Sian Evans on creating fiction and screenplays from real life.


1.45pm In Conversation: Sufiya Ahmed and Jo Cotterill. Claire Hynes as chair.

FLY is delighted to welcome back Jo Cotterill who will discuss the world we live in with Sufiya Ahmed.

Sufiya was born in India and now lives in London. She is the author of the widely-acclaimed Secrets of the Henna Girl and founded the BIBI Foundation which arranges visits to the Houses of Parliament for underprivileged school students. 

Jo has been an actor, a teacher and a fireworks technician. She has published over 30 books for children and young adults including the critically-acclaimed Looking at the Stars and A Library of Lemons. Her latest book, Jelly, is about body image and finding your voice. Jo also writes the part novel, part comic superhero series Electrigirl with illustrator Cathy Brett.