A Free Online Literary Festival for Book Lovers in Lockdown

Curators are making sure we still have things to do while we are stuck at home.

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Abi Palmer, featured author

It is inspiring to see the way that people are rallying together to create uplifting events and activities to support us, as we go through this bewildering experience of lockdown together.

BookBound 2020 is an online literary festival, billed as ‘an antiviral literary festival’ and you can attend from the comfort of your own living room.

From 27 April to 3 May 2020, a host of well-known authors will be brought together for a week of online conversations, readings and storytelling

If you are sober, sober curious or trying to quit drinking, then come along to my event, in conversation with Clare Pooley on Wednesday 29 April at 17:30 BST.

Clare Pooley is the author of The Sober Diaries and the recently published novel The Authenticity Project, as well as the hugely popular blog, Mummy Was A Secret Drinker.

I will be talking about my experience getting sober in the arctic, and writing about it here and at my blog, Beautiful Hangover.

Other events I’m excited about are Shapeless Fears, a conversation between Samantha Harvey and Georgie Codd, who both recently published beautiful memoirs about, respectively, insomnia and ichthyophobia.

In the wake of her cousin’s death, Samantha Harvey endured a year of extreme sleep deprivation awash with anxiety; her heart ‘a tough lump of meat, flooded by fear.’

Georgie Codd’s fearful obsession with the sea, and the unknown, sparked a four-year, panic-laced mission to conquer anxiety altogether. Their recently-published memoirs are the basis of this conversation. Hosted by journalist Sarah Allely, whose 2019 podcast explores the links between nature and recovery.

And Matters of the Heart.

“Comedian and writer Robert Webb — best known for his roles on Peep Show and as one half of That Mitchell and Webb Look — has followed his #1 bestselling memoir How Not To Be A Boy with the recently-published novel Come Again.

His conversation partner is the journalist, podcaster and author Cathy Rentzenbrink, whose memoir A Manual for Heartache is a beautiful exploration of love, loss and finding joy.

I will also be hosting a YA event with Holly Bourne, bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Am I Normal Yet? and publishing sensation Intisar Khanani, author of Thorn. This event will be all about how to create authentic young voices for a contemporary audience and will appeal to writers hoping to do the same

There are many more events with well-known names — such as Waterstones Book of the Year winner Sarah Perry and MP and writer David Lammy — as well as a raft of emerging authors from the UK and around the world, including Hong Kong-born poet Jennifer Wong, UK poet and novelist Richard Lambert, and feminist writer Lola Olufemi, from London.

The packed week-long programme will be a mixture of live stream author-to-author conversations, pre-recorded readings and children’s storytimes, all accessible for free online via BookBound 2020’s dedicated YouTube channel.

All events are free but BookBound is fundraising for Mind, a mental health charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. All donations will go to help the charity’s essential work over the coming months.

Created by a volunteer group of book-lovers and authors, and curated in partnership with Wasafari Magazine, the festival aims to connect authors and readers, and help to combat social isolation during the current climate of COVID-19.

So have a look, and see what you would like to attend. I hope to see some of you there!

And if you’re struggling to quit drinking, you’re not alone.

If you’re ready to try something different, try my alcohol experiment. Do whatever it takes to stay sober for 30 days: go to your doctor, try Smart or AA or Hip Sobriety or Soberistas. Read beautiful hangover. Listen to Recovery Elevator and SHAIR podcasts. If you think it could work, try Moderation Management.

There is a whole community of people just waiting to help you. Reach out. Something better is waiting for you.

Sign up for more from me at beautifulhangover <3

Chelsey Flood is the author of Infinite Sky and Nightwanderers, a lecturer in creative writing and a dedicated truth-seeker. She writes about freedom, addiction, nature and love.

Author, educator, truth-seeker. Writing my way to freedom or thereabouts. Talk to me @cjflood_author. www.chelseyflood.com/beautiful-hangover She/her/they.

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