Reading and writing festival marks 10 years with free, online programme

Hackney poet, playwright and author Lemn Sissay OBE. 

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE is part of the ReadFest 2021 line-up. - Credit: Slater King

Barking and Dagenham’s own reading and writing festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a free programme of online events.

Literacy lovers can meet authors, learn how to publish books and hone their writing skills during ReadFest, which runs from September 6 to 24.

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, biographer and Charles Dickens’ great-great-great-granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley and Bangladeshi cookbook expert Dina Begum are among the names appearing this year.

Cllr Saima Ashraf, deputy leader and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement at Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “Over the last decade, ReadFest has played host to some of the most well-known authors in the industry and helped bring excitement around literature to Barking and Dagenham, which has ignited people’s interest in books and stoked their passions to pick up a pen and write.”

The festival also offers a range of workshops on topics including poetry introductions, how to plot a novel, self-publishing and writing screenplays.

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