Open the Door 2019 will take place at Glasgow Women’s Library and is supported by The Open University in Scotland. It will feature writers such as Lucy Ellmann, Kerry Hudson, and Juana Adcock.
Events with Ali Smith, Liz Lochhead, Claire Askew and Chitra Ramaswamy have been announced by Glasgow Women’s Library today, with the launch of Open the Door 2019.
The third outing of Scotland’s literary festival that puts women to the fore sees it expand to two days for the first time (17 and 18 May).
A festival highlight includes a special interview with acclaimed Scottish author, playwright, academic and journalist Ali Smith.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘celebrate, protest, and support’. It will be kickstarted by Liz Lochhead, Claire Askew and Juana Adcock with an event celebrating the lives of three Scottish women writers: Agnes Owens, Naomi Mitchison and Janet Paisley.
The festival gives space to protest with a focus on the underlying gender inequalities in Scottish literature, including exploring the challenges of adapting your work for screen with best-selling author of The Cry, Helen Fitzgerald, to setting up an alternative publishing initiative with one of the founders of Monstrous Regiment.
Open the Door provides support with unique opportunities for women to get involved and explore their own creative potential; from researching historical fiction with writer and reviewer Lesley McDowell, to creating your own memoir with Catherine Simpson, author of When I had a Little Sister.
The festival is named for the writer, Catherine Carswell, and her groundbreaking 1920 novel. Despite women writers’ achievements, there are still doors to be opened.
Its format is a convivial, memorable shared experience, replacing the more formal audience and speaker setting.
Jess Orr, Open the Door Project Coordinator, Glasgow Women’s Library said:
“Staging a festival to celebrate the treasure trove of talented women in Scotland’s literary sector today has not been a choice but an imperative, driven by a desire from within our community to bring readers and writers together and build a network of support and inspiration for the next generation.
"The 2019 edition of Open the Door promises to be a two day extravaganza like no other, with opportunities to hear from award-winning writers at the pinnacle of their careers as well as some of the newest, heart-stopping, gut-wrenching voices on the scene.
"We’ll also be highlighting the incredible lives and careers of Naomi Mitchison, Agnes Owens and Janet Paisley, with opportunities to get creative in interactive workshops and conversations from feminist zine-making to editing a women’s manifesto.”
Lesley McDowell, author and literary critic said:
“'Open The Door's third year shows this festival going from strength to strength in the way that we all hoped it would, and showcases perfectly why Scotland's women writers deserve and need a festival of their own.”
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