The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: Why writing for change is important

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University of Birmingham

University House G05

Birmingham

B15 2TT

United Kingdom

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Join our wide range of panel memebers, chaired by Psychologist, MasterCoach and YA Fiction Author Julie Goddard, at the University of Birmingham's Book to the Future Festival, as we ask our panel to discuss extracts and examples of writing that inspired positive change.

Passionate and well-articulated ideas can change the world for better or worse. Good writing inspires openness, thinking, talking, and action.
We ask our panel to share with us stories, examples and extracts of writing that inspired positive change.

Chaired by Julie R Goddard, Psychologist, MasterCoach and YA fiction author.

Panelist Include:

Annika Spalding

Annika was born to a teenage mother, grew up experiencing domestic violence, fell in love with Enid Blyton books, thrived at school, lost her mum to cancer when she was 18, and also lost any hope she had left of being an author.

She describes herself as a work-in-progress. She is a 32-year-old, mixed-heritage woman, who is a mother to two incredible girls.

Annika used to say “I live with anxiety and depression” but now she says anxiety and depression lives with her. She is still working through this, still addressing the deeply embedded pain caused by trauma.

Annika graduated from the University of Wolverhampton in September 2018 as a mature student, with a fabulous 2:1 in BA Creative and Professional Writing.

Where single parenthood, anxiety and depression, low confidence and imposter syndrome would have been a barrier to many, Annika fought against it and conquered them to achieve her degree.

Katie Dancey-Downs

Katie specialises in crafting short stories from real events, and has a passion for telling stories about human rights issues. She’s a senior writer at Lush, and co-editor of the Lush Times magazine.

Storytelling takes Katie all over the world, investigating topics like Indigenous climate resistance in Canada, regenerative farming in India, and Maasai women promoting equality in Kenya. She’s interviewed refugees in Calais, Uganda, and Turkey, and a recent documentary explores what it’s like to be an asylum seeker in the UK.

Katie has been published by the likes of The 'i' News, Index on Censorship, and The Ecologist, was shortlisted for The Fresher Writing Prize in 2017 and 2019, and the New Media Writing Prize in 2019. She studied BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, and MA Journalism Practice at Bournemouth University.

Dr Asha Rogers

Asha arrived at Birmingham in 2016 following a temporary lectureship at QMUL. Prior to that she wrote a doctoral thesis on the phenomenon of state literary sponsorship at Oxford, and studied for a BA and MA in Sheffield before that. Outside of academic life Asha has worked in community development, activism and the arts, and interfaith work. She is a South Londoner with family roots in Ireland, Kenya, and north India.

Location: University of Birmingham, University House G05.

The festival is open to all who are interested in the arts. It welcomes staff and students of the University of Birmingham, but also extends a warm invitation to the general public. We look forward to welcoming you!

Date and Time

Location

University of Birmingham

University House G05

Birmingham

B15 2TT

United Kingdom

View Map

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