2015-2016 Activities

*All events as part of Reading the South 2015-16 are now over. *

ESCC RTS Lewes event 08 12 15-8928



with Iain Sinclair, Lee Rourke, Suzanne Joinson & Julian Bell

Three critically acclaimed writers and a writer/painter discussed the inspiration they draw from the South of England, and Sussex in particular; its landscapes, towns, characters and history.

What is it we love or love to hate about the South? What is it about a place that gives us inspiration?

Iain Sinclair is a leading novelist, poet, filmmaker, avant gardist and psychogeographer. He has lived in (and written about) Hackney, East London, since 1969. His novels include Downriver (Winner of the James Tait Black Prize & the Encore Prize for the Year’s Best Second Novel), Radon Daughters,  Landor’s Tower and Dining on Stones (which was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize). Non-fiction books, exploring the myth and matter of London, include Lights Out for the Territory,  London Orbitaland Edge of the Orison. In recent years, he has also developed strong links with St Leonards-on-Sea and the south coast.

Suzanne Joinson is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction whose works has appeared in, among other places, the New York Times, Vogue, Aeon, Lonely Planet and the Independent on Sunday. Her first novel, A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar(2012) was translated into sixteen languages and was a national bestselller. She lives in Sussex.

Lee Rourke is the author of the short-story collection Everyday, and two novels: The Canal, (winner of the Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker Prize’ 2010) and Vulgar Things(2014). He lives ny the sea.

Julian Bell is a painter living in Lewes, Sussex. Besides painting, he writes about art for various magazines and has also written several books including What is Painting? -Representation and Modern Art (1999) and Mirror of the World: A New History of Art(2007).

This event was presented in association with Lewes Live Literature.



All of the 2015 workshops were themed around “what does the South means to you?” and were held by one of the authors involved in the project.

READING WORKSHOPS – For the reading sessions, it was encouraged that that participants will come prepared to talk about “what the South means to you.” It wasn’t vital to have read the authors work, although sessions included readings from the author from their own and other relevant novels. Participants may have read other fiction or non-fiction which was relevant to the proceedings, which they are invited to bring along, but ultimately these were discussions from a purely personal point of view.

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS – These were themed in the same way, with the addition that, as well as discussion, there was an interactive element where participants explored creating their own prose around what the South means to them. The author discussed concepts of character, narrative and place and it was hoped that their approach to writing will inspire those attending.


Stephanie NorgateCreative Writing workshop

  • Monday 5th October 12.30 – 14.30 and 15.00 – 17.00
  • Monday 26th October 12.30 – 14.30 and 15.00 – 17.00
  • Monday 16th November 12.30 – 14.30 and 15.00 – 17.00

Mark Peterson:  Reading workshop

  • Friday 25th September 10.00– 12.00
  • Friday 16th October 14.00 – 16.00
  • Friday 13th November 14.00 – 16.00


Priya ParmarReading workshop

  • Thursday 26th November  11:00 – 13:00.
  • Wednesday 2nd December  11:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:00

Each of the reading workshops is a distinct session. Therefore open to new participants each time.

Hannah VincentCreative Writing workshop

  • Thursday 5th November 14:00 – 17:00
  • Thursday 12th November 14:00 – 17:00
  • Thursday 26th November 14:00 – 17:00

These sessions will have follow-on content, building on the work carried out at each previous session.

Capacity: 8 per session.


John McCulloughCreative Writing workshop

  • Friday 20th November 09:30-12:30
  • Monday 23rd November 09:30-12:30
  • Friday 27th November 09:30-12:30


Tessa BoaseReading workshop

  • Tuesday 24th November 15:00-17:00
  • Friday 27th November 15:00-17:00
  • Monday 30th November 15:00-17:00

Capacity: 8 per session


Jane RusbridgeCreative Writing workshop

  • Friday 13th November 13.00
  • Friday 20th November 15.00
  • Friday 27th November 13.00

Simon BrettReading workshop

  • Monday 21st September 10.00
  • Monday 12th October 14.00
  • Friday 16th October 10.00


Umi SinhaReading workshop

  • Friday 6th November 14:00 – 16:00
  • Monday 16th November 10:00 – 12:00
  • Friday 20th November 13:00 – 15:00

Each of the reading workshops is a distinct session. Therefore open to new participants each time.

Capacity: 8 per session

Lizzie EnfieldCreative Writing workshop

  • Saturday 7th   November 13:30-16:30
  • Friday 13th November 13:00 – 16:00
  • Saturday 28th November 09:30-12:30

Capacity: 8 per session


Juliet WestCreative Writing workshop (full)

  • Tuesday 6th October 10.30 – 12.30
  • Tuesday 27th October 18.30 – 20.30
  • Tuesday 10th November 18.30 – 20.30

Niyati KeniReading workshop

  • Thursday 24th September 19.00 – 21.00
  • Thursday 15th October 19.00 – 21.00
  • Friday 13th November 19.00 – 21.00