I’ll be appearing at the London Book Fair Wednesday, March 13th at the invitation of The British Council. I’m excited by the topic of the conversation and to talk to some Indonesian writers after my trip there to The George Town Literature Festival in 2018. Here are the details.
Laksmi Pamuntjak, Norman Erikson Pasaribu and Paul McVeigh; chaired by Phillip Kim
16.00-17.00, Cross Cultural Hub, Olympia
Indonesian writing today is becoming more bold, more inventive, and more determined to say the unsayable. How, through literary experiments, style and themes, are Indonesia’s writers tackling taboos and redefining norms? Laksmi Pamuntjak, author of The Question of Red – which counters the official government history of 1965; Norman Erikson Pasaribu, whose poems shine light on queer Indonesian life in the midst of erasure and oppression today; alongside Paul McVeigh whose writing touches on the complex layers of political oppression, violence and sexuality; discuss their personal reasons for writing on their chosen subjects, and the need to explore, and unsettle, the dominant narratives.
Writing Gender – Sexuality, Feminism and Masculinity
#BRITLITBERLIN, 25 – 27 JANUARY 2018
Registration is now open for the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar. Professor Bernardine Evaristo MBE will chair the seminar which this year will focus will be on gender diversity in contemporary UK writing.
Authors include: Juno Dawson, Kerry Hudson, Sabrina Mahfouz, Nick Makoha , Monique Roffey and me!
I hope to see some of you there.
#BritLitBerlin 2018 – in Bernardine Evaristo’s words…
“The 2018 seminar will be an exploration of some of the ways in which British writers are exploring gender and sexuality in the twenty-first century. We will look at the current conversations around gender identity that have been gaining ground in the mainstream recently, including the challenge to the social construction of gender binaries. As the spectrum and categories of transgender identities and LGBTQ+ sexualities continue to revolutionise how we define ourselves as humans, we will examine how this is being played out in literature. At the same time feminism has recently enjoyed a rebirth and gone mainstream. The post-feminist era is over and young women, in particular, are taking ownership of Fourth Wave Feminism, a shift as individualised as each proponent. We will ask how this is being addressed by writers of fiction and poetry, whose work appears to subscribe to a range of feminist ideas or ideals. We will ask how we can create literature that is complex and nuanced, while also being consciously political. As notions of masculinity and femininity are called into question, subverted, rejected and expanded, we will examine the decisions we make that informs our literature in this regard. Who and what do we write about? What fictional characters do we create, and why? What are the self-imposed limits that determine whether or how we write across gender and sexuality. And what are our responsibilities as writers when addressing these issues. Finally, what are the expectations imposed upon us by the reading public and the publishing industry to write from a perspective that correlates to our (cis) gender? (Bernardine Evaristo)”
I will teaching at the British Council in Kuala Lumpur on December 2nd and 3rd. If you are town it would be wonderful if you could come or if you know any writers in KL please let them know. (I’ll also be doing some events… more on that later.)
Thanks to Sharon Baker for organising it, and Grey Yeoh and British Council Malaysia for their generous support. Thanks also to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Culture Ireland for helping my travel around the region.
The class on December 2 ‘Short Sharp Shock’ is for 15-19 year olds. On December I teach my ‘That Killer First Page’ workshop that has already sold out in Bali and Mebourne so grab your tickets quick. Here’s more on that class…
That Killer First Page
“Northern Irish author Paul McVeigh leads this fiction workshop aimed at writers who are writing short fiction and looking to improve their craft.
You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. In a form where every word counts, get tips on where to start your story and how to keep the reader glued to the page. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.
How to get the attention of competition judges and editors
Writing fiction with emotional impact
Writing that killer first page
How to edit your story
Where to send your work
Reviews for Paul’s writing:
“A work of genius.” Pulitzer Prize-winning short story writer Robert Olen Butler.
“A wildly impotent new talent.” Laura van den Berg.
“One of Ireland’s most exciting and talented writers.” BBC Radio 4”
Date and Time
Sun, December 3, 2017
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Malaysia
British Council Malaysia
Ground Floor, Jalan Ampang, Malaysia
West Block Wisma Selangor Dredging 142C, Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50450
Over on The British Council literature blog the staff are talking about their book pics this month. Matt Beavers, Literature Programme Manager had this to say about The Good Son –
“I’ve been reading The Good Son, Paul McVeigh’s debut novel which won the Polari First Book Prize in 2016. It is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the 1980s Belfast. Mickey Donnelly is about to head to secondary school. He got into the local grammar but his parents can’t afford it so he is counting down the days until his first day at St Gabriel’s, which he’s dreading. The book is a fantastic and moving journey into the mind of a young boy who knows he is different and is trying to make sense of himself and the difficult world around him. Through Mickey’s first person narration, we gain a vivid insight into the atmosphere of Troubles and their impact on everyday family and community life. The book is nonetheless hopeful and extremely funny. I look forward to reading more from Paul in future.”
Nice way to start the week.
Winner of The Polari Prize
“Both dancing and disquieting, complex and vivid, I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Lisa McInerney
“It’s a triumph of storytelling, an absolute gem.” Donal Ryan
“Funny, raw and endlessly entertaining.” Johnathan Coe